Editorial | Issue 5
The first OUSA elections of the post-VSM era took place last week. The usual 10% or so of students bothered to vote – actually not a bad turnout for a by-election – and four new Execies have joined Logan and the rest on the Student Executive.
However, even those who voted might be asking, “so what?” Some might be happy that the Young Nationals Southern Region-handpicked contingent of candidates were defeated, and anyone interested in the future of OUSA will probably be glad that the executive is full for the first time in, well, ages.
But does it mean anything to have a student-elected executive any more? The University basically pays for the entire organisation, and can withdraw their funding next year at will. And in a move that can only be viewed as reducing the strength of student representation on the Uni Council and Senate, the students’ seats will now have to be filled by direct election from the student body. Immediately that sounds like a great idea – more democracy and more representation. But the result will be students who don’t have the strength of an organisation with the size and experience of OUSA behind them. They’ll be very limited in how they can engage with the student body and how they bring issues before the University. OUSA was too willing to give these positions away, thinking that they could simply stand their own executive members for the seats. They can, but they won’t be allowed to pool resources.
Anyway, that’s enough OUSA for one day. Critic is actually all about fashion this week. iD Fashion Week is about to kick off again, and Dunedin as usual outdoes itself as a fashion powerhouse far beyond its size. Maybe it’s the need to dress creatively to get through the bleak winters, or maybe it’s just because we need so many layers to stay warm that a certain style spontaneously grew out of our North D ghetto. The challenge for any scarfie is to move past trackies and puffer jackets (just occasionally), and start developing a style of your very own. Zane Pocock takes an in-depth look at the fashion industry in his feature this week, and Maddy Phillipps talks to two of Dunedin’s own young designers who will be competing in the International Emerging Designer Awards during fashion week.
Lastly, Critic set out for our annual Bar Safety Review – any old excuse for a drink really. There is such a crazy wealth of bars and clubs that you can go to in Dunedin in such a small area, we really are incredibly lucky, and even the cops are out and about trying to keep you safe (though that particular Constable wasn’t totally stoked to have his photo taken). And if you don’t feel like hitting town, few places in NZ could compete with our house party culture. Speaking of which, by the time you read this, the Hyde Street Keg Party will have taken place, and will have been a raging success, an utter failure, or just possibly something in between. Critic will be have been there filming all day, so look out for our Critic TV Hyde Street 2012 episode coming very soon.
– Joe Stockman