Harlene’s Birthday Boy
OUSA President Logan Edgar received a birthday visit at his flat from University Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne, sparking concern (really just from Critic) over whether OUSA and the University are getting a little too close.
Edgar explained to Critic that the visit was prompted after Edgar was invited to the Vice-Chancellor’s residence at the Lodge, a “very nice” property near Port Chalmers owned by the University to house its Vice-Chancellors in luxury. Edgar decided to reciprocate the hospitality and invited Hayne to dinner at his flat, “Bonnie Doon”.
On 24 June Hayne and her husband Mike arrived at Bonnie Doon for a roast dinner cooked by the President. “A few beers were had”, and Hayne surprised Edgar with a chocolate birthday cake complete with a miniature icing figurine of the student president sporting an “I heart OUSA” t-shirt. The gathering, which included OUSA Vice-President Jono Rowe, proceeded to blow out Edgar’s 21 candles after singing him happy birthday. Edgar called the cake and the song “one of the nicer things anyone’s done for me in quite a long time.” When queried on the previous nicest event he had experienced, Edgar replied, “That’s between me and my girlfriend.”
In an attempt at serious journalism, Critic grilled Edgar on whether the gathering was a metaphor for the OUSA and the University becoming too friendly to safeguard the student association’s supposed independence. “Probably. But I don’t really care, the cake was mean.”
“In all seriousness, if there’s ever any serious issues, we’ll take a stand. If it’s a student issue I care enough about or am made to care about by students telling me, we’ll do something about it and Harlene knows that.” Edgar cited the liquor ban, which OUSA opposes and the University supports, as a clear example of OUSA’s independence.
Edgar vehemently denied that he would be getting into bed with the university any time soon, despite a minor crush on the Vice-Chancellor. “It’s a little bit of a crush, but I definitely wouldn’t cut Mike’s [Hayne’s husband] lunch, because he’s a GC.” Edgar claims his crush will have little effect on his role as the independent voice of students, citing his similar crush on Act MP Heather Roy last year as an example of his ability to refuse to let love sway him from his cause. “Mention the Heather Roy thing. I might have a thing for women in power, but that doesn’t mean I’ll do whatever Act says.”