OUSA Is So Gay
Candidate nominations are open for the election of OUSA’s 2013 Executive, from 9am this Monday 17 September until 4pm this Thursday 20 September. Voting is set to occur over the same time period in the week after nominations close.
During the election period there will also be a referendum on what positions OUSA should officially take on several issues.
The question “Should OUSA oppose the privatisation of state-owned electricity companies?” was added into the referendum late last week due to a petition by Presidential hopeful Dan Stride, which surpassed the 100 signatures required to be included.
Administrative Vice President Jono Rowe told Critic that “initially it wasn’t there because we didn’t see that it met the core values of OUSA.”
“We took a restricted view of these core values post-VSM,” Jono said. These core values were defined “to be issues surrounding student welfare, interests and relevance.”
Under VSM (Voluntary Student Membership), OUSA perceived a risk of losing members if they were to “approach non-student issues which are highly divisive.”
But a mechanism in the OUSA constitution means that if 100 members sign a petition, it can go into the referendum. “It’s quite a good mechanism,” Jono says. “So good on them. I mean, it shows it’s relevant.”
However, he said: “My personal opinion is no, we shouldn’t adopt an opinion. We should keep our powder dry and focus on other issues such as post-graduate allowances.”
The referendum will also include the question “Should OUSA support the Marriage Equality Bill currently before Parliament?” When queried as to how this is different, Rowe told Critic that “we see a link there” on the basis of OUSA having a Queer Support Coordinator and affiliated LGBT associations.