Execrable | Issue 01

Appearing competent

The OUSA Executive meeting held last Tuesday 18 February saw President Ruby Sycamore-Smith leading confidently from the front, with Administrative Vice-President Ryan Edgar suspiciously silent and looking much like Critic’s new pet goldfish.

The meeting got off to a slow start, however, with Ryan and Finance Officer Nick Tenci both running 15 minutes late. This provided plenty of time for Welfare Officer Nali Lee to enter a highly efficient monologue about what t-shirt size should be ordered for Nick: “If you get him a Medium, he’ll be really cut up that he’s not considered a Large. But Large is still kind of tight, so he’ll like that, too.”

Certain character traits in the other latecomer, Ryan, were also revealed after he was asked for an update on how his work was going: “This was supposed to be my day off, so …”

Being more than a little petrified of Critic, thanks to a procedural fuck up last year, Ruby was ready to remind everyone to be careful when Critic is in attendance at these meetings. It was even floated that entire meetings should be carried out under “committee of the whole” – which Critic cannot report on. However, Critic reminded the Executive that this is probably not a good idea; both in terms of maintaining public accountability and, more generally, in appearing at all competent.

Finally, before any agenda items were discussed, Ruby thanked her Executive for making Orientation Week “much more stressful than it needed to be.”

As for the business side of things, well, it was a relatively dull meeting. Recreation Officer Henri Faulkner tabled papers on E Games and a card game called Magic, but it transpired that these did not strictly need approval from the Executive. Nevertheless, the Executive received the papers, with Nick showing attentiveness in requesting to keep an oversight of their budgets.

Again coming from Henri’s seat, the Executive then received the University’s ITAC (Information Technology Advisory Committee) report and papers. Points included that: the University was putting together an app, which OUSA could piggy-back on; 90km of fiber-optic cables is currently being laid throughout the University, promising to offer gigabit speeds campus-wide before Chorus’ Gigatown promotion is due to come into effect; the eventual destruction of the proxy that has plagued Otago’s students for years is imminent; and plans for a significantly better lecture recording system are in the works.

Discussions then turned to the issue of what charities the OUSA Executive should support. In a rare use of his vocal chords, Ryan came out as the main proponent of only supporting student-related charities. However, Nali pointed out that the wider community should come in at a close second – as a “good-will gesture.” Nick, ever lateral, pointed out that the Executive might finally consider writing a formal charity policy as was briefly considered last year.

The meeting then moved into committee of the whole, for reasons of commercial sensitivity, to receive NZUSA conference reports. A significant amount of time later, the meeting was concluded.
This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2014.
Posted 6:57pm Sunday 23rd February 2014 by Zane Pocock.