OUSA Referendum Incoming

OUSA Referendum Incoming

Less cool than Critic Census, but good try

On May 27th, the OUSA Referendum will be up and running. Students will be sent the link to an online survey, giving you the ability to vote on matters close to home like accessibility, cost of living, academia, and recreation. It’s a bit like the Critic Census, but with lawyers and tangible change involved (we ain’t doing shit).

Administrative Vice President Emily invited students to submit answers to her a couple weeks ago. The questions were then put to the OUSA Exec, run past some lawyers, put to students in an online forum to fiddle over the wording, with the final list now available online. 

Here’s the list of questions that will be up for voting, We gotchu:

  • Should the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) Audited Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023 be received and accepted?
  • Should OUSA's Annual Report for 2023 be received and accepted?
  • Should OUSA support an ATM being installed on campus somewhere near the Link?
  • Should OUSA lobby for the University of Otago to create a course advice software where students can input their degree and papers and see if they meet all the degree requirements?
  • Should OUSA make free prints of Sexy Garfield available for all students?
  • Should OUSA have branded condoms and dental dams?
  • Should OUSA pass a motion that the President be only referred to as "Mr/Madam President" on all occasions?
  • Should OUSA provide a student bar?
  • Should OUSA advocate for a new policy that will give students universal access to closed-captioned lecture recordings?
  • Should OUSA provide or lobby the University to provide period products in all bathrooms on campus?
  • Should OUSA provide more daytime events on campus?
  • Should the OUSA executive do a weekly challenge and post it on Instagram (@ousaexec)?
  • Should the OUSA executive provide an online bulletin of their actions (such as the one on 2nd May) on a weekly or biweekly basis?
  • Should OUSA provide a cheap option for dinners for students, similar to $4 lunch?
  • Should OUSA lobby the University to turn all the grass on campus into an intensive dairy farm? 
  • Should OUSA convert the aquatic events centre into a cafe?
  • Should OUSA lobby the University to work with the Otago Regional Council for cheaper fares for university students?
  • Should OUSA lobby the University to create more all gender toilets on campus?
  • Should OUSA ask Gus Webster to opt-out of being a member of OUSA?
  • Should OUSA lobby the University to run a Postgraduate open day?
  • Should OUSA lobby the University to expand the Graduate Research School’s scope to include Honours students, course work Masters students and 2 years Masters students completing their coursework year?

The question of whether OUSA should advocate for major and minors to be included on graduation certificates was originally on the list, however since it was approved by the exec at their emergency meeting both they and Critic Te Ārohi were made aware that this has, in fact, been done for this year’s grads – much to the jealousy of all grads that came before them. Sigh.

OUSA Prez Keegan encourages all students to participate in the upcoming referendum: “If you’ve ever wanted to be part of something bigger than yourself or spread your wings to the highest of heights, you will participate in the referendum to create a more perfect student union.” Yes, Madam President. The referendum opens May 27th, closing on the 30th at 4pm.

This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2024.
Posted 10:03pm Sunday 19th May 2024 by Nina Brown.