OUSA Tries to Keep Q-Jitsu Secret

Last week was OUSA Diversity Week, devoted to celebrating the diversity of Otago students and raising awareness and understanding of those who are queer or questioning. Different events, each focusing on queer support, were held every day of the week.

The OUSA Queer Support group ran the week’s promotions and events. This group consists of students who offer non-judgemental support, information and resources for peers who are questioning their sexuality or gender identity.

Monday offered self-defense training taught by a member of the OUSA support team who has created his own internationally recognised variant of martial art Jiu Jitsu, called “Q-Jitsu.” Tuesday hosted a writing workshop, with an opportunity for work produced to later be published. Wednesday witnessed the second semester Queer Tea Party, which was a chance to converse with friends and decorate mini cupcakes. Thursday saw UniQ Otago host a BYO at Tokyo Gardens with a dress theme of “Stereotypes,” and Friday polished the week off with some speed dating.

Unlike other OUSA events like Women’s Week, Diversity Week had not been featured on the OUSA Events website. OUSA Queer Support coordinator Neill Ballantyne explained that OUSA Queer Support “find[s] that it gains better advertising traction by targeting queer-specific communities through the likes of Facebook pages and groups, newsletters, group texts etc.”

The events were featured in a Facebook event and on over 100 posters placed around the university campus. The OUSA Queer Support site also promoted events, as did the UniQ Otago site.

“Our target demographic is queer and questioning students. As always, we do with our means what we can to push our events which continue to get good turnouts and great responses from attendees.”
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2013.
Posted 2:29pm Sunday 11th August 2013 by Jamie Breen.