Kicking off the meeting, guest Sue Heap spoke to her proposal for OUSA to “look into the matter of street harassment.” Proposed courses of action were to produce a pamphlet for victims to distribute to their harassers, and to push for inclusion of the issue in the University’s Code of Conduct. This was received relatively well, however, it was agreed that further investigation is necessary. Henri expressed enthusiasm not just for the proposal being discussed but also for a much wider initiative, while Nick sought further clarification on the target and scope of such an initiative. Tabled for now, the discussion will no doubt be revisited in due course.
Following this was another guest proposal. Tabled by Fiona Nicoll, it sought OUSA’s support in requesting the presence of gender-neutral bathrooms around campus. Pointing to examples such as halls of residence where, if you’re all honest, gender neutral bathrooms aren’t really an issue, the proposal found “total support” from Nick and Brydie, with Henri proposing that there should be half a dozen such bathrooms “at minimum” around campus to begin with. At the conclusion of discussions, a motion moved by Brydie and Nick expressed “general support” from the Executive.
In matters arising from the minutes of the last Executive meeting, it was noted that the Executive had still not received Nali’s extended quarterly report.
Moving on to each Executive member’s general round-up, Ryan saw the Hyde Street party as a “big success,” noting that “the rain helped control it.” Henri mentioned that he had recently been brainstorming with the University for a combined Uni-OUSA app, and Kamil championed International Sports Day as a success due to diverse participation. Nick was called out for being enamoured by Winston Peters, to which he admitted, “I did love him, but it’s just not realistic to support him.” Brydie, following on from the last meeting’s revelation that hall of residence balls would be required to use internal services, said that in her discussion with stakeholders they proved “convincing, like Winston is, on the benefits of internal services,” but hopes that the mandatory use of such services will be more relaxed next year. Mariana had been hard at work planning for the Te Roopu ball and a first-year Amazing Race in Te Reo, and newcomer Laura (welcome, we’ll be nice this week!) had already commenced discussions with OUSA Student Support about class representatives. It was briefly mentioned that the by-election, which saw Laura emerge victorious as the new Education Officer, “went well but uneventful.”
It must be noted here that Nick then took the opportunity express opposition to Critic being granted speaking rights for the duration of the Executive meeting, but fortunately for us, no other Executive member has quite yet crossed the threshold of complete distrust in us. He had also, in a striking lack of preparedness, stolen Critic’s copy of the agenda. We’re not bitter <3
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Rate My Flat and OUSA was agreed upon, with Ruby noting that she had “lost [her] MOU virginity with this one.”
A new appointment to the Grants Panel, a Quality Advancement Committee appointment change, and new OUSA club affiliations were all moved so swiftly that Critic didn’t quite catch what the details were. Following hot on the tail of these, minutes of the International Cultural Committee were all received by the Executive. Not as lucky were the minutes of the Welfare Committee, which were tabled in Nali’s absence, and the Finance & Expenditure Committee minutes, which were tabled due to not being “quite ready.”
And again the Executive turned their heads to the issue of being approached by charities – this time by Autism New Zealand. There was general agreement to Henri’s comment that it doesn’t benefit students enough, with Nick astutely observing that “it’s not our money to just give out; it’s the students’.”
Attention focused sharply on whom from the Executive would be appointed as OUSA’s representative on the Advisory Board of the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. It turns out that both Laura and Nick have backgrounds in dance, which led Nick to suggest that “we need a dance battle.” However, due to Nick’s projected absence at the time of the year that this role would be active, it was decided that Laura would fly the OUSA flag before any such conflict occurred.
Ruby then brought the Executive up to speed on NZUSA’s current priorities and initiatives. They are working on getting the country’s student executives “politics savvy” and hope for members to “know everyone like the back of your hand” leading up to the general election. This saw Ruby trail off into what is surprisingly her first five-minute breathless ramble of the year. Rather than criticise, Critic congratulates her for keeping it slow and steady for this long, and would also like to express our appreciation for getting such a yawn-inspiring topic out of the way so efficiently.
Finally, OUSA’s DCC Annual Plan Submission 2014/2015 was presented to the Executive. A simultaneously wide-scoping and focused document, it hinges upon six specific recommendations:
- The DCC researches and then acts upon the Stadium’s contribution to attraction and retention of students.
- The District Plan Stadium specific rules are reviewed with a view to allowing peak student demand particularly during Orientation Week.
- The DCC develop an easily accessible discount system for all students.
- The DCC continues to work with all stakeholders to minimise alcohol related harm, including during the Hyde Street event.
- The DCC increases the safety of roads and footpaths in the North Dunedin area.
- The DCC trials a composting programme in the North Dunedin area.