Execrable | Issue 2

Execrable | Issue 2

The Team's First Quickie

T o kick off the second executive meeting for 2015, President Paul Hunt warned that the proceeding 40 minutes would be the final “warm-up meeting” for the year. In the future, “more substantial issues” are to be covered. That said, business this week was swift and productive.

The executive thanked OUSA staff for a “successful and safe orientation”. Although the motion was passed, Welfare Officer Payal Ramritu asked “when will we get the facts and figures about how it went financially?”

Hunt wants OUSA to lobby for the recording of all lectures at Otago. He said, “students miss lectures for legitimate reasons.” Campaigns Officer Alice Sowry noted that the Law Faculty has cut podcasts for 2015 as failure rates increased excessively in 2014. She suggested that podcasts could be available only to those who had an excuse for not attending. Finance Officer Nina Harrap disagreed with this idea, stating that lecturers were “difficult to get hold of.” Ramritu also assumed that “lecturers will be like, ‘no’, students have to come to class.”

Following research, Hunt pointed out key reasons for the lobbying were that students miss lectures for legitimate reasons, students use the recordings for revision and recordings allow the lecturer and the students to review how the lecture went.

Hunt added that although there had been a drop in attendance at lectures, there had also been an increase in cases of mental illness, and therefore attendance could not be attributed solely to podcasts. The team eventually came to a decision that “OUSA in principle supports the provision of recordings in lectures.”

Hunt brought it to the executive’s attention that a contractor working on the OUSA Aquatic Centre had had a serious accident but further details are to come.

Three new OUSA Clubs and Societies affiliations were accepted by OUSA: Forward in Faith Ministries Students; Revolution Uni; and OUSA Students of Arise Church. Hunt then informed the executives that he had been approached by a member of a pro-life group that is looking to affiliate. Most of the team were unaware of what affiliation actually means. “The point of affiliation is to access OUSA resources,” said Hunt. He noted that there could be severe issues with such affiliation. He believed it was unnecessary as “it’s not OUSA’s job to dictate student opinions.”

The pro-life group has told Hunt they are solely about education, but Hunt said, “there is a difference between pushing your thoughts on religious grounds and saying they are on scientific grounds.” He added that the group could cause “significant discomfort and psychological trauma for people making legitimate choices about their body.” The executive is set to vote on the decision this week.

Hunt moved a motion to congratulate Sir Murray Brennan, OUSA President 1964, on his Grand Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Admin Vice President Isaac Yu stated that the Capping Charity for 2015 would be the Otago Cancer Society. Yu said the reason for the decision was that they were “a local charity” and “a worthwhile cause.”
This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2015.
Posted 6:26pm Sunday 1st March 2015 by Laura Munro.