The team began with the disaffiliation of the Volleyball Scorpions. The club has had minimal contact with OUSA in the last two years and President Paul Hunt said “the club itself is happy to be disaffiliated”.
OUSA’s Student Support Manager, Philippa Keaney, is writing a book marking OUSA’s 125th anniversary. The manuscript for the book was expected to be in by 1 December 2015. However, Keaney asked for an extension to 29 April due to “understaffing and additional duties” which have meant she is unable to take leave. The extension was granted.
There was a request for extra funding for Suicide Prevention Day. Hunt said “there has been, unfortunately, an increase in suicides on campus recently”. Due to this, OUSA was “approached with a request to advertise World Suicide Day in Critic”.
Welfare Officer Payal Ramritu said the group applying for the funding is called Life Matters. She said they are “a great organisation when it comes to suicide prevention, [they’re] very credible … they do great work”.
Hunt said Critic adverts are very effective, “obviously everyone reads Critic”, so $719 was granted.
The executive again debated the executive restructure proposal that was brought to the table last week. Ramritu stuck to her original stance: “I still don’t think [the new role] should be an executive position.” A key reason for this is that since the proposal would cut the finance and campaigns officer roles, meaning fewer students will be on the executive. Ramritu said she “[doesn’t] think this will be more effective”.
All of her fellow executives tended to agree with the original proposal, with International Officer Toa Sailusi saying it is “more effective than what we have”. Colleges Officer TaoTao Li, however, said she “hadn’t 100 percent made up [her] mind”. Harrap admitted that having a finance officer role gives people “good experience”, especially those “wanting to go into careers like accounting”. However, she said there is a “discrepancy” with the work and hours required. Hunt said he is “happy not to put it to vote until people make up their mind”.
In a meeting three days later, Postgraduate Officer Chris Jackson proposed a third option. This option would see a second vice-president role introduced; both would be working 20 hours. One VP would have internally based administrative activities, as in the current structure, and the second would have externally based activities. The external VP role would essentially be a combination of the campaigns and finance officer roles.
Jackson outlined several benefits this new option would bring, including increased student representation, an inherent check system, and that the restructure would be cost neutral.
The executive were divided in opinion over the new suggestion, and it is set to be debated in future.
Ramritu said that, “after reading an article in Critic,” she is now “in favour” of paying NZUSA the money owed. Hunt reiterated that the reason for not paying is so that the discussion about how to better represent students nationally “happens quicker”. Campaigns Officer Nick Findlay, who was not on the executive when the decision not to pay was made, said the organisation is “redundant” and they should “let it die”. Education Officer Zachariah Al-Alami agreed, saying, “why should we put any more students’ money towards it?” Ramritu said “because that’s what we constitutionally agreed to”.
Findlay said sending NZUSA a “strongly worded letter” telling them to “wind up” would be a good idea. “Don’t give them a cent,” he said under his breath. The issue will be discussed by the policy committee.