Congratulations to the executive for their work and participation with Relay For Life, an event that saw Otago University Vice Chancellor Harlene Hayne and Arana College Warden Jamie Gilbertson shave off OUSA Colleges Officer James Heath’s hair. This year’s OUSA contingent at Relay For Life managed to raise almost $1,000 for Cancer Awareness, a fantastic achievement.
New Zealand Union of Students Association (NZUSA) President Jonathan Gee was present at the meeting, having recently begun a trip to each of New Zealand’s university students’ associations. He initially spoke about the results of a national survey that discovered that a lack of money, poor housing, and climate change were, in order, the three most worrying aspects of student life.
Being an election year, Gee was keen to see an increase in the student turnout at the September 20th General Election, which was as low as 40 percent in 2014. The organisation will also produce a monthly newsletter that will be sent out to each of the student associations to show what they’re working on in relation to the election.
An ‘Income and Expenditure Report’, released by NZUSA in early April, was needed, Gee explained, to “shed light on the reality of our situation” and “to create a narrative about what it’s like being a student.” The report found that ⅓ of student respondents don’t have income to meet their basic needs. Gee outlined that NZUSA is planning on “creating a power shift in this country to create more opportunities between students and national politicians.”
A draft proposal was included in the agenda for the New Zealand International Students’ Association (NZISA), which, according to International Officer Max Chan, will finally give a voice to New Zealand’s international students, who currently don’t have a singular, centralised voice as domestic students do. Gee noted that NZUSA were in full support of the NZISA forming, adding that Chan’s work “deserves a big thumbs up from me”.