Every year your student union has to lobby the University for funding (which is fucked, we know) and then has to decide where that money will go. A lot of the time these budgets look like a copy and paste from the previous year, but this year there are some notable changes that you need to look out for when you decide whether to smash or pass in the Referendum.
In the words of your 2019 Finance Officer Bonnie Harrison, “If I have to, I will tattoo the budget on my body. The body part is up to the students.”
Highlights of the 2018 OUSA Budget:
1) No more OUSA Squash Courts.
This is actually a bigger move than you might think. The Squash Club and Courts have been around for donkey’s, and although they served only a tiny amount of the student population, after some time, anything becomes tradition. But since repairs and refurbishment had an estimated cost of 1-2 million, OUSA rightly decided that it was time to pull the plug.
2) No more separate budgets for each individual exec member.
The OUSA Exec will now share a pool of money for campaigns and initiatives. This makes a lot of sense, since these things tend to overlap portfolios, anyway.
3) Better shot for clubs and individuals to score an OUSA Grant.
If the policy is accepted, sportspeople will no longer be able to double-dip in both University and OUSA funding. Also, if you or a club apply for a grant and then don’t bother to pick it up (god knows why – it’s literally free money, people), then you will forfeit it and it will return to the grants pool for others to apply for. For context, last year $18,000 worth of grants went uncollected, and currently there is $13,000 uncollected.
4) NZUSA membership is $10,000 cheaper.
Membership has been getting progressively cheaper for the past 5 years. This only matters to people who care about whether or not we stay a member of our national student union.
5) Capping Show budget has increased.
Although the details of where the extra money goes cannot be published yet, Critic is sure it at least means we can expect way more anal jokes out of 2019’s Capping.