OUSA Welfare Officer Will Resign If President Does Not Think She Has “Stepped Up” Her Game

If only real politicians were held to this level of accountability lol

Disclaimer: Kerrin has had ongoing health issues that she says affected her ability to communicate her progress on goals. Critic has previously addressed that the Welfare Officer role is fucking massive and it is easy to over-commit: however, this does not mean Exec members should not be held accountable to their promises.

As the OUSA Exec were pursuing their second quarterly reports, a substantial amount of time was dedicated to questioning what Kerrin, OUSA Welfare Officer, had or had not achieved.

Bonnie questioned why she had not even proposed a budget for replacing damaged toys and books for the parents’ room, despite it being a goal from her first quarterly report. Kerrin’s response was that she had been waiting for a clear-out from student support and her own place.

Kayli Taylor, Secretary of Thursdays in Black Otago, flagged that Kerrin had called Thursdays in Black a “significant focus” of hers, but challenged her on what she had done and what her outcomes had been. Kerrin admitted that she had not spent as much time on Thursdays in Black as she would have liked, and her focus this quarter (regarding consent campaigns in general) had been on Rape Awareness Week.

Bonnie said it was “important to acknowledge” the Exec had planned to form a response to the government’s inquiry into mental health, and that Kerrin was supposed to have done it. She said, “this was outcomed in the beginning of the year [...] we were expecting this of you.” Kerrin said this had fallen by the wayside because of “confidential things that arose from students” who had gone to her for help, but that it was “wrong for that to not be prioritised” and she would still make this report “if it would still be valuable.” In reply, Bonnie said, “don’t promise things you can’t do” and “if you are not prepared to do [something], let us know”.

Kerrin was also grilled for making it sound like the Welfare Committee, which had only had two meetings, had been running for the whole quarter. She was also questioned about what she had done on the Period Poverty campaign, finding a Queer space, meeting with the District Health Board, her role in the Angel Shots campaign, and her role in the Health Yourself campaign. Kerrin was also questioned on her vision for her proposed mental health campaign, in which she listed a number of ideas. However, a member of her Welfare Committee later anonymously told Critic that those ideas had been a Welfare Committee member’s, not hers. Kerrin has since apologised, and said that it had not been her intention to “misrepresent”.

This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2019.
Posted 1:50pm Monday 8th July 2019 by Sinead Gill.