For the first time, OUSA and the Pacific Island Students’ Association (UOPISA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The MOU sets out that OUSA and UOPISA out the associations recognise each others’ roles, and that they will “actively promote their parallel relationship… including but not limited to [in] the media and campaigns.” Both associations agree to actively lobby the University to improve Pacific Representation at higher levels (@UniversityCouncil).
The MOU sets out with the precedent hat the Presidents will meet at the beginning of each year to plan a strategy and develop a Working Plan for the year. During the year, they will meet at least every fortnight (not the game).
Financially, OUSA will contribute up to $2000 per year for UOPISA’s annual Leadership Forum.
Melissa Lama, current President of UOPISA and future President of OUSA, said that the associations have been in talks about an MOU for a while. “I do know past UOPISA presidents planted the conversations on why we need to formulate an MOU between us. I have just come in and carried on that discussion,” she said.
“Currently we have a very strategic/governance relationship, with this MOU we now have an opportunity for more operational collaborations,” Melissa said. “What I love about this, is beyond the UOPISA president’s seat on the OUSA exec, our executives have now got an opportunity to work more in collaboration.”
Melissa said that the financial support for the UOPISA leadership forum “shows [OUSA’s] willingness and genuine support in seeing our associations grow and be a part of the discussion.” She said that the “leadership weekend is where we up skill and support our pacific associations in their plans for the coming year.”
OUSA President Michaela Waite-Harvey said that the MOU would “solidify the relationship”. “Without an MOU you often find that the relationship dramatically changes year on year depending on who is in charge,” she said. “This MOU will ensure there is great consistent partnership,” she said, and “it also embeds accountability measures for when agreed terms are not met which helps keep OUSA especially accountable.”