Well done OUSA

The ODT reports:

A new “lean, mean” Otago University Students Association executive structure was announced yesterday.

The shake-up followed a students’ online referendum, which voted to reduce the executive from 17 to 10 positions.

Positions lost include the women’s, “queer”, postgraduate and Pacific Islands representatives, while the Te Roopu Maori president will become an ex-officio executive position.

president Harriet Geoghegan said the new structure would improve the executive’s efficiency.

“We can have as many representatives on the executive as could be imagined, but if our internal structure isn’t functioning efficiently then we would be doing them a disservice,” she said yesterday.

17 is far too large for an executive to be functional, and you don’t need every single group having their own representative. In fact it often marginalises the issues those groups have, by people them assuming that the “insert name of exec officer here” office is the only one who deals with it.

I understand OUSA also changed their rules (subject to an appeal over the way the referendum was run and promoted) so that general meetings in future will be mainly online.

This is something student associations should have done years ago, so good to see OUSA at least start the ball rolling. Letting 50 people in a cafe decide policy is not democratic when you ave the ability to allow allow all 20,000 members to vote electronically on said policy.

Once VSM is a reality, all student associations will have to become far more Internet savvy if they want to survive.

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