Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

On The Right: Things The OUSA Gave To Me

Well hopefully by now the whole Employment Relations Bill saga is over, and we can get on with the business of repealing it. However I have other things on my mind this week, and chief among them is the activities of my Student Union in Otago.

Otago is now into the sixth week of the second semester, and the Otago University Students Association (named this as ‘Moscow Soviet’ was deemed just a tad too chilling) has been extremely busy. However, very little of this flurry of activity is actually relevant to the vast majority of the students who are forced to join it. So now I ask you, the esteemed Scoop reader, to drag yourself away from the Lord of the Rings webpage for a little while and join me in recapping the semester so far…

In the first week of semester OUSA gave to me…

Gay Pride Week. Yep, my beloved Union decided to kick off the second semester by highlighting the plight of Otago homosexuals. Apparently discrimination runs rife down these parts, so much so that student money is forked out to stop the masses of rednecks from running roughshod over them.

So how was this deeply serious issue highlighted? Well, OUSA hung a whole lot of pink male and female symbols from trees outside the Union building, and student paper Critic published a gay board game. Okaaaaaaaaaaay!


In the second week of semester, OUSA gave to me…

A week highlighting women’s issues. Women’s Week was something I had a little more sympathy for, but fortunately this quickly disappeared. I’ve had very little time for the feminist movement down here ever since early last year, when during a by-election for Women’s Rep I saw a poster saying: “there are 2,000 more women than men at University – it’s our University, not theirs!”

In celebration of women everywhere, Critic changed its name to “Clitic”. (I had heard the original title was going to be “Women’s Weekly”, but this is so far unconfirmed.) I had always wondered what the big deal with separate women’s rights was at University. Whenever I tried to ask a feminist friend of mine how women (or as she might write, ‘womyn’) were oppressed at Uni, she always somehow changed the subject. I have found in my own research that the only example of discrimination relating to women is the separate women’s room in the Union building. Well if that’s what they want abolished, then I will happily join them in their struggle.

(On a side note, the male/female symbols from Gay Pride week were still up, undoubtedly confusing passersbys as to the aims of the feminist movement.)


In the third week of semester, OUSA did to me…

Maori Week. You would think by now that the students would take a break from all these theme weeks for at least a little while!
This was a classic example of how OUSA can turn the student area into a Tame Iti shrine overnight. This week can be best summed up by this conversation I had with an Exec member during this time…

MH: Commie, tell me that all these flags hanging around are not Maori Independence flags!
Exec Member: Oh no Tory, these are merely the flags used by the Confederation of United Tribes back in 1835, prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
MH: So in other words, Maori Independence flags.
EM: Um, yes.


In the fourth week of semester, OUSA dealt to me…

Healthy Lifestyles Week. Not much to complain about here to be honest. I did however miss the pizza eating competition, so to make up for it I had the works at Pizza Hut the following week. Delicious.


In the fifth week of semester, OUSA inflicted on me…

Before they could hold the Illegitimate Daughters of Swiss Chimney Cleaners Week, OUSA realised that they did not have the funds to support any more people, minorities and majorities alike. So they decided to hold a Student General Meeting in order to increase our Union fees.
In order to hold an SGM, at least 1% of the students have to be in attendance. This wasn’t a problem, as OUSA counted people having their lunch, people just passing through, anyone within a 60-kilometre radius, a guide dog and a family of picnicking ants.

With the motion to increase our fees successfully passed (owing to the fact only about a quarter of the people counted actually voted), OUSA now have the money to host all the crazy theme weeks they want.

Who knows what next year will bring? One thing we can be sure of is that it won’t benefit the vast majority of people who aren’t into extremist activities, do not care about all the political issues their representatives do and who may not even study on the main campus.

All in all, it has been a great semester for the apparently oppressed minorities and a vast waste of money for everyone else. I think I just might stay in bed this week.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Land, Air & Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade


Regional New Zealand will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy. As part of the $12 billion NZ Upgrade Programme announced by the Government last month, $300 million was allocated for capital projects in regional New Zealand.
The first package of regional projects – worth about $190 million – has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones at an infrastructure seminar today... More>>


 

Gordon Campbell: On The Donations Scandals

By now, it seems crystal clear that something is deeply amiss with the way that New Zealand political parties solicit, receive and report their funding. Evidently, the nominal threshold of $15,000 that requires public disclosure of the donation ... More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Government: Action On Fuel Market Competition

The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market ... More>>

ALSO:



Child Poverty: 18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels