OUSA was founded on 20 May 1890 in order to run student rooms, organise activities over Capping, approach the University with student concerns, and arrange socials.
OUSA is run by students for students. Each year 10 students are elected to form the OUSA Executive. OUSA exists to ensure Otago students have the ultimate student experience. OUSA provides students with representation, welfare, advocacy, recreation, fun events and media.
OUSA has a constructive relationship with the university staff and stakeholders as we mostly want the same things - a culture of excellence in teaching and research and excellent student services. Inevitably students have some different interests and that is where we come in!
OUSA is independent from the rest of the University, is owned by students and exists to further student interests. OUSA supports student voices when and where it counts. In response to changes in legislation, in 2012 the OUSA and the University agreed to a Service Level Agreement to fund and provide OUSA governed and managed student services.
Mission and Values
"With a focus on comprehensive engagement and exceptional services OUSA will provide the ultimate student experience."
OUSA Core Values:
Inclusive means accepting of students across the spectrum regardless of their background, being accessible to everyone and actively campaigning and advertising events and issues to as many members as possible, not just those that are directly affected. It means if a member doesn't feel included in aspects of University life we will act to rectify that. It also means that we treat each member on an individual basis, and don't treat them based on any pre-conceptions. It also has an element of flexibility to show we are able to adapt to the changing social movements.
Responsible means acting responsibly in elected positions, being responsible to our members for their money, acting in a professional manner, and taking responsibility for your actions. It means more than just being mature and sensible, it also means scrutinising Executive members (and, to a certain extent, staff) to ensure they are acting responsibly. Responsible also means being accountable to our members both financially and in our actions and level of service.
Engaging means active, two way communication with our members. We need to adequately communicate to them what we are doing for them, and at the same time listen to their demands from us. Engaging means a relationship where we are doing what our members want and seeking to involve them in the process. It means effective representation, fun events and crucial services.
Relevant means providing representation, services, events and support for our members that is what they want. It also includes constant evaluation to ensure we remain relevant and are always striving to give the best. It also means we value hard work and that what needs to be done gets done.
1: STUDENT SUPPORT & ENGAGEMENT
• Engage through our services, events, representation and communication
• Provide responsive & pro-active support for student rights and student welfare
2: UTILISE TECHNOLOGY & ONLINE PRESCENCE
• Invest in key technologies including website development
• Actively follow changing technological environment and ensure systems are as up to date as possible
3: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
• Focus on core services
• Financial sustainability to ensure continuation of future services
• Grow operating revenues and improve investment returns
4: EXECUTIVE ROLE
• Visible profile and on-campus presence
• Regular reporting on executive actions and progress to date
• Aligning executive, management & University goals
• Lobbying and advocating for student related issues
5: WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH OTAGO UNIVERSITY FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS
• Provide input into Wellness Hub initiative