The Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) is
pushing for new ''ground rules'' in its funding arrangement
with the university.
OUSA president Francisco Hernandez's proposal for new ground
rules came after a disputed report in Critic saying
the university threatened to pull out of funding negotiations
if the association bought a pub without its involvement.
The proposed rules would be in the form of a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) with the university over service level
agreement (SLA) negotiations, which is how OUSA gets most of
Despite the fact the MOU - if agreed to by the university -
would stop the university from using funding negotiations to
dictate OUSA policy, Mr Hernandez denied the proposal was a
response to issues raised in the Critic article.
''Drafting an MOU was one of my goals as OUSA president.''
The current university administration did not use SLA
negotiations to dictate OUSA decisions, but he hoped an MOU
would cement this position.
''I think it's reasonable to set a few more ground rules
between the OUSA and University of Otago ... to create clear
boundaries and expectations around the SLA and OUSA.
''It will be an agreement to work together on issues of
common alignment, such as better public transport and warmer
flats and an agreement to agree to disagree civilly on issues
where we do not.''
He said it was too early to say if the university would be
receptive to the MOU idea.
''We haven't begun the lobbying effort at this point, as an
agreement has yet to be drafted.''