Representation for student body

Otago University Students’ Association president Jack Manning. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Otago University Students’ Association president Jack Manning. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
It is Orientation Week at the University of Otago. Molly Houseman puts the questions to people first-year students my come across as they navigate life in tertiary education. Today she catches up with Otago University Students’ Association president Jack Manning.

Q. What does the OUSA do?

OUSA is run by our members for our members. Each year 10 students are elected to form the OUSA executive. Together with our paid staff, we provide our members with representation, welfare, advocacy, recreation, fun events and media.

Q. What is your main focus as president for 2020?

My main focus will be to support my executive. We all ran on various platforms and issues, and I want to use the experience and connections I have as president to assist them in achieving goals.

Q. What is something about the OUSA students might not know?

OUSA is, at its core, a student union. We represent students on various university working groups and committees, including their governing body, the University Council. This representation is often how we are able to push on issues significant to students.

Q. Why did you want to be OUSA president?

In my third year I came to be more familiar with what OUSA provides and is capable of doing, but I also noticed how underutilised many of their services were by some of my friends. Having been on the executive in 2019, I saw running for president as a way to bring more students in to what we do and improve on our already great offerings.

Q. What advice would you give to students going into their first year of university?

I will point you to a specific quote from my convocation ceremony speech: ‘‘University is a chance to start again, and fill your life with experiences and friendships that will stand the test of time. Far be it from me, or anyone else, to give you a road-map through tertiary education, because there is no such thing. All I can say is welcome everyone, be intellectually rigorous, gain experiences that humble you, tell your story, and look after yourself and each other.’’

Q. Where can students find the OUSA?

The OUSA main office is on the university campus in Cumberland St. The Student Support building can be found in Ethel Benjamin Pl.

 

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