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A mass by-election is being held after more than a third of Otago University Students' Association executive resigned within a month.
President Ruby Sycamore-Smith said the string of four resignations was ''certainly not'' a sign the executive was dysfunctional.
Two of the executive members, finance officer Nick Tenci and colleges officer Brydie Ockwell, resigned because they were going overseas.
International students officer Kamil Saifuddin and welfare officer Nali Lee had resigned because of workload issues.
''It's certainly disappointing, but the students are busy and two leaving to go overseas, it can't be avoided.''
Students standing in the by-election needed to know what they were getting into.
''Some students have come into the roles without fully realising the commitments and being unable to sacrifice their study for the position.''
The resignations would not make it harder for the executive to do its job.
''The executive have got a firm understanding of their role, and so have I.
''It also enables more people to be a part of the executive, make a difference and get some incredible experience.''
The by-election is being held from July 15 until 4pm on July 17.
Nominations for the by-election will be open from July 8 to 10.