Auckland University Students' Association

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Auckland University
Students' Association
AUSA logo, white background.png
Motto Serving Students
Institution University of Auckland
Location Auckland, New Zealand
Established 24 June 1891 (as Auckland University College Students’ Association)
President Paul Smith
Members c. 27,000 total[citation needed]
Affiliations New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, New Zealand University Games
Website www.ausa.org.nz

The Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA), founded in 1891, represents students at the University of Auckland.[1] AUSA organises student events, publicises student issues, administers student facilities, and assists affiliated student clubs and societies. It also produces Craccum magazine and bFM radio station. The 2015 President is Paul Smith.

The constitution of the AUSA centres the organisation around student advocacy and the provision of welfare services. Today AUSA has 27,000 members out of 42,000 equivalent full-time students enrolled at the University of Auckland.

AUSA has over 100 affiliated clubs, the student bar Shadows, University Book Shop, Student Job Search, market days and events such as Orientation, Summer Shakespeare, End of Daze, Capping week, Womensfest, Cultural Mosaic, Blues Awards and Ecofest.

Executive[edit]

The AUSA Executive consists of Officers and Portfolios.[2]

Officers[edit]

  • President
  • Administrative Vice President
  • Education Vice President
  • Welfare Vice President[3]
  • Treasurer
  • Maori Students' Officer

Portfolios[edit]

  • Clubs and Societies Officer
  • Cultural Affairs Officer
  • Environmental Affairs Officer
  • Epsom Tai Tokerau Students' Association Representative
  • Grafton Representative
  • International Affairs Officer
  • International Students' Officer
  • Media Officer
  • National Affairs Officer
  • Pacific Island Students' Officer
  • Queer Rights Officer
  • Sports Officer
  • Student Forum Chair
  • Tamaki Students' Association Representative (President of the Tamaki Students' Association)
  • Welfare Officer
  • Women's Rights Officer
  • Craccum Editor (non-voting member)

Membership[edit]

AUSA membership is free to all current students of the University of Auckland.[1]

As required by legislation, the University Council conducted a student referendum in 1999 on whether membership in AUSA should be voluntary or compulsory. The majority of students supported voluntary membership and this was enacted. Referendums on the same issue were held in 2001 and 2003, and in each case, the majority of students voted for voluntary association. (The request for a referendum is in the form of a petition to the University Council, which any student may call, and thus must be conducted, provided no two referendums are less than two years apart.)

Detractors of voluntary student membership (VSM) say that AUSA suffers drastically from it, and that VSM undermines AUSA's ability to advocate on behalf of students and provide welfare services.[1] They also say that in controlling the flow of money, the University dictates the terms to some extent of its operations through various agreements.

Proponents of VSM, on the other hand, claim VSM means freedom of choice for students. They cite the United Nations declaration of freedom of association. They also paint AUSA executives under compulsory unionism as being wasteful, and believe that under voluntary AUSA executives are forced to be more accountable to members. They claim that the level of intervention is very limited (for example, the conditions are only that AUSA must run orientation and the like).

Craccum[edit]

Main article: Craccum

Craccum is the weekly magazine produced by the AUSA. The name originated from the scrambled acronym of "Auckland University College Men's Common Room Circular". The publication has frequently found itself in legal difficulties due to its deliberate attempts to be controversial. These attempts have included an issue containing methods to create a bomb, and an issue discussing ways to commit suicide.

A publicity stunt in 2005 saw Craccum sell its cover - which was bought by Salient, the student magazine of Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association, with the funds from Victoria University of Wellington's marketing fund. The joke turned out to be on them, as the theme of that issue of Craccum was corporate sellouts. Craccum made the point that commercialism would erode the students' voice.

bFM[edit]

Main article: BFM (radio)

95bFM (or simply bFM) is a typical student radio station that plays alternative music. Like other student broadcasters, it supports local artists well before they become mainstream.

Originally started as Radio Bosom, a capping stunt, bFM has gone a long way. Today, with voluntary student union membership, bFM is pushed to make a profit for the Association, and exists more as a corporate entity than a student radio station.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Barton, Chris (18 December 2010). "Students pay high price for freedom". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Executive - Auckland University Students' Association". Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  3. ^ http://www2.ausa.auckland.ac.nz/archives/2550

External links[edit]