Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council – Celebrating Diversity

We are Ōtepoti Dunedin

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Otago University Students' Association (OUSA)

Otago University Students’ Association was founded in 1890.

Who are we: 

The Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) is run by students for students. Together with our paid staff, we provide our members with representation, welfare, advocacy, recreation, fun events and media. 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. 131 years later, we’re still doing that, but on a much grander scale! We have also been involved in some of the bigger issues of the past 131 years and our executive members have gone on to great achievements.

Each year 10 students are elected and 2 ex-officio students from the University of Otago Pacific Island Students’ Association (UOPISA) and Te Roopū Māori are elected by their respective organisations 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 OUSA and the University agreed to a Service Level Agreement to fund and provide OUSA governed and managed student services.

Our vision:
Every student has the ultimate student experience while at the University of Otago.

Ka eke a ia ākonga ki te tihi rawa o te wheako-ā-ākonga i a ia i te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou.

Our mission:
Through political action, advocacy, support services, harm reduction, events, recreation, media, and facilities – with a focus on comprehensive engagement and exceptional services – we champion the ultimate student experience.

Mā te whakatakataka tōrangapū, te whakatūtūtanga, ngā ratonga manaaki, te whakamimiti kino, kaupapa, te mahi-ā-Rēhia, te pāpāoho me ngā whare rauhanga – me te aronga nui ki te whakaanga matawhānui me ngā ratonga nui whakaharahara – ka whakakōkirihia e tātou te mutunga ke mai o te wheako-ā-ākonga.

Our core values:
Inclusive, Responsible, Engaging, Relevant, Sustainable.

Urutomo, Haepapa, Tautetanga, Hāngai, Whakauka

What Dunedin means to us:

Dunedin is the only true residential university in the country, nowhere else in New Zealand do you get a bunch of 20-something-year-olds living and studying within the same 2km radius. It’s safe to say the student experience at Otago is unparalleled to any other university. Dunedin and Otago itself provides a lot for students; you can go to the beach one weekend to surf and then go skiing the next at Wānaka. Dunedin as a city is as vibrant as any other and half the size, with plenty of markets, music and museums.

For OUSA, it’s also important to recognise the strong history of student activism at Otago. The OUSA has produced three currently sitting Labour MPs and that’s no small feat. For many of the students who spend those formative years in Dunedin, the city holds a special place in their lives and truly helps shape so many of New Zealand’s future teachers, doctors, scientists and leaders.

Studying in Dunedin offers a student experience that is utterly unique among New Zealand universities and every student is lucky to call Dunedin home.