Now that voluntary membership of student associations is in for 2012, what happens? There have been many meetings between the Massey students associations and the University. As early as March students associations looked to define a good systems for representation within the University. The idea, having a method of keeping students in touch with each other and a system where their views and feedback can be heard, got a positive response from University Council. However, how this will look, and what funding can be used, are still unknown.
The truth is, the VSM Bill has arrived at a very difficult time. Student associations can’t ask at enrolment if a student would like to join – enrolment is already open for 2012 and Massey’s enrolment software does not have that functionality. Also, there is no time to discuss what services the students need and want before the summer break. Furthermore, the nature of the services that can be funded has not been clarified by the Government.
Fortunately, Massey has made it clear that it values its student associations. And the Government has made it clear that services should be agreed between students and the institution. So we have the opportunity to present a strategy about how we might offer services and representation in a voluntary environment. The result for EXMSS is a document that describes one way forward: The EXMSS Draft Strategy and Position Document. Now we must consider all of the factors described in this document and negotiate, in partnership with the other associations and Massey, the way forward.