Why have a Students’ Association?
OPSA is constantly keeping an eye on policies and having a say in decision-making to protect your rights and needs:
Complaints & Advocacy: As well as offering services and facilities, OPSA is here to help stand up for your rights when you need specific advocacy or have a complaint. A students’ association is an insurance policy that there will always be someone to help you when you need.
Representation: OPSA is also here to make sure these rights exist in the first place, and that complaints are seldom necessary, by representing your opinion and needs so they have an influence over local and national decision-making
On a national level OPSA works with other polytechnics & universities to represent the common and collective concerns of students; eg better living standards and student debt. OPSA works with NZUSA, the national student organisation, representing students at universities, polytechnics and colleges.
OPSA provides representation from your classroom up. This is provided through OPSA representatives sitting on or working with various Polytechnic committees and boards, right down to class level with your Programme Rep. This means that someone is keeping an eye out for policies and decisions that effect you as a student. It also means you have a voice when such decisions are being made.
OPSA also works with the Dunedin City Council, and other local bodies, to represent students’ needs and views. OPSA makes regular submissions to the DCC and other bodies, and sits on various working parties and committees to ensure a student perspective and concerns are not neglected.
Each class should have at least one Programme Rep. Programme Reps can be your first point of call with a complaint or problem. If you need to know who your Programme Rep is contact the OPSA Secretary.
An essential part of OPSA is the Student Reps, students who choose to get involved in making a difference. Being a Student Rep only requires a few hours of your time each semester and gives you valuable experience in committee work, problem solving, communication, mediation/negotiation. To become a Student Rep, contact OPSA Secretary.
The President is a part-time paid position – the role is to oversee and facilitate the OPSA Advisory Board and represent students on various Polytechnic boards and committees. Any student can stand for President. Contact OPSA staff for more information.
You are welcome and encouraged to contact the President with any questions, complaints, or suggestions you may have about OP or student life in general.
OPSA Advisory Board
The OPSA Advisory Board is the governing body of OPSA and controls the services and direction of the Students’ Association by setting policy and budgets. The Board consists of up to 12 office holders (including the President). Any OP student (provide they meet the criteria - see nomination form) can stand. Election is held in October each year for positions in the following year. Contact OPSA Secretary for more information.
You can find details about the current Board are on the Team OPSA page.