By Amy Joseph
This weekâ€™s exec meeting was held in the Postgrad lounge, and most execcies took full advantage of the coffee machine before the meeting began. This went rather nicely with the cake Sarah made for Thom, who had celebrated his birthday over the weekend. Thrifty Sarah made the cake using bananas left over from snacks provided for execcies on No Means No duties over Orientation, proving that it is much easier to get the kiddies eating fruit if you cunningly disguise it with sugar, butter and chocolate.
The first item of business was straightforward as the Exec approved a funding agreement for the Association for Postgraduate Students of Otago, Christchurch. This will see OUSA levy PSOC members at one quarter of the general levy (in addition to fees payable to national organisations such as NZUSA), which will be returned to the Christchurch association to provide services to their members.
The second order of business for the night was notably more convoluted. NORML activist Abe Gray addressed the Exec in relation to a motion passed at last yearâ€™s SGM: that OUSA will recognise and publicise the knowledge that alcohol use is more harmful than cannabis use. This motion of course took as given that alcohol use is more harmful than cannabis use, which was unfortunate for those execcies who rather sensibly pointed out that this is yet to be conclusively scientifically proven, and that both drugs have a range of very different harms associated with them (Margi said, â€œItâ€™s like saying that apple pie
is better than hamburgers.â€ She also said that she is happy that botany postgrad student Abe is â€œgetting his Masters in whatever, and quite surprisedâ€). Tania was concerned that NORML has never provided OUSA with the scientific evidence to back up their claim, and found that her own two-hour lit review was inconclusive on the subject. Some execcies were also concerned about promoting a practice with proven harms, but Abe assured them that once people were educated the dangers about ingesting cannabis through smoking it they would choose more healthy methods such as baking and vaporisers (despite the fact that the presumably â€˜well-educatedâ€™ stoners at NORMLâ€™s 4.20 protests overwhelmingly choose to smoke their green). After Coreyâ€™s persistent efforts to sidetrack the discussion with various ill-thought-out motions about how OUSA could support the 4.20 protestors â€“ â€œWe should support any actions of the 4.20 group no matter what they are!â€ â€“ the execcies decided that they would be adequately following through the motion by supporting a lecture on the relative harms of alcohol and cannabis already being organised by NORML for their upcoming Cannabis Awareness Week. Watch out for promotional posters on the highly exclusive OUSA bollards in coming weeks!
In other developments, Stuart Heal (thatâ€™s right â€“ Reneeâ€™s daddy) was
appointed to the UBS Board of Directors, and most of the execcies were surprised to learn that MTV New Zealand exists â€“ the channel wanted to film some O-Week events, but got the dates wrong, so donâ€™t worry about your little sister glimpsing any of your drunken debauchery while waiting to catch up on the ongoing sagas of rich young stupid pretty white people.