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2018 OUSA president aims to increase student engagement

Monday 19 February 2018 10:23pm

The 2018 President of the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) hopes to increase student engagement with her organisation by heading out of her office and onto campus.

After serving on last year’s OUSA executive as Recreation Officer, Caitlin Barlow-Groome comes into the role with a strong understanding of the issues facing students.

As Orientation Week 2018 gets under way, the Otago Bulletin Board caught up with Ms Barlow-Groome to hear more about her aspirations for the year.

Caitlin-Barlow-Groom-small-image
The 2018 Otago University Students' Association President, Caitlin Barlow-Groome.

1. What is your background? Where are you from, and what have you studied?

I am from the smallest city in New Zealand- Upper Hutt, Wellington. The original plan was to move to Otago to study Physical Education but like most students, I changed degrees. Last year I completed my BCom in Finance and Economics.

2. Why did you want to become OUSA president?

Being on the executive last year made me realise the good things and bad things that were done in OUSA. I also had the most amazing experience while at Otago and I want everyone to be able to enjoy their time here as much as I did.

3. What do you feel are the main issues currently faced by Otago students?

This is a tough because there are just so many. I think the range of pressures students face while at university have a massive impact on their performance and their wellbeing. There is financial, after study job market, study, social, and so many more which can seriously effect students’ time at university. OUSA Student Support is here to ensure students have someone to talk things through if they need and support them in any way, shape or form.

4. What are your aims for this year?

My aim is to try increase student engagement by interacting with students on a more social level rather than expecting them to come into an office space which they may find intimidating.

5. Orientation gets under way from today – what’s this year’s programme like?

This year looks incredible. One of my favourite all time artists, BAYNK, is playing on Saturday night. We also have a range of different activities so everyone has something they can get involved in. There is an outdoor movie night, Kiwiana event for international students, toga, tent city and plenty more!!!

OUSA 2018 – what’s on:

Mon 19 Feb
Tent City
Museum Reserve, 9am to 4pm

Convocation Ceremony
Forsyth Barr Stadium, 7pm to 8:30pm

Tue 20 Feb
Tent City
Museum Reserve, 9am to 4pm

Sports Day
Logan Park, 1:30pm to finish

Kiwiana
Main Common Room, 6pm to 8pm

Space Jam & Chill
Museum Reserve, 9pm to 11pm

Wed 21 Feb
Tent City
Museum Reserve, 9am to 4pm

Rummage Sale
OUSA Clubs & Societies Centre Centre, 9am to 3pm

Toga Party Ft. Sweet Mix Kids, Times x Two & Hot Donnas
Forsyth Barr Stadium, 8pm to 11pm

Thu 22 Feb
Clubs Day
Museum Reserve, 10am to 3pm

Chase & Status (DJ Set) + Rage, Home Brew, Aroha & Tali and Alby
Forsyth Barr Stadium, 8pm to 12am

Fri 23 Feb
Rugby - Highlanders vs Blues
Forsyth Barr Stadium, 7:30pm to 10pm

Sat 24 Feb
Down the Rabbit Hole feat. Hot Dub Time Machine, Baynk & Scarfé
Forsyth Barr Stadium, 8pm to 12am

Sun 25 Feb
International Food Festival
Museum Reserve, 5pm to 8pm

Fri 2 Mar
Outer Limits Ft. Young Thug, Peking Duk, Sigrid, Maala
Forsyth Barr Stadium, 8pm to 12am