Guide to the ASA

What is your students’ association?

Take a look around you during this week and what do you see? I see a lot of fresh faces. I also see a lot of ‘crazed nutters’ aka student volunteers continually talking about your students’ association. What is meant by this statement? How can the students’ association be mine? Well, in the space provided by this short 500-word magazine page, I will do my best to enlighten you about the meaning of life, the universe and everything to do with students’ associations.

The students’ association is yours because you (and your fellow students) own and pay for it. Without you, the student, there would be no students’ association. The Albany Students’ Association (ASA) is completely independent of Massey University – we are our own self-governing not-for-profit body made up entirely of students. By enrolling at Massey you automatically become a member of the association and every year you pay a membership fee (it is a part of your fees). This money is used directly to run the association for the year.

So where do your fees go? I can tell you it is not into a big black hole. The magazine you are reading now, Satellite, is funded out of your association fee. Satellite comes out every second week during semester and features all of the goings on around campus. Satellite is always after volunteer writers, so if you’re into music, movies or books then become a reviewer, if you’re into news then write some news for the mag and feature writers are, of course, always in hot demand. Contact the editor for more information (ph: 443 9740 or email: satellitemagalbany@gmail.com).

The magazine, however, is only a very small component of the association. Look around this week at everything that is on offer during Orientation – all of that has been organised and funded by the ASA. Orientation is organised each year by Campus Arts, which is the events area of the association. They organise all things events from Orientation and Winterfest through to bar parties and lots of advertising on campus. Campus Arts is staffed by an events manager, advertising manager, bar manager (Sikander Gore ph: 443 9787, mob: 027 489 7030 or email: barmanager@asa.ac.nz) and scores of volunteers, without whose help most events would not be able to take place. If you want to gain some events experience and have fun while you are doing it, then contact our lovely events manager Bronwyn Porter (ph: 443 9743, mob: 027 562 0318 or email: campusarts@asa.ac.nz) and put your name forward to be a volunteer – your services will most definitely be used as there is no such thing as having too many volunteers.

Another large provider and organiser of events on campus is clubs. The ASA employs a clubs’ development officer to facilitate the development and nurturing of clubs on campus. The ASA has many clubs that cater to many different students. Our largest club is the Chinese Students’ Association with a few hundred members. There are many cultural and other vested interest clubs around, so make sure you join one and if the club you want doesn’t exist then start it! There are also many sports clubs on campus and a lot of these send teams to Uni Games, another area that the clubs’ development officer looks after. If you want to have the true student experience, then you must attend Uni Games, they take place in Rotorua this year on April 14-17 and are a whole heap of fun. The ASA’s clubs’ development officer is Adele Adamson and she can be contacted on ph: 414 0800 ext 41148, mob: 021 832 625 or email: cdo@asa.ac.nz.

Involvement in clubs is one of the many pathways to becoming an executive committee member. But what is the executive committee, I hear you ask? The executive committee (aka ASEC) is the governing body of the entire students’ association. It makes all the political decisions for the association and represents the students to both the university and the outside community. ASEC also hires a general manager (Nigel Green ph: 443 9746, mob: 027 292 7469 or email: asa@asa.ac.nz) to manage the day-to-day running of the association and the staff. There are 13 different positions on the executive committee which are filled by students elected by members of the association every year. The positions are: president, vice-president, Asian cultural rep, education rep, environmental rep, graduate students’ rep, international cultural rep, mature students’ rep, Pacific Island students’ rep, political rep, social activities rep, men’s welfare rep and women’s welfare rep.

All of the members on the executive committee are students, just like you. And just like the typical student, from time to time they also have issues with their lecturers and courses. Because of this, the ASA employ an advocacy co-ordinator to help all students sort out their academic issues. The advocacy co-ordinator also co-ordinators the Class Representative Feedback System which is designed to help resolve issues at the earliest possible level before they spiral out of proportion. So if you have any problems with your study at Massey get in touch with ASA advocacy co-ordinator Penny Lyall on ph: 443 9781, mob: 027 426 7861 or email: advocacy@asa.ac.nz.

In total, the ASA uses your fees to employ 11 permanent staff members, whose goal is to ensure that students get the best possible deal from their time at Albany. On a comparison scale, we are mid-sized in terms of other students’ associations, but extremely small when compared with the size of Massey University. However, even the small can achieve great things – remember the story of a couple of dudes called David and Goliath?
Where does it go? A breakdown of your membership fee.

Total 2008 Budgeted Income: $808,464

Area Total Draft Budgeted Cost % of Membership Fee
Satellite $38,743 4.9%
Orientation $16,306 2.1%
Events $42,631 5.4%
Marketing $26,500 3.4%
Executive Committee $116,508 14.9%
Clubs $13,306 1.7%
Uni Games $2,300 0.3%
Winter Games $191 0.02%
Administration and Staff $451,225 57.6%
Advocacy $9,423 1.2%
Vehicles $2,059 0.3%
Levies $57,824 7.4%
Capital Expenditure $6,200 0.8%