Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 1. 1965.
All members of constituent organisations affiliated to the Association are ipso facto members of the Association."
This part of the New Zealand University Student's Association (NZUSA) Constitution ensures that all university students who are members of one of the seven students' associations in New Zealand may make use of its facilities and take part in the activities of NZUSA.
Prior to 1929, when the organisation was first set up, the only association of the four university colleges was at the annual Easter sports' tournaments which had been going since before 1909. Between 1929 and 1937 the headquarters of NZUS (it changed its name to NZUSA in 1934) rotated from university to university. It was in 1937 that NZUSA first set up its permanent headquarters in Wellington and its executive was constituted in the form that is known today.
In its present form, NZUSA meets twice a year at Easter and Winter Tournaments. These NZUSA council's consist of four representatives from each of the constituent student associations as well as the officers of the permanent executive The business that arises in between Councils is carried on by the fourteen members of the executive.
The executive which is elected annually during the Easter Council consists of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, three Vice-Presidents (external, internal and administrative), a Press Officer, Travel Officer Sports Officer, Cultural Affairs officer and various other officers associated with the Vice-Presidents. Most of the executive members have come in to the organisation through the executives of the various constituent associations.
NZUSA's activities can be divided up broadly into three parts, External, Internal and Administrative.
The External section of NZUSA, run by Bill Falconer, its Vice-President, deals with matters such as scholarships for South African students, protests against the oppression of students in other countries and Study Tours to countries near to New Zealand. This year approximately forty university students returned from a study to Fiji during the long vacation. It is hoped that the next Study Tour will be to Indonesia.
Another big part of the External Portfolio is dealing with requests and correspondence from the Isc. This is the non-communist international students organisation with headquarters in Leiden, Holland. Recently the 11th Conference of the Isc was held in Christchurch, with delegates coming from many different parts of the world. It was at this conference that the Isc Charter was established. This Charter, which was adopted by NZUSA last August, sets out the rights, responsibilities and ideals of National Unions of Students.
NZUSA also assists any students travelling to or from New Zealand. Any New Zealand student going overseas has the opportunity of obtaining an International Student Identity Card. This card enables the student to obtain travel and other concessions while overseas.
The Internal section, led by Roger Clark, looks after the interests of students within New Zealand. Recently NZUSA published a pamphlet explaining why bonded bursaries were undesirable. This section is also pressing government for the increase of the present Fees and Allowance bursaries.
Other interests of the section, are the adoption of Maori Studies into the curriculum of a New Zealand university the pressing of the Government to protest more strongly at the French Nuclear tests to be held in the Pacific, and the organisation of Seminars.
With regard to the French tests, NZUSA wishes the Government to take the legality of the tests up with the International Courts of Justice in The Hague. Currently NZUSA is organising a seminar on "School to University Transition."
Roger Pitchforth's Administrative section has recently been dealing with New Zealands immigration policy towards Asian students wishing to study here. The section also has a big project underway on the inadequacies and lack of Halls Of Residence at New Zealand universities. Faculty organisations have also been under consideration by Mr. Pitchforth.
Other activities of NZUSA includes NZSPA (The New Zealand Student Press Association), NZUAFC (the New Zealand Universities Arts Festival Council), which supervises the Arts Festivals held every year with winter tournaments and Congress. Congress is the annual get-together at Curious Cove, Picton, of 150 students and University staff-members. The students spend a week listening to provocative talks and discussions.
One of the many organisational changes in the structure of NZUSA that seems likely is the admittance of Teachers' Colleges to NZUSA. This would increase the size of NZUSA considerably and would give it greater weight when asking the Government to institute many long-overdue changes, such as instituting the three-year-training course for teachers.
It appears likely that within the next two years NZUSA will have a full-time salaried President. This has been thought necessary because of the increasing amount of work in which NZUSA is involved, and because of the need for a full-time negotiator with Government, travel organisations and business men.