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March 29, 2010 | by  | in News |
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OUSA gets desperate, tries to sell itself online

News

Salient considers bidding, plots take over of Critic

The Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) listed itself for sale on internet auction site TradeMe last week.

The listing stated “OUSA is looking to privatise” to protect service provision levels in the event Sir Roger Douglas’ Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill becomes law.

The sale of OUSA was originally listed under the category “antiques and collectables”. It was removed on the grounds that it was effectively a business sale, and had to be listed in the commercial property section.

OUSA relisted the auction in the appropriate section but the auction was again pulled after TradeMe received complaints.

TradeMe spokesman Paul Ford told Critic the auction was “pushing the envelope in terms of what we would normally offer for sale” but that it was not pulled because of any underlying political message; rather, it was taken down “due to complaints that it effectively wasn’t for sale.”

These complaints centred on the fact that any sale of the association would have to be ratified by a Student General Meeting (SGM).

OUSA President Harriet Geoghegan told Salient that the sale “was a stunt to show that students own [OUSA] and this will be seriously threatened by Voluntary Student Membership (VSM).”

She told Salient that it was a “fun, cheeky way” to raise awareness about VSM.

Salient entertained the idea of placing a bid on OUSA, but decided against it, given the “excessive” asking price.

Ownership of OUSA would allow Salient to take over rival student magazine Critic.

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Editor for 2010, politics nerd, panda fan and three-time award-winning student journalist.

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