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July 23, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Student Associations Still Trust NZUSA After Penis Portrait Allegations

If you haven’t already heard, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations had a $1.4 million contract with ACC to run a sexual violence prevention programme. The three year contract was suspended in January.
ACC said the contract was suspended because of “allegations of sexual harassment and poor employment practices”. A senior staff member had allegedly sent a dick pic to three members on the team. The three team members resigned, and the 13 field reporters were made redundant. NZUSA President Jonathan Gee did not mention sexual harassment in the redundancy notices.
On the whole, student association members haven’t publicly condemned NZUSA for its actions.
Barlow-Groome, who is also the Otago University Students’ Association president, said she didn’t “necessarily” know about the dick pic before it was brought to light. She said that OUSA “trusts that NZUSA did a good job and followed the correct procedure”.
Marlon Drake, VUWSA president, said that he could not respond specifically to any allegations, since he and the National Executive are prevented by law from commenting on employment matters.

He goes on to say that “the allegations that Salient refers to are absolutely unacceptable”.
When asked if he’s still happy he’s part of NZUSA, Marlon said, “VUWSA is still a member of NZUSA and that explains itself”.
James Ranstead, president of Lincoln University Students’ Association, said that he thought NZUSA “dealt with it right”. He said he believes NZUSA was “upfront enough”. When asked if he thought that Jono should have told the field reporters why they were being made redundant, he said he “can’t comment” because he “wasn’t there at the time”.
Anna Cusack, president of Auckland University Students’ Association, believes that NZUSA has taken appropriate steps, and if they hadn’t, “I would have been uncomfortable as a woman staying in the organization”. When asked if she believes NZUSA has been sufficiently transparent, she said “it’s quite complicated… there are issues of legality”.
Benjamin Schmidt, president of Massey University Students’ Association, said MUSA “stands behind NZUSA 100%” and that I should refer all other questions to Marlon Drake.
The Association of Students at UCOL have been asked for comment.

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