Wins For Students
What did OPSA ever do for you?
OPSA is your voice and makes many gains for students ranging from new services at the Polytechnic, to better deals for students from local or national government.
Student loans used to get interest charged every year on your loan. However, due to a persistent pro-education campaign by NZUSA and its members, including OPSA, interest was removed from student loans and has not been returned since.
OPSA has negotiated over 100 student discounts including Moana Pool and a 25% discount on Dunedin bus services.
Free Flu Shots
Flu shots are now free for all students at OP thanks to OPSA’s lobbying.
Increased Accommodation Benefit for Wanaka Students
Students located in Wanaka were receiving a Dunedin rate for accommodation benefit – some were living in garages as they couldn’t afford rent. Thanks to some lobbying from OPSA their accommodation benefit was increased – back-paid, and with an apology.
Extra Rubbish Collection in Dunedin North
Due to the above average population density living in Dunedin North extra rubbish collections is needed at peak times of the year. OPSA & OUSA worked with the DCC to have extra collections, and free skips at Orientation and at the end of the year. Pictures of Dunedin North resembling a war zone are now a thing of the past.
Free Student Health & Counselling Visits
OPSA has consistently fought suggestions of introducing a user-charge to Student Health & counselling.
Bus Route Changes to Better Suit Students
Before lobbying from students’ associations Dunedin’s bus routes did not include the campus area. Bus shelters were largely absent from the OP campus area until OPSA lobbied for them.
Student Assistance Fund
OPSA was instrumental in the budgeting for OP’s Student Assistance Fund, and still helps administer it.
Pedestrian Crossings around Campus
The Dunedin campus did not have pedestrian crossings until students pointed out this oversight.
Fee Refund Period Extended
If you withdrew from your course the period where you could get a refund on your fees used to be really short. It’s longer now thanks to OPSA’s influence.
Graduation Parade & Mortar-boards
OPSA ran the graduation parade for many years showing OP that students wanted it. It is now a regular part of OP’s Graduation. Students refused to wear the originally proposed “silly” hats OPSA stepped in and bought the currently used mortar-board graduation hats.
Student ID Cards
Once upon a time polytechnics and universities didn’t issue student ID cards, students’ associations like OPSA stepped in and issued them – and they are now a regular part of all institutions. OPSA still issues student ID cards at OP.
All-day Parking in Campus Area
OPSA has consistently fought for a reasonable number of all-day parks to remain in the OP campus area.
When student representation was removed from all polytechnic councils around the country, OPSA worked with OP to establish a student sub-committee of OP Council to ensure students’ voices were not lost at OP’s highest level. Hence we now have a "Student Council" who works closely with OPSA Advisory Board
Cycle-racks, Poho & Pasifica Rooms, microwaves, fridges etc
OPSA has supported initiatives for such facilities to be available on the campus.
Community Services Cards for Students
When Community Services Cards were introduced students were not eligible! However, due to lobbying from the national student bodies, including OPSA, this was reversed and students now have access to Community Services Cards.
OPSA was a key player in developing the new UNIPOL recreation center into a student focused facility (initially as an part owner).
Compulsory Smoke Alarms
For over a decade OPSA was one of many organisations calling for smoke alarms to be made compulsory in rental accommodation. As of July 2016 smoke alarms must be installed in all rentals.