How on Earth will Student’s Associations survive without their millions?

Looks like VSM is going through, so I thought I’d be helpful and use the OUSA budget (on their web site) as an example of where cost savings can be made.

Let’s just go through the numbers, shall we?


Wow, $500,000 where does all that go? Staff wages and consultants mainly. Neither are needed if the association shrinks to the levels claimed. The front desk can be staffed by exec members, and OUSA has plenty of former members who can do auditing and legal work for a minimal cost, and it wouldn’t hurt to spend less time in court.

Implementation of Stragetic Objectives

“Brand Awareness and Marketing” – Are you kidding? Cut completely.

Executive Honoraria

Cut completely – let them do it on a voluntary basis.

Executive Operational Expenses

Do more with less – cut by 1/3.

Subsidiary and Affiliate Contributions

Sorry, subsidising other organisations isn’t the role of a voluntary association. Those organisations will need to operate on the same basis as everyone else – you want to join, you pay.

Grants and Donations

Again, are you kidding me?

Student Support Centre

Have no idea what this is. It certainly wasn’t there when VSM was first mooted so it’s clearly not necessary since students survived without one for so long.


There is no need to subsidise orientation – ever. Make the costs fit within ticket prices.


Finally, some actual services. We can cut some of this, since with fewer members we won’t have as many expenses. $400,000 should be more than enough. I suspect however, that there are significant savings to be made even here, for example cooperating with the universities’ Recreation Services again. (Gee, did I just point out that the University already provides recreation services, even under CSM? Oops!)


By my calculations, OUSA could run their entire operation next year on about $420,000. At $100 each (which is a cut on the existing fee) they need a mere 4,000 members. I’m sure a bit of sponsorship (such as WSU’s free t-shirts) here and there would yield even greater cost savings.

1 comment

  1. Outstanding! The worst thing is that OUSA knew back in the 90’s about VSM and chose to ignore it. They went all out to fight it and now are panicking when they had ages to sort itself out. If OUSA fails, we don’t need to blame VSM, we can blame people like Stephen Day, Andrew Campbell, Mark Baxter and all the other OUSA activists that used OUSA as a political playground instead of keeping OUSA viable.

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