University sets up new service to replace embattled union
A substitute Extramural Students Society (EXMSS) office has been established after Massey University pulled the plug on funding the embattled students' association.
The EXMSS office has been shut since Massey axed its funding, partly as a result of faults in the society's monthly reports to the university.
President Jeannette "JV" Chapman has refused to speak to the Manawatu Standard about the funding and the staff she made redundant.
A meeting of EXMSS members was to be held today, and a vote of no confidence in Ms Chapman's presidency was expected.
The Distance Students' Centre has taken over EXMSS in a "smooth process" to provide support services to distance learners - students who study away from the university's campuses.
It will be run by EXMSS staff and managed by former EXMSS Greater Manawatu area representative Anne Palmer, a Massey University employee. Ms Palmer said: "Staff have moved quickly to ensure provision of necessary distance services in the lead-up to exams."
Massey University emailed its 15,000 extramural students two weeks ago, informing them it had canned all financial support for EXMSS and would take care of the union's service responsibilities itself.
The new Distance Students' Centre, located on the ground floor of Colombo Hall on the Manawatu campus, has six staff who are former employees of EXMSS.
Manawatu campus registrar Dr Sandi Shillington thanked centre workers and other Massey staff who had helped smooth the takeover.
Services provided to distance students include personal support in the form of advocacy and hardship grants, as well as managing social media and communications platforms.
The centre also provides website and media communications support to the Massey University students' associations, along with the websites of MASSIVE Magazine and Radio Control.
There are more than 15,000 extramural students, and about 12,000 are registered with the EXMSS society, its 2012 annual report shows.
The EXMSS saga, P17
- © Fairfax NZ News
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