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Victoria University Student's Assn. a Disgrace

4 comments | 11:49 pm | top |
The Victoria University of Wellington Student's Association (VUWSA) has arrogantly presumed to misrepresent its constituents in a libellous attack on the brave soldiers who died for our freedom during WWI, WWII and other wars to date. The VUWSA executive was invited by the Wellington City Council to lay a wreath on the war memorial at the dawn service on ANZAC Day. However "president Jasmine Freemantle [responded that] there was no 'official mandate from students' to recognise Anzac Day." - Stuff 28/04/09

The union's student magazine emergency toilet-paper reserve Salient stated that "Some on the executive said that to lay a wreath would be to condone war." Former student Peter responded, asking if anyone could possibly be so thick as to say that ANZAC Day was pro-war. (quotes from Stuff)

VUWSA president Jasmine Freemantle is pushing her barrow over the members of the union which she is paid to represent (aprox $30,000 pa), ignoring the fact that the majority of them respect their fallen forefathers and desire to honour them on ANZAC Day. This from the VUWSA website,

Jasmine is a member of the Workers’ Party of New Zealand, and has also been involved in a variety of campaigns and movements, such as the anti-war movement and volunteer organising for Unite Union. - VUWSA website

One of the worst things about this shameful fiasco is that students at Victoria University of Wellington have no choice but to become members of the student's association. They are unable to attend university unless they join the union. As such, they are implicated in the disrespectful attitude of their executive, whether they want it or not. Just by the way, the VUWSA is forecasting an income of $1,560,000 from student memberships alone in the 2009 budget.

Student union membership must be made optional; anything less is totalitarian and unjust. Arguments claiming that lack of compulsory membership will lead to lack of representation are frivolous, as individuals should have the right to choose whether or not they wish to be represented at all.

ACT on Campus has been demanding voluntary student union membership for many years now - and this latest display of the injustice of compulsory membership should serve as ample evidence to the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley that it is time to repeal this fatal flaw in student politics.

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4 Comments:

OpenID sjdennis said...

Compulsory union membership is disgraceful. I'm at Lincoln uni, so officially a member of LUSA, but don't use any of their services as I'm hardly ever on campus (even while based overseas I was still paying for services I never use).

However I'm not too worried about being a LUSA member, they're pretty good as student unions go and very accommodating of the Christian Fellowship, I don't mind supporting them. I would like to be able to choose to support them or not though.

If I were at Vic though I'd be very upset.

9:34 am, April 29, 2009 
Blogger binSchmidt said...

At Auckland Uni we have opt-in union membership and the student union finds itself powerless, unable even to pay the regular membership fee to belong to NZUSA. It negatively impacts on campus life by restricting the help the union can offer campus clubs. And students don't save any $$ because money not given to the union gets paid to the university.

Opt-out membership (where students tick a box/apply to opt-out) would be best. That way, the right to freedom of association is upheld and the vast majority of students, who are quite apathetic about the issue, would join up anyway.

11:57 pm, May 04, 2009 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

I see what you're saying re: opt-in. While I still oppose the opt-out option on principle, I agree that it would be a whole lot better than the current system we have at most universities in NZ - you Aucklanders have it good!

12:25 am, May 05, 2009 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im also at lincoln uni, and think they do a fair job. even tho i dont use their services often, its probably good to know that its there. The problem comes when students associations' start to see them selves as a social voice on issues compleatly unrelated to what their job is. If they stick to uni related education and welfare stuff, i say fair game to compulsary membership, doesnt hurt me much...

10:28 pm, June 08, 2009 

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