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Voluntary Student Union Membership on the Cards

1 comments | 2:00 am | top |
Had my second TV interview on Monday. The first was with TV3 just prior to election '08, about Jacket-gate. TV3's reporter, Sia Aston covered the issue of voluntary student union membership today, with Roger Douglas's reform bill set to go to its first reading with Government support on Wednesday. She googled "compulsory + student + union", clicked through to my article about the corruption at VUSA, followed it through to my Facebook page and messaged me, asking for an interview.

The interview went well, however Sia took just one of my comments, focusing instead on a confused NZUSA rep, and UCSA president Steve Jukes verbosely defending the current fascist structure of student politics. While I acknowledge that many student associations and their respective execs, (my own at Canterbury included), do a great deal of work on behalf of students, it is clear that there is an unacceptable level of corruption going on, among a list of other undesirable outcomes of having compulsory unions. As I said to the reporter Lachlan,

"Look at the UCSA for example. At the recent student union elections candidates were called upont to submit a photo and a summary of what they stood for, for the student mag CANTA. One candidate didn't even submit anything but still got elected onto the exec. Or the AGM which took place shortly before the election, CANTA advertised "Free hamburgers, sausage sizzle and $5 jugs of beer" for those who attended the meeting. It was held in the casual setting of an outdoor amphitheatre, adjacent to the student pub, with a quorum of 200 students from a student membership of over 15,000. And no surprises as to what was on the agenda: a move to increase the salaries of those on the exec, with the president on well over $40,000 pa. - money taken forcefully from thousands of other students who probably didn't even know this was going on."

I will say more about the University of Canterbury Students Association in the future, but the above is a sumamry to give you an idea of why I and so many others throughout New Zealand are glad to see the VSM bill before Parliament, and to see the all-too-often anti-democratic National government pledging to support the bill to it's first reading and the select committee process.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, obviously if people voted for that candiate that was missed out in the mag then their campaigning woudl have been a success

lets face it, its a hassle to use that email system to vote so alot of people were too lazy to vote and didn't

there has been alot of success with alliances formed, banding together, and taking out the 3 top ucsa spots effectively

if we get volunteers, what is the point when for example the president does a huge amount of work - paid work makes it all the much better when you are a uni student

I commend Jukes, as a law student he must be crazy busy and also be prez means that he is sacrificing alot

How else are you supposed to get students to come to things without promising them a free bbq

the reality is that not alot of people care, they just want to get their degree and get out into the real world to escape studentville

its like high school, you think that you are so cool and old until you leave and looking back you were so young and naive

8:54 pm, September 18, 2009 

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