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September 17, 2007 | by  | in News |
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$25 refund still being debated, but Studylink doesn’t want it

Studylink won’t be receiving the A-Team’s promised $25 refund to students, according to the election candidates and the Ministry of Social Development.

As part of their election manifesto, the A-Team is promising full-time students a $25 refund of their annual $120 VUWSA levy.

The levy was raised late last year from $99. The levy will be adjusted by the Weekly Wage Index for next year to around $125.

The A-Team says students at Vic are being over-charged for their membership of VUWSA, and that a better service can be provided to students at the lower price.

The group will refund every student through a cheque or a voucher of some description, according to Council Rep candidate Jordan Williams.

However, lawyer and former VUWSA Treasurer Graeme Edgeler last week told Salient the refund is possible, but VUWSA “won’t be able to write every student a cheque – this would breach the Incorporated Societies Act (societies have to be non-profit, and can’t just divide their funds up between members like a company can).

“It will likely have to be an actual refund; that is, if the student paid their VUWSA levy through a student loan, the money will go back to the government (of course, the student’s student loan will be lower).”

Williams said it may be necessary to change the word ‘refund’ to something else to be able to give each student $25.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Development said in a statement: “If a student association chooses to refund part of their association levy it would be up to them to determine how that is done. StudyLink would not be entering into any arrangement to have the refund paid to StudyLink. If students choose to use the refund towards paying their student loan that is their choice. Because loan money has to be repaid at some stage, it is up to students whether they use the refund for this purpose now or later.”

The A-Team intend to cut funding to clubs, rep groups and some executive portfolios, amongst other areas, to pay for the refund – over $400,000 according to the A-Team’s budget.

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About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

Comments (27)

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  1. peteremcc says:

    Now where’s all those Anonymous commentators that have been saying for the last week that the refund would go back to Studylink?

  2. Peter, All

    The reason those commends came out last week was because if you get a refund on anything paid by studylink usually the rule is that you need to pay it straight back to them. The university keeps a record of where your money came from and so can refund fees back that way.

    My best guess as to why they have said this is because once the money is transferred to VUWSA we have no idea who paid by student loan and who paid in cash and StudyLink don’t want to have to sit down with VUWSA and work out how many students paid with their student loan.

    Like VUWSA having to work out how much of and EFT a student is it would probably cost StudyLink more money to work out each student and get the money than would come back.

    Regards
    Alexander
    Treasurer Candidate

  3. Michael Oliver says:

    Either way, a large number of students won’t be able to give their $25 rebate to the club of their choice, as encouraged by the A-Team; we’ll get a paltry $25 off our student loans, and that’s about it.

    Woo.

  4. peteremcc says:

    Erm, sorry Michael… did you read the article?

    A spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Development said in a statement: “If a student association chooses to refund part of their association levy it would be up to them to determine how that is done. StudyLink would not be entering into any arrangement to have the refund paid to StudyLink. If students choose to use the refund towards paying their student loan that is their choice. Because loan money has to be repaid at some stage, it is up to students whether they use the refund for this purpose now or later.”

  5. blogette says:

    The headline doesn’t even match what StudyLink say

    someone make a complaint to the press council

  6. peteremcc says:

    As blogette points out, the headline refers to the fact that Studylink don’t want the MONEY from the refund. Not that they don’t want the refund.

  7. Michael Oliver says:

    I just want to use my A-Team refund to buy That’s What I Call Music Vol, 43, is that too much to ask, peteremcc?

    IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!

  8. Michael Oliver says:

    I’m glad we’ve had this chance to discuss student politics on the internet, peteremcc.

  9. “The headline doesn’t even match what StudyLink say

    someone make a complaint to the press council”

    – Studylink don’t want the refund – students can pay them back later, but they don’t want to be directly refunded by VUWSA/the University. ‘Studylink doesn’t want it’ means ‘Studylink doesn’t want the refund’.

  10. peteremcc says:

    yes, but the headline makes it sound like studylink don’t want the refund to happen.

    without meaning to sound rude, i’m not sure which is more of an insult to you:

    that you did this deliberately and are being biased, or that you didn’t realise how the title would be interpreted and still haven’t.

  11. I guess it depends on how you read it. If you understand how to read headlines you shouldn’t be having trouble. One thing I don’t understand is how that is biased?

  12. peteremcc says:

    The headline portrays one of the A-Teams key policies as being illegal (something that has been accused by opponents). This article proves that to be incorrect but the headline continues the deception.

  13. peteremcc says:

    “$25 refund still being debated, but Studylink doesn’t want the money” would have been much more accurate.

    using “it” suggests that studylink don’t want the ‘refund’ that was the subject of the first part of the sentence.

  14. Studylink DO want the money. They want students to pay them back. They do NOT want the refund. The quote in the story says precisely that. I hope this has clarified that point enough for you.

  15. peteremcc says:

    What? No it doesn’t…!!!!

    StudyLink would not be entering into any arrangement to have the refund paid to StudyLink.

    If students choose to use the refund towards paying their student loan that is their choice.

    Because loan money has to be repaid at some stage, it is up to students whether they use the refund for this purpose now or later.

  16. What that means is Studylink would like the refund to go back to the students, not to Studylink. Then the student can either give Studylink the money right away, or in 20 years.

  17. peteremcc says:

    Exactly, but that is not what the title suggests. The title suggests that Studylink don’t want the refund to HAPPEN.

  18. little chicken says:

    its all in the way you read it really, I got from it that studylink didn’t want it bounced back to them, not that they were against it, yes that was before i read the article. can you imagine the amount of paper work some poor msd employee would have to wade through if it was given back that way?

  19. Jessica Larson says:

    Peter
    I was just wondering how the whole $25 refund thing works – as im a little unclear.
    Also, would clubs funds be cut out straight away? or would it be eased off? seems a little harsh to just cut it off suddenly…well reasonably suddenly.

  20. Jessica Larson says:

    sorry i should have elaborated a little more. where the money comes from also. this is the deciding factor for my vote(s).

  21. peteremcc says:

    All the details are available on the a-team website so I suggest checking that out for details.

    The majority of the money comes from the VUWSA Trust Contribution.
    Currenlty VUWSA contributes about $180,000 to the trust and the money just sits there earning interest. Essentially current students are paying money into a fund that *may* be used in the future to improve the university for future students.

  22. Tai says:

    I am not writing to involve myself in any arguements but believe that some information surroundind the building leavy or VUWSA trust needs to be clarified.
    The building leavy has been used in the past to build the student Union building including the union hall where concerts etc are held as well as other buildings around campus.
    Currently the VUWSA trust is in negotiations with the university about the ‘Campus Hub’ project which would see the quad, library and surrounding buildings re-developed on a masive scale including ulterations to the student union building. The exact amout which the VUWSA trust is willing to provide has not been announced and will be based upon the universities willingness to forfill specific demands. The university will invest around $40,000,000 into the project and whilst VUWSA’s contribution would be conciderably smaller it is essential to the project going ahead.
    Damands have included a building for clubs and rep groups, centralised retail space controlled by students (including vic books), more space for computer access including wi-fi and more comfortable social space.
    While many of us won’t be at vic when the re-development is finished we are already experiencing the gains paid for, for us to enjoy, by previous generations of students.

  23. Bionic Master says:

    Jordan Williams is behind the idea? I should have guessed; that guy is a fucking moron. Complete alcoholic too, which I find funny given some people’s slander about the current VUWSA.

  24. Me says:

    It’s $25 people…
    For the sake of our $25,000 student loans after 3 years (it’s only a rough figure)
    It’s 0.1% per year right – so 0.3% of out total loan…

    I think for the sake of the clubs and enjoying ourselves in some respect over our time at uni…
    Don’t accept the poultry rebate

  25. Sara R says:

    The clubs don’t get $25, they only get $7. Surely it’s better to give the refund to club members?

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