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September 28, 2009 | by  | in News |
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VUWSA dunks VSM bill, ACT on Campus channels Letterman

The Roger Douglas-sponsored Freedom of Association bill predictably passed its first reading in Parliament last Wednesday, causing outrage among students’ associations up and down the country.

The bill seeks to remove compulsory membership of students’ associations, lending students the right to choose whether or not they join an association.

The National party promised to support the bill during its first reading, while Labour, the Greens and the Maori party all opposed it.

VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle said the association was disappointed with National’s support of the bill, particularly given the current economic climate.

“VUWSA is opposed to any bill which seeks to take away control of essential services from students.

“These services are an integral part of campus and academic life and part of the wider educational experience of university,” Freemantle said.

VUWSA’s sentiments were echoed by NZUSA Co-President Sophia Blair.

“Independent representation, advocacy and support, sporting and cultural clubs and social events such as Orientation would all be under threat in the unlikely event that this Bill succeeds, and all in the name of choice—which already exists!” Blair said.

The passing of the bill was applauded by the youth wing of the ACT Party, ACT on Campus.

“Students don’t speak with only one voice, as student associations claim. In fact students have varying views on all issues, just as the rest of New Zealand does,” said ACT on Campus Vice-President Peter McCaffrey.

“Forcing students to join an association that claims to represent them only leads to them being misrepresented.”

ACT on Campus has released a list of ten misrepresentations of students associations, including AUSA offering a $10,000 reward for the citizens’ arrest of Condoleezza Rice in 2008, and VUWSA’s refusal to lay a wreath at the 2009 ANZAC Day commemorations.

Students at Victoria University can choose to opt out of being a member of VUWSA should they wish to, but their $131.90 levy would be donated to charity rather than refunded.

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Comments (3)

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  1. poos and wees says:

    poos and wees

  2. Ways in which the National-led ACT, United Future coalition has misrepresented me: says:

    1. Cuts to community and adult education
    2. Cuts to tertiary education
    3. Cutting ACC support to sexual abuse survivors
    4. Supporting the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill through it’s first reading.
    5. Giving more funding to private schools.
    6. 90 day fire-at-will
    7. not prioritising increasing the minimum wage
    8. reinstating knighthoods and so on
    9. gerry brownlee refusing to be accountable and answer questions in parliament (the vuwsa exec could never be able to do that!)
    10. paula bennett declaring the income of private citizens.

    Disgraceful. The list could go on and on.

    OOOOooh, life is haaaard. But you know, I can actually complain about that because I voted (and not for any of those parties.) Welcome to democracy, you morons… and you’re the ones advocating for freedom! LOL!

  3. Magonagal says:

    Isn’t that great. your membership of vuwsa is voluntary but your membership fee is COMPULSORY. How does that work? The sooner we have VSM and real choice the better. Don’t you hate being told someone else knows how to spend your money better than you do?

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