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September 24, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Debt Monster’s Ball

VUWSA PRES VOTES IN FAVOUR OF LEVY INCREASE

In addition to raising tuition fees, the University Council resolved to raise the Student Levy by four per cent last Monday.

All members voted for the increase, with the exception of Student Representative Max Hardy.

VUWSA President Bridie Hood said she and Vice-President (Welfare) Rory McCourt who both sit on the Advisory Committee for the Student Services Levy (ACSSL), only agreed to the increase on the condition that the University conduct a “long and comprehensive review” of the levy in consultation with students.

“We pushed hard for the review. If they hadn’t agreed to that then we wouldn’t have supported the increase,” she said.

About eight students from activist group We Are The University (WATU) attended the meeting to protest tuition fee increases. Before travelling to the Hunter Building, WATU gathered outside the Student Union, wearing red and green cardboard hats that depicted ‘debt monsters’, shouting “Give Pat [Walsh] a pay rise” at passersby.

Students were refused entry to the staff’s area on the second and third floors of Hunter for over an hour before the meeting began. When they were permitted entry, students were escorted by security guards and their bags were searched before they were allowed into the Council Chamber.

While mostly quiet throughout the meeting, when the Council voted to increase tutition fees and the levy, one student shouted “Shame! Shame on you all!” to those who voted in favour, while applauding those who voted against.

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