Very soon National Party MPs will decide whether they are going to support the ACT Party’s to destroy accountable student representation and student-run student services at Victoria. National want to hear what you think about it. I think you should write a submission against this Bill that would put an end to Universal Student Membership. You can do that by going to saveourservices.org.nz before Wednesday.
In order for you to make an informed decision, I thought I would offer you a list of what is at stake.
If this Bill goes through you:
- May end up paying more money, as the University decides to pick up lost services but cannot pull on volunteer labour.
- Will lose your voice. No longer would you have an effective say in how your money is spent, the Universities decisions and your own education. Unfair decisions will be made undisturbed and eventually the quality of education will slip as the University meets its other priorities. You will be taxed without representation.
You will lose these services:
- Representation on Faculty Boards, Academic Committee, Academic Board, VUW Council, disciplinary hearings, serious misconduct hearings, the Joint Student Union Board (retail, Rec Centre etc.) and many other boards. Student representatives advocate to ensure that your education is a priority and well-funded, that students are treated fairly, that academic and non-academic facilitates are available and good decisions are made.
- Coordination, training and support of over the 800 student representatives every year.
- Funding and support for over a dozen Representative Groups (including the Law Students’ Society, the Postgraduate Students’ Association, and UniQ etc.).
- Representation and advocacy both within the University and externally on issues affecting students (ranging from student employment to library provisions)
- Funding and support for NZUSA – our national voice that won us interest-free student loans, capped university fees, scholarship, quality assessment, countless student welfare and support issues since 1929.
- The shared oversight of the Student Services Levy and the services it fund including Student Health, Counselling, Careers, Finance, Learning Support and Disability Services.
- Our full-time professional student advocates. Our advocates can support and advocate on behalf of students concerning both internal and external student grievances. The advocate keeps the University honest and ensures that students are treated fairly and not taken advantage of.
- Free Bread twice a week.
- A food bank service every day at Kelburn and at slightly different times at Karori and Pipitea.
- Campus Angels (now operating from 3 Campuses), which was a service set-up in response to concerns over student safety when they leave our campuses at night.
- Free Bus tickets for students who study at more than one campus such as Karori.
- Free Flu Shots.
- Funding and support for Student Job Search .
Publications and Student Media
- Production and distribution of welfare and education related publications. The VUWSA Alternative Student Guide provides an invaluable guide to what student actually think about the course they have taken. The VUWSA Cookbook, the International Students’ Guide, the Sexual Health Guide are some of our welfare publications.
- Salient, the award winning student magazine.
- VBC 88.3FM, your student radio station.
- Production and distribution of the annual Handbook Diary and Wall Planner.
Campus Events, Clubs and Student Experience
- Funding and support for over 80 sports and cultural clubs.
- Printing and faxes for all students and student groups.
- Coordinated and subsidies for Victoria teams attending annual sporting events, including but not limited to University Games and Snow Games
- Funding and support for University Sport New Zealand that enables national competition and support for all types of clubs on campus
- Orientation, Re-Orientation, and regular events and activities throughout the year making our time at university a little less dry.
Major building projects
- The building of the Student Union Building, the Library and the Recreation Centre.
- VUWSA is currently undergoing a major project to upgrade and reinvigorate the Kelburn campus area. It is called the Campus Hub Project) and it will give students a vibrant campus. VUWSA has ensured that students have the chance to be consulted at all stages of the project.
- VUWSA through our Trust is providing the funding to upgrade the decapitated Boyd-Wilson Field.
- VUWSA owns VicBooks. Which means we ensure that textbook prices are moderated
- Provision of subsidized car parks and lockers at all campuses.
Roger Douglas’ Bill was not designed to free you from the chains you never knew you had, but rather a cynical attempt to silence your voice, both locally and nationally, to take collective decision making out of student hands and put it into that of the politicians.