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The Right gets facts on Compulsory vote Wrong

The Right gets facts on Compulsory vote Wrong

"Recent media comments made about the University of Waikato students' membership referendum by the local Prebble's Rebels and Student Choice groups have been factually incorrect and misleading", said Andrew Campbell, Co President elect of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA).

The two groups have commented on the displacement of the current student representative on University council in favour of a Waikato Student Union representative; lack of checks and balances in the campaign rules; and the timing of the referendum.

"The media statements by these two groups shows they clearly have no understanding of the legislation governing students' associations", said Campbell.

"The Education Amendment Act (2000) clearly states that where student membership is compulsory, that association shall have a seat on Council. This is far more democratic than the current arrangement for voluntary campuses. The Waikato student rep has no obligation to vote on behalf of students, or even to listen to them. This rep can not be removed even they vote blatantly against students' needs." said Campbell.

"With regard to their criticism of referendum process, the legislation is very clear that the University Council, and not the student association, determines the conduct of the referendum, as has happened at Waikato. Claims that many students will not get to vote because of it being study week are wrong. Even during study week, there remains a significant number of students present on campus, preparing for upcoming examinations," said Campbell.

"The WSU has been voluntary for three years, and in that time it has been decimated by mismanagement and has seen a massive decline in its ability to offer services. Students are now aware that the Voluntary experiment has not worked and that a return to Compulsory membership this week is the best option for Waikato" concluded Campbell.


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