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Waikato Students Overturn Voluntary Membership

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) has today welcomed the result of the student membership referendum at the University of Waikato, which saw students voting convincingly to overturn voluntary membership. Waikato was the first students' association to experiment with voluntary membership in the late 1990s.

"We are pleased that students at Waikato have overwhelmingly signaled that they still want a student association that can provide effective representation, independent advocacy and social activities during their time at university," said Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President.

"Voluntary student membership at Waikato has been a disaster. While it was promoted at the time as a way to ensure more democratic control of the student union, and better provision of services, the complete opposite has been the case."

"Waikato have joined a national swing back to compulsory student membership. Earlier this year students at Christchurch Polytechnic, Waiariki Institute of Technology and Waikato Polytechnic have all voted compulsory in referendums."

1327 students voted in an on-campus ballot this week. 1002 votes were cast for compulsory membership, 324 for voluntary membership, with one invalid vote.

"We are pleased with this week's turnout, more students voted in this referendum than did in a postal ballot of all students earlier this year to determine their student representative on University Council," said Sam Huggard.


For further comment:

Sam Huggard NZUSA Co President 025 86 86 73

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