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How Come The OUSA Fee Increase Was OK?

If Otago University Students' Association president Ayesha Verrall is opposed to an increase in the Otago student health levy, she should justify the 23% ($219,000) increase in the cost of OUSA membership imposed on Otago students this year, Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said today.

"Last year the compulsory OUSA levy was $65; this year it has increased 23% to $80 and raised the cost of OUSA membership by $219,000. OUSA now costs Otago students over one million dollars a year. If student politicians are so opposed to fee increases they should stop imposing new costs on students," Mr Heine said.

"By facilitating compulsory membership of student associations the government handed these groups a blank cheque and student politicians are now filling in the figures. One million dollars is an outrageous amount of money to hand to student politicians and the Labour/Alliance government is largely responsible," Mr Heine said.

"Student politicians support compulsory membership because they know that if students had a choice most wouldn't want to pay these excessive membership fees," Mr Heine said.

"Ms Verrall is applying a double standard. She is opposed to increases in tuition and health fees but has defended the increase in the OUSA levy. Student politicians can't have it both ways - if they're against fee increases they should act to prevent the ongoing increase in student association levies," Mr Heine said.

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