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WSU must reveal all plans for $148,000 surplus

The Waikato Students' Union (WSU) should reveal all the details surrounding the association's $148,000 budget surplus including its plans to spend almost $95,000 on an unidentified project, Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said today.

Mr Heine said that the 2001 WSU budget shows a surplus of $148,000, which includes $94,476 from the proceeds of the sale of a house previously owned by the association. Notes to the budget say that the money from the house sale "should not really be counted as part of our surplus", and says the money will "be set aside for future use on a project for University Students on Campus". However the project is not priced or detailed in the budget.

Mr Heine said the proceeds of the sale must be treated as part of the surplus and the project has to be explained. "WSU can't just put this money away without gaining their members' approval through the budget process. Students have a right to know how WSU spends their money, but by failing to detail the project the association is keeping students in the dark," he said.

Mr Heine said it is possible WSU intend to use the house proceeds to purchase an FM radio frequency and broadcasting facilities. "This would be a dubious venture because radio is a risky business and Hamilton already has a highly competitive radio market", he said.

Mr Heine said WSU's large surplus was a direct result of compulsory membership of the association reintroduced this year. "At the time the Labour-Alliance government - with support of the vice-chancellors, AUS and student associations - was reimposing compulsory membership on Waikato students, we warned that it would give exorbitant amounts of money to student politicians", Mr Heine said.

"This unexplained item of expenditure shows the government gave the student politicians at WSU a blank cheque and they're now filling in their own figures," Mr Heine said.

ends

For more information contact:

Clint Heine Spokesman Student Choice NZ clint@politician.com 021 122 8544

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