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VSM Even Bigger Joke For Waikato Students

Education Action Group

“It is interesting to see Student Choice’s spokesperson, Clint Heine (also spokesperson for other undercover ACT Party publicity stunts), highlight problems at Waikato Student Union. I would have though WSU’s problems would be the last thing Mr Heine would want to be public.

“WSU followed ACT’s voluntary membership model several years ago. What had been a reasonably good students’ association was virtually destroyed in a few short years. Student services languished, sports clubs and societies vanished, independent student advocacy was lost, food prices on campus skyrocketed, Orientation didn’t happen.

“It is no surprise students though of this voluntary organization as a joke. A very expensive joke - six million dollars of assets built up by many years of members was conveniently disposed of by a few pro-voluntary executives.

“WSU has only returned to collective membership last year. Since then they have gone a long way to rebuilding what they once had and ensuring students’ needs are catered for at Waikato.

“Mr Heine has never come to terms with the large defeat voluntary membership suffered when students were given this choice in a series of national referendums. Students have overwhelmingly shown their choice is for collective membership.

“Voluntary membership was never about student choice. It started in Australia by a political party who wanted to end student voices of criticism of their policies.

Mark Baxter
Education Action Group
PO Box 1346, Dunedin

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