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Gould Challenged Over WSU Legitimacy

Gould Challenged Over WSU Legitimacy

Following the latest problem to afflict the Waikato Student Union (WSU), Student Choice has challenged Waikato University vice chancellor Bryan Gould over the legitimacy of the compulsory association.

Yesterday the WSU took another hit as the association’s president resigned. This was the latest in a long line of problems for the compulsory WSU:
- the reimposition of compulsory membership in a dubious vote in 2000;
- 30 people voting to increase the 2001 WSU fee by 40%;
- the 2002 president elected by only 2% of students;
- a bitterly divided 2002 executive;
- criticism of the current executive over threats of violence and intimidation;
- complaints by the former president that some of the current executive’s actions were unethical and breached WSU rules; and
- ineffectual WSU work on university committees and as a watchdog on the university.

Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said Bryan Gould supported the reimposition of compulsory membership of WSU, and in the past has regarded the compulsory association as the voice of all students. “Given compulsory WSU’s abysmal track record, the vice chancellor should say whether he still believes that the association is the legitimate representative of all students at Waikato University,” Mr Heine said.

“If Mr Gould does believe that WSU is representative of all Waikato students it is an insult to the many students who want nothing to do with the association and its executive,” Clint Heine said. “If Mr Gould doesn’t believe WSU represents all students then he should recommend that the university council act to eliminate compulsory WSU membership as a pre-condition of enrolment at Waikato,” Mr Heine said.

“If it’s good enough for Mr Gould to have voluntary membership of NZVCC and good enough for Waikato staff to have voluntary membership of AUS and ASTE, it should be good enough for Waikato students to have voluntary membership of WSU,” Mr Heine said.

Student Choice promotes freedom of association through voluntary membership of student associations.

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