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Compulsory WSU Raises Its Fee By 50%

Compulsory WSU Raises Its Fee By 50%

The compulsory Waikato Students Union (WSU) has raised its fee for 2005 by 50% despite protesting against an increase in tuition fees last year, Student Choice said today.

Every fulltime Waikato University has to pay $75 plus gst a year to WSU, up from $50 in 2004, costing Waikato students over $900,000 this year. The decision to raise the compulsory WSU fee was made at a meeting in late 2004 and was voted on by a handful of students. The fee increase was then approved by the university council and was collected by the university administration at enrolment and passed to the association.

Student Choice spokesman Glenn Peoples said the fee increase was more pure hypocrisy from student politicians. In October last year WSU opposed a 3.5% increase in tuition fees, and at the time WSU president Sandy Pushpamangalam said "the decision to raise student fees was short-sighted and fails to take into account the terrible consequences of more student debt".

"Mr Pushpamangalam doesn't think students should pay 3.5% more for their education but is quite happy for them to pay 50% more to fund student politics, and has no qualms about adding to student debt in the process," Glenn Peoples said.

The increase in the compulsory WSU levy comes on top of a $60,000 loss for Orientation in 2002-03. Sources on the WSU executive indicated that the fee increase was necessary to fund a serious shortfall in WSU's accounts.

Mr Peoples said someone on the Waikato University Council needs to ask some hard questions about WSU's financial situation and stop rubber-stamping such excessive fee increases.


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