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President proud of progress, cautious about future

Media Release – 19 December 2008 – For Immediate Use

President proud of progress, cautious about future

As Auckland students end another year, their student president is proud of the progress that has been made for students at Auckland University. However, he is cautious about what lies ahead as he leaves office.

“We have shown that students do have power and voice through their students association,” says AUSA President David Do.

“Getting a major political party to commit to implementing a universal student allowance was a significant achievement. This has been the culmination of many years' work by student representatives past and present nationwide,” says Do.

Auckland students have made their voice heard on important issues and their President has helped lead the way. This year, AUSA and Auckland University students have, among other things;

- pushed hard for more access to student allowances with protests and marches

- slept overnight in the Box City in the Quad to mark $10 billion of student debt

- welcomed political party announcements to implement a universal student allowance

- took a strong stand against the elimination of open entry at Auckland University

- put out a call for a citizen's arrest of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice

- promoted male sexual health by walking around university in a penis suit

Students hope to work constructively with the National-led government on areas of mutual concern, such as the quality of education and ensuring student debt does not drive graduates overseas. However, students will strongly and vocally oppose cuts in government funding to students or tertiary institutions.

“Continued lack of access to student allowances and growing student debt remain unresolved issues. Summer work has dried up in the current economic climate and students are finding it much harder to save to cover the costs of study and living next year,” says AUSA President David Do.

“We hope the National government does not resort to perverse cost-cutting exercises. Education cuts just don't heal,” concludes Do.

ENDS

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