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Border Arrests – What Are We, Mexico?

Border Arrests – What Are We, Mexico?

March 7, 2014– Students are once again the target of draconian measures by the Government but politicians on both sides of the debate seem to be completely missing the point. The Waikato Students’ Union believes that we are in dire need of a serious national debate around the access, cost and quality of tertiary education this year. The enforcement of a firm policy is less of an over-reaction and more of a complete distraction from the issue.

“New Zealanders from across the political spectrum need to put tertiary education at the centre of the election narrative” said WSU President Aaron Letcher.

“There are students who manage their debts, students who get second and third jobs to avoid a student loan all together and students who are actually going to struggle to pay of this debt for the rest of their lives. It’s time we started talking about it more.

“We hear stories of Students not having access to advocacy, representation or events all the time and no one is talking about it but if some kid has a house party that gets broken up at 10pm it’s front page news.”

Student debt is not the only issue Mr. Letcher wants to talk about either. Access to education, a loss of student culture, and the quality of education should all be discussed.

“Students are getting misrepresented each and every day in the media and there are real issues that extend far beyond just loans. There are institutions out there struggling to provide fundamental aspects of student culture. One student association (Massey) just announced the closure of its magazine after 80 years.

“We hear stories of Students not having access to advocacy, representation or events all the time and no one is talking about it but if some kid has a house party that gets broken up at 10pm it’s front page news.”

On the subject of the new law Letcher was brief.

“At the end of the day these measures are firm but fair. There is an implied social contract that students will repay their loans, not to mention a written and legally binding one.”

“Students need to stand up and be accountable for their decisions. It won’t make criminals out of a generation; it will make criminals out of those that break the law.”

“If you want a news story about Border arrests then you are about four weeks late to talk about Schapelle Corby. If you want to talk about real student issues then let’s talk student accommodation, advocacy, and representation on University Councils.”

It’s an election year; let’s not get distracted.

ENDS

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