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Compulsory Student Associations To Bust Fee Freeze

Fee increases caused by moves to compulsory student association membership threaten to blow out the government's tertiary fee-freezing deals at some universities, Prebble's Rebels president Clint Heine said today.

"If a student association becomes compulsory as a result of a referendum it will inevitably put up its membership fee - this has already been admitted by a student president who supports compulsory membership. Students who thought their fees were frozen will suddenly discover that they have to pay more money to fulltime student politicians and their mates in Wellington" Mr Heine said.

"Once membership is made compulsory, there is nothing to stop student politicians hiking membership fees to pay for strippers, speedboats, ski lodges and political activism."

"At the same time Aotearoa Post-compulsory Students' Union president David Penney is fretting about institutions using student services levies as a mechanism to avoid the fee-freeze, he is actively promoting compulsory membership. It is hypocritical for Mr Penney to complain about fee increases when he is advocating a policy that will raise costs for students. As Mr Penney admits, even if institutions charge another $20 per student, we're talking about a huge amount of money."

"Student politicians complain about the cost of tertiary education yet they are more than willing to charge students for all sorts of loony left-wing political activism."

Mr Heine also said the government had exempted student association fees from the fee-freeze because of the support that compulsory associations gave to the Labour and Alliance parties. "Compulsory student associations openly endorse Labour and the Alliance. The Government is happy for students to pay money to associations because they know it will be used to support Government policies. Compulsory student associations are simply the youth wings of the Labour and Alliance parties, with tertiary students forced to cough up funding."


For more information, contact:
Clint Heine (+64) (021) 122 8544

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