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UCSA radio sale sinks more myths

Media release – Student Choice

UCSA radio sale sinks more compulsory membership myths

The decision by the compulsory University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA) to sub-licence the frequency for its radio station RDU has debunked two myths put about by supporters of compulsory student association membership, Student Choice says.

First, for years compulsory supporters have argued that compulsory membership is necessary to ensure 'student control of student affairs', yet the sale of the licence happened without consultation with UCSA members, Student Choice spokesman Mike Heine said.

UCSA president Warren Poh admitted that "there is nothing in our constitution or anything else that says we have to discuss this sort of thing with the student body." So much for student control of student affairs, Mike Heine said.

Second, compulsory supporters regularly claim that compulsory membership is essential to providing so-called services. Yet the sale of the licence is an admission that UCSA no longer wanted to subsidise RDU, an activity which some people would regard as a service.

Warren Poh admitted that funding the station was financially untenable and the sale came about after "many years of having to subsidise the station….UCSA has paid a substantial amount every year to keep RDU going."

The RDU sale is more evidence that compulsory student associations have become bureaucratic organisations controlled by student politicians who pay little attention to the interests of the people who are forced to provide the associations' income.

Moreover, Mr Heine asked, why should anyone be forced to subsidise a radio station in order to study at a university?


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