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Fraud allegations reason vs compulsory membership

Fraud allegations another reason against compulsory membership

Raids on the homes of Wintec student association executive members and allegations of election fraud provide further reasons for the government to back down on its strong support of compulsory student association membership, say Student Choice.

On Wednesday 9 May, police raided the homes of three student leaders of Students @ Waikato Institute of Technology (SAWIT) in connection with allegations of serious financial mismanagement, amidst further claims of election fraud. While one of the students whose home was raided, Moana Andrew, claims to be the legitimate student association president, Nigel Chetty claims that he was elected president in October last year.

Former WPAS (Waikato Polyechnic Association of Students)student representative and Student Choice spokesperson Glenn Peoples said today that it is "shameful" that in spite of such "unbelievable antics," all students at Wintec are forced by law to join SAWIT. He said, "it's one thing to have this kind of nonsense going on at campuses at all, which is bad enough, but it's another for the minister of education to tell all students that they should , by law, fund organisations that get invlioved in this kind of shady busniness. Unless they pay grown adults to act like naughty children, they can't get an education! And then we're supposed to believe that by being forced to do so, students will have a strong and credible voice. Let's face it, this law treats students like idiots, at very least for expecting them to believe this nonsense."

Peoples said that students should be free to evaluate the importance of organisations like SAWIT for themselves before deciding whether or not to join. "It is clear that the reason groups like SAWIT fear voluntary membeship is that they don't have a hope of being able to prove their worth to students."

Student Choice upholds voluntary membership of student associations on the gounds of freedom of association.

ENDS

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