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Motel damage highlights compulsory games funding

Motel damage highlights compulsory funding of University Games
Media release: Student Choice, 24 April 2008
Categories: education, tertiary education

Damage to a Rotorua motel during the recent University Games has highlighted
the fact that the games are largely funded through a compulsory levy imposed
on all university students, Student Choice said today.

The University Games are funded through a compulsory levy imposed on every
university student regardless of whether or not they play sport or attend
the games. The levy is collected as part of the compulsory student
association fees every university student must pay before they can enrol.

The games are organised by University Sport New Zealand (USNZ), an
organisation with fulltime staff and offices in Wellington. In 2007 USNZ
took over $223,000 from students in levies. The money students have to pay
USNZ is in addition to the fees they have to pay to fund the New Zealand
Union of Student Associations, another Wellington-based bureaucracy funded
through compulsory membership.

Student Choice spokesman Mike Heine said the cost of the games should be met
by the students who actually attend the games. "It's not fair to load the
cost of sport onto students who don't play sport and can't afford to travel
around the country to attend games," he said.

Mike Heine said USNZ also organise the snow games to be held in Wanaka in
August this year. "It's ridiculous that students who are struggling to pay
their rent should be forced to subsidise other students who want to go
skiing," Heine said.

In 2004 Massey Wellington Students Association withdrew from University
Sport New Zealand, saying it was unreasonable for the association to spend
seven percent of its income on an event attended by only one percent of
Massey Wellington students.

Heine said the unfairness of the forced subsidy was another problem caused
by compulsory membership of tertiary student associations. Students should
be free to study without being forced to join student associations and fund
student politics and sport, he said.

Student Choice promotes freedom of association through voluntary membership
of student associations.


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