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Students nationwide urge National to be Rational

Students nationwide urge National to be Rational

Students around the country are today urging National to be ‘rational’ and stop supporting ACT’s Bill to end universal membership of student’s associations. Rallies were scheduled to coincide with an originally scheduled Member’s Day in Parliament when the Bill was due to be debated further.

“Students' associations are vital community institutions, and are important in ensuring a fair deal for students, quality teaching, and a great student experience. ACT’s Bill is set to undermine and devastate everything good that these institutions do. The Bill will remove the right of students to ensure that there is a mandated student representative organization on their campus,” says NZUSA co-President Max Hardy.

National should look at ways to strengthen associations and their work, but instead National is supporting an ACT Party Bill that will do the opposite,” says Hardy.

“Students care about the quality of their education, the services they receive, and the independent representation they need and deserve. If passed, this Bill will wreck services for students on campus, take the heart out of student life, undermine an independent representative voice, and downgrade the quality of New Zealand’s tertiary education system,” says NZUSA co-President David Do.

Today’s events [1] will follow various rallies around the country [2]

Hundreds of students protested Nationals continuing support of the Bill when the Prime

Minister visited Otago University on the 5th

Hundreds of students rallied at Lincoln University against the Bill on the 11th, and students at

Auckland University protested the Prime Minister there.

Students also rallied outside the National party conference in Wellington this past Saturday

“National still has an opportunity to put forward a reasonable and more enduring alternative to ACT's extreme Bill, so that freedom of association is ensured and associations can continue the valuable services and representation they provide for students everyday,” says Do.

“Students are urging National to listen to the 98% of submissions opposing the Bill and put forward a better alternative to ACT’s Bill. Lets work together on what students want, not what ACT wants,” concludes Do.

More information follows: [1] Here is a list of events and activities associations will be doing today.

For more information please contact the local association (http://students.org.nz/index.php?page=links):

Auckland Banner painting and other banners to be unveiled at a VSM-themed student forum at 1pm. Students will be encouraging John Key to come to AUSA to see how VSM works in real life.

Hamilton SAWIT are doing BBQ with information and a gorilla in a cage with nowhere to go – much like what could happen to students without a functioning association

Palmerston North Students at AS@U will be banner-painting and having a BBQ EXMSS will be launching an online campaign through its website, Facebook, and blogposts

Wellington VUWSA will be holding a ‘Wiinter wonderland’ with BBQ, soup and photo protest in the clubs lounge. MAWSA will doing similar activities, but having biscuits and hot drinks in the common room.

Lincoln LUSA will be banner painting and a BBQ will be held. Last week hundreds of students turned out at a similar rally there.

Dunedin OUSA is planning to ‘cream John Key’ in stocks at a festival-like event on campus from 11:30am to 1:30pm

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