VSM Reaction

September 25th, 2009 at 8:32 am by David Farrar

vsm

A snap of Sir Roger with Salient Editor , showing off one of the badges funded out of compulsory student association fees that say “Leave us alone Roger”.

The irony is that it is fact the compulsory student associations that won’t leave students alone. And that they spend their compulsory funds on stupid badges.

I doubt anyone actually believes the press releases from various student unions, but just in case. First of all OPSA:

ACT’s bill differs from previous attempts at voluntary membership. It will not only force voluntary membership on all campuses irrespective; but it is essentially the same as the “full-blown” type tried in recently in Australia, where institutions are not allowed to charge a compulsory services levy and use this to buy services from students’ associations.

The bill is in fact very much in line with the three previous bills in the 1990s. They all allowed individual students to decide whether or not to join. The current law was a last minute compromise by NZ First.

The issue of service levies has arisen, because it has become de facto compulsory membership in some areas with an institution funding an association through this back door.

Then Te Mana Ākonga:

“The National government have expressed previously that they would like better outcomes for Māori in education. TMA questions how this view is possible if they take the reliable tools we have, this being our voice and the right to express our autonomy” said Poutu

Except Maori students do not have autonomy. They are forced to join the compulsory student associations. Post , Maori student associations could actually compete for members with the main student associations. Students should have a choice as to whether to join any or all of the main campus association, their faculty association, a Maori association if they are Maori.

Then Albany Students Association:

The Albany Students’ Association, a not-for-profit incorporated society that currently serves over 7,000 Massey University Albany campus students, relies heavily on student membership levies and, without them, would be economically crippled. “Contrary to what the ACT Party is suggesting, students are able to opt out of membership if they do not want to be a part of their students’ association, but most of them appreciate and support the fact that we provide student-focused services such as Orientation; student publications, independent advocacy advisors, and welfare services.

They contradict themselves in the same paragraph. They claim with compulsion they would be crippled, yet also claim students can opt out and the fact most don’t is because they do such a good job.

do the same:

“Independent representation, advocacy and support, sporting and cultural clubs and social events such as Orientation would all be under threat in the unlikely event that this Bill succeeds, and all in the name of choice – which already exists!” said Blair.  …

New Zealand would do well to heed the lessons from the disaster that recently unfolded in Australia, which saw associations collapse nationwide under a voluntary system, …

I think the SAs must think MPs are morons. They keep claiming there already is choice, yet also claim that voluntary membership will see associations collapse.

What they really mean is that students have choice, in the Cuban sense of choice. A Claytons choice.

NZUSA vows to fight to keep students in the driving seat and interfering politicians out, and to win the battle to protect universal membership and retain quality advocacy and representation for New Zealand students. They deserve nothing less.

Oh really NZUSA should feature in a George Orwell novel. Their fight to stop students being able to decide whether or not to join a student assocaition they label as fighting to keep students in the driving seat.

It sounds like apartheid era South Africa’s defence of the “homelands” on the basis of keeping Black South Africans in the driving seat.

And then they use the Orwellian term universal membership and call it something to be protected. This is like calling armed forces conscription “universal service” and pledging to fight for the right fo young people to be conscripted!

Finally they push the myth they represent New Zealand students. They do not. No one body can represent NZ students. Students have diverse views on issues, and students should be able to decide to fund the views they agree with.

The CTU also joins the fray. Yes the Council of Trade Unions. Their members lost the right to have compulsory membership in the 1980s but they battle for student unions to remain the last hold out

president Helen Kelly said the bill guaranteed the loss of essential student support services.

“Student associations provide critical services such as student loan advice, welfare support, advocacy services, sporting and cultural clubs and facilities that are all essential for student welfare,” she said.

“The loss of these services would be incalculable.”

What a load of nonsense. Student Loan advice?? VUWSA (for example) couldn’t even balance its own budget for most of the decade. Their history of financial mismanagement would make them as suitable to be student loan advisors, as it would be Charlie Sheen to give monogamy advice.

Advocacy services, means advocating for Labour and the Greens – not an essential service. Students should get to choose their advocates.

And is the CTU really claiming that sporting and cultural club are “essential” for student welfare? Oh my God what would we do without the chess club.

Of course that also assumes these clubs would disappear under VSM. They won’t. They just won’t get grants to subsidise (generally) their travel. But the vast majority of clubs will carry on – with students deciding to join and participate in them – as they do now.

Tags: , , , ,

55 Responses to “VSM Reaction”

  1. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    Piggies look like they’re panicking the trough is drying up…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Willie_Escaped (29 comments) says:

    Farrar, I don’t often agree with you. But as with the Winston donations matter, you’ve absolutely nailed this one.

    Well done.

    After reading you demolish their arguments in 5 minutes like this, I feel real empathy for the poor guys who have to advocate for compulsory.

    They’re wandering onto a modern battle field with plastic airplane knives.

    P.S You reckon old Roger hit Kitty Oshea’s after the VSM event?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Rob Salmond (260 comments) says:

    Holy crap DPF – your rhetorometer is dialed all the way to 11 on this one! No hysteria on your side, right? Oh no. It is just that, according to you, student associations are a cross between Fidel’s Cuba, Orwell’s Big Brother, and apartheid-era South Africa. Very credible.

    In addition, you appear oblivious to the difference between opt-in systems and opt-out systems. That difference, which manifests itself most visibly in the famous free-rider problem, is what makes many of the SA statements that you are calling contradictions in fact perfectly reasonable and consistent arguments.

    You do not have to agree with their arguments, I accept that. But stupid hyperbole and invented contradictions are not good looks for you.

    [DPF: I compare their arguments to Cuba and Orwell, not them. And their arguments are so bad they deserve it.

    And the status qup is not opt out. It it not opt out when you have to plead to be allowed out (ie not automatic) and you don't get your money back]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    Is your student funded union salary about to dry up Rob?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    Brilliantly fisked David. Talk about panic at the trough. It makes you wonder what planet these people live on if they think that media releases like the ones they sent out are going to fool anyone.

    The submissions to the select committee are going to just as entertaining.

    It would be comedy if this issue wasn’t so serious – what frustrates me is how many people will read my claim that this is serious and not get why I say it is so.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Graeme Edgeler (3,276 comments) says:

    In addition, you appear oblivious to the difference between opt-in systems and opt-out systems.

    As do students’ associations.

    DPF might well accept an actual opt-out system (go to the registry, write your name and student I.D. on a piece of paper, get a refund in the mail/paid back to your student loan) as a compromise. Maybe. Okay, probably not. But still =)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. beerguts (20 comments) says:

    Completely agree David. I started recently as a Massey University extramural student and was quite annoyed in having to contribute to something that presented no value to me.

    The challenge for these organisations will be to attract members by actually proving the value they bring to a potential member – seems a fair and reasonable requirement to me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. dime (9,658 comments) says:

    i hated the student association when i was at uni. being forced to join a left wing group is just not cool.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    Unbelievable, how can so many of what should be some of the brightest of their generation allowing the politically motivated minority among them to rip off and mismanage THEIR money in this way. WTF has it got to do with the CTU apart from short listing their future recruits.
    Very good scab ripping post DPF.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Fisiani (992 comments) says:

    If student associations were voluntary and students could choose to join then the fabulous services they provide would be funded by their enthusiastic members. Yeah right! Flying pigs alert!
    Currently every student is forced to pay through the nose to have a service they never asked for and never wanted and which often works against them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    Currently every student is forced to pay through the nose to have a service they never asked for and never wanted and which often works against them.

    That’s not really true. Firstly, it’s not so much through the nose as a few hundred bucks tagged on to tens of thousands of dollars of student loan. No one notices it.

    Secondly, SAs usually work for students in ways students take for granted or don’t even realise.

    While I believe SAs should be voluntary, this is not a case of masses of students finally overcoming a problem that’s bothered them for years – it’s the case of a minority of politicians and activists getting upset on behalf of the uncomplaining masses.

    But that’s okay. That’s what Private Members’ Bills often are.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Seán (397 comments) says:

    Theoretically I am in favour of VSM, the arguments seem to stack up. But the other day I was discussing the matter with a mate (we are both 34 and went to UoC 1993-97) and I should point out that he generally takes a rightist POV as well. But he looked at the practicalities…okay so the Student Associations (SA) may be full of freaks and other lefties, but there were benefits for all for the mere $95 it cost us back then. The SA did organise social events and also activities at lunchtimes which we had the opportunity to enjoy. We may not have gone to all of them but at least we had the opportunity. And of course there are the clubs which for most don’t take on a political slant. There was also of course the weekly rag, always something for everyone. So maybe it’s not so bad after all despite the compulsory nature of it. Did I mention orientation week? And we all know students, they don´t like parting with scarce cash, especially if they don’t have to. In such a small market I have to doubts that all of a sudden there would be dynamic choices of associations open to the students should VSM be implemented. I reality I can see all forms of student organised activities and bodies dying out altogether (maybe not immediately, but certainly eventually). So this may well get rid the (mainly leftist) political elements of student associations, but it will also get rid of the fun (not associated to politics but to other matters they organise). I guess we have to accept that student politics will always be more left-leaning. Its a fact of life, and we also know many will see the light as their life experiences grow. But here we are talking about people in their late teens and early twenties, and I prefer to let the beer flow despite the machinations of a few opinionated lesbians and Joels.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. beerguts (20 comments) says:

    @ Ryan

    There should be no problem making it optional then – if only the minority don’t see the value the masses will still join.

    Just because people don’t complain doesn’t mean they like the status quo. It’s probably more of a realisation that it’s compulsory and complaining will make no difference.

    Most people don’t like income tax yet don’t complain en masse as they know it would make no difference – but make it voluntary and see what happens!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Rob Salmond (260 comments) says:

    nickb – No. But thanks for playing.

    Graeme – Certainly I agree with your assessment that DPF would likely not go for any compromise that amounted to fiddling with the arrangements on the current opt-out provisions. Not after he’d gone and likened SAs to some of the world’s most reviled dictatorial regimes…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    There should be no problem making it optional then – if only the minority don’t see the value the masses will still join.

    That’s not quite what I meant. I mean only a minority actually care about this issue.

    If the benefits were clear enough and the ability to sign up simple enough (such as a tick box on an enrolment form/website), I think a lot of people would sign up, yes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Rob Salmond (260 comments) says:

    Oh boy, here comes the spinning retreat from DPF:

    “DPF: I compare their arguments to Cuba and Orwell, not them.”

    WTF?! According to this sophistry, I could say: “Such and such argument that DPF makes is exactly like arguments made by David Duke of the KKK. Not that I am suggesting the two people are alike in any way. Except for the way they think and argue and make policy proposals about political issues, which are exactly alike. But that’s not saying they’re alike as people. Just as thinkers and communicators and analysts.” That is a stupid argument, and deep down DPF I think you know it. Just concede (again) that you massively over-reached with the hyperbole (again) – just like you did last week with the whole Phil Goff / Clayton Weatherston comparison.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Rob – you don’t get it do you? You get all upset that David uses rhetoric and yet the entire compulsory movement has been saying that a student union is like a Government, and that one can’t opt out of paying taxes. Why would they equate what is a glorified left wing social club to a government?

    Student unions have failed badly in their obligations to students. They have deliberately not informed students about the conscientious objection option that is available to all students. Only now are they mentioning it to back up their curious claims that they have always been able to opt out. Rob seems to think that students would be happy to go through the motions of begging cap in hand to leave their union, only to not get their money back.

    The best you can do is adopt the Clare Curran school of thought and change the language. Opt in and Opt out is bullshit as is the lame universal nonsense. Call it for what it is, compulsory. Students must join in order to get a degree…students must fund a radio station to get a degree, students must fund their associations political activities in order to get a degree. ..etc etc. All Rob and his mates tell us in response is if we don’t like it we don’t go to University.

    How many countries in the world currently have nationwide compulsory student membership? Why is it that NZUSA is voluntary?

    Sort your shit out Rob. I wonder how much you personally have at stake if student unions go voluntary? I know Labour are shit scared as many of their MPs have been in the trough since Uni.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Rob Salmond (260 comments) says:

    Clint:

    1. I’ll look forward to the day you decry DPF’s silliness just as hard as you decry the SA language (and BTW I agree that any “we are just like a government” claims that people might make are OTT).

    2. You say: “Students must join in order to get a degree…students must fund a radio station to get a degree, students must fund their associations political activities in order to get a degree. ..etc etc. All Rob and his mates tell us in response is if we don’t like it we don’t go to University.” None of those statements are true, as you well know. What does it say about your arguments when you have to resort this quickly to simply making shit up?

    3. You wonder: “I wonder how much you personally have at stake if student unions go voluntary?” Here is your answer: Nothing. Sometimes people take policy positions without regard for their personal material situation. Amazing, isn’t it!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. bobux (349 comments) says:

    Rob Salmond

    Care to advance some actual arguments in favour of compulsory membership, or is easier to just bitch about others having strong opinions on the matter?

    For what its worth, I had no interest in politics at Uni but quickly noticed that the Student Union couldn’t organise a lie-down in a morgue. After one particularly shambolic ‘cultural event’ accompanied by mass vomiting, I dropped by their office and asked if it was possible to leave the Union. I was told that it was not possible, and that there were no exemptions.

    Wasn’t until years later that I realised ‘my’ representatives were lying to me.

    But I guess its all for a good cause, eh Rob.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    Why would they equate what is a glorified left wing social club to a government?

    Because the social club was elected by the students?

    Student unions have failed badly in their obligations to students.

    So vote for someone else?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    I’d like to offer my perspective on some observable differences between voluntary and compulsory students associations.

    The example I’d like to use is the Society of Otago University Law Students (SOULS) vs. the Otago University Students Association.

    1. Membership:
    SOULS: Voluntary
    OUSA: Compulsory

    2. Advocacy:
    SOULS: Direct advocacy on behalf of Law students to the Dean
    OUSA: Sporadic campaigns for the downfall of capitalism to nobody in particular

    3. Publications:
    SOULS: Accession – fantastic magazine, with interesting articles on topical issues in Law, written by law students
    OUSA: Critic – trashy student rag with fuckall interesting in it except the letters page

    4. Voter Turnout:
    SOULS: Virtually every SOULS member is on a first name basis with all the candidates, high voter turnout
    OUSA: The candidates themselves vote. Anyone else who turns up usually votes “no confidence”

    5. Events:
    SOULS: Puts on the best events on campus, hands down. Law Ball sold out in 30 minutes this year. Finalists’ dinner will be at Larnach Castle.
    OUSA: Umm, I think they have a white-sheet-wearing pissup at some stage. Usually ends in drunken violence and vandalism.

    So, as a Law student I know which association I’d rather belong to. People actually want to join SOULS because SOULS offer great services. Believe it or not, people actually queue up to pay their SOULS registration and every dollar is spent voluntarily.

    [DPF: Great example. When I was at Otago I was President of the Commerce Students Association and we had over 2,000 members. In fact I think we had more members than there were commerce students :-)]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. beerguts (20 comments) says:

    Then you graduate and become money sucking A-SOULS. lol!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Jeff83 (771 comments) says:

    I love the hypocracy DPF at times. You say Labour lost the plot cause they lost the focus, being the economy getting caught up on small ‘Wellington’ issues. However then we keep going down these roads where the only people who really care, are political idealists.

    The status quo works, but whatever I really dont care, nor do most people. I do see both arguments and I think Auckland Uni is better for having its current arrangements of VSM but with a compulsory levy for services it bids for, however I dont really care. All its going to do however is be seen as a bit of a waste of time on Wellington idealistic issues.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Fuck’s sake, what’s wrong with just having a tickbox on the enrolment form ? The student unions can stick posters up along the enrolment queue advertising their services and anyone who’s impressed can tick the box. Markets exist. Deal with it and move along.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Then you graduate and become money sucking A-SOULS. lol!!!

    I’m not a Lawyer, I’m a Mathematician with a Law degree :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Great 10-45 post Christopher, very illuminating.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. senzafine (455 comments) says:

    LOL! Oh how I love to see the unionists squirm!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    So when you say snouts int he trough DPF, I take it you’ll be giving back your honoroarium that you collected whilst on OUSA? And after all the BS comment I’ve seen from the right, why is CTU not allowed to comment? It’s up to who prints it to decide what’s relevent.

    As far as I’m concerned paying OUSA is fuckall for orientation and someone who isn’t me to organise cool events that I might go to, maybe not, but it makes campus feel shitload better than if it were not there. I love how you all feel qualified to make this decision on our behalf without say, invoking another referendum like last time, where @ Otago you got told to fuck off? What are you afraid of, wingnuts? That the people who this law will affect actually don’t want it so you appeal to right-wing ex members to fart off on how oppressed they were by their students association? Smells like BS to me, just like how you got so up in arms about interpreting being told that if you badly bet your kid you might go to jail as “anti-smacking”.

    Anyway, carry on, your arguments stand up as long as a hookers panties.

    [DPF: I never got paid a cent from OUSA. I was SRC Chair which was unpaid. I also was appointed to two two year terms on the Uni Council. This meant I was on around six to eight University committees which took up many hours a month. All unpaid. I was also President of my faculty and hostel student associations. And guess what - all unpaid again.

    You can apologise anything we have stopped laughing at your lame attempt]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    the ironically named “somewhatthoughtful”: “That the people who this law will affect actually don’t want it ”

    Damn you lot have trouble being logically coherent. Bit worrying if standards are so low at universities that people who can’t construct a rational argument at all are getting in. “the people who this law will affect ” are the ones who DON’T want to be in the union. The law doesn’t affect the people who DO want to join the union, because they’d join it anyway, their situation doesn’t change. The people who this law affects, the ones who want a choice, DO want it. So given that you put so much importance on the wishes of the people who the law affects, can I expect to see you campaigning for VSM now ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    why is CTU not allowed to comment?

    Why did they feel that they should? I imagine some due-paying members would be wondering the same.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    Put it away, I’ll campaign for STUDENTS to have a choice through STUDENT referenda and a relaxing of opt-out restrictions. Not for ACT on campus to make the choice for us.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    the ironically named somewhatthoughtful –

    Again with the complete inability to process logic. How does GIVING you a choice which you currently don’t have, equate to “MAKING THE CHOICE FOR YOU” ? Seriously, you would be laughed off an intermediate school debating team with your grasp of argument.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    DPF: That’s fine, I can accept when I’m wrong. I was told by somone who I thought was a reliable source that you were on the OUSA exec when you were here. I apologise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. jks (30 comments) says:

    It just doesn’t seem right to be forced to join an organisation. The only thing about VSM that troubles me is the possible demise of Salient because I can’t see many people remaining with VUWSA if they had the choice. There seems to be a lot of petty politics among exec members, and from what I’ve read in Salient Jasmine Freemantle is just about the only one who does any work. The other major gripe I have with VUWSA is all their meetings to pass motions, roll members, etc. seem to occur at 1pm on Wednesdays, a time when I happen to have a lecture.

    [DPF: Craccum is doing fine under VSM]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I just don’t understand why Parliament has to get involved. If enough students were pissed off enough, they can do what students do…well, used to do when I was one…and have demos, sit-ins, sit-outs, flag burnings, fire bombings, overturn a few cars, and all that harmless youthful fun stuff. After all, a night or two in the cells was a badge of honour in my day!

    What are we breeding these days? Wimps? If we were like today’s kids, Albert Park would still be out of bounds to gatherings of the masses!

    Anyway, I can understand why ACT is in boots and all because, as demonstrated by their unrelentingly juvenile policies, they never left their uni days behind, including the all too common infatuation with the sexy but sadly misguided Ayn Rand!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. peteremcc (341 comments) says:

    somewhatthoughtful,

    1) VSM is about students choosing for themselves, as individuals.

    2) Voting on it would mean that the majority decides.

    3) ACT don’t believe the majority should be able to decide whether someone gets a fundamental human right.

    Compulsory membership was imposed by Parliament, because the students’ associations and universities had friends in cabinet.

    This bill restores things to their natural state where people are free to choose what organisations they belong to.

    Imagine National passed a law tomorrow, saying that every student had to be a member of the young nats and pay them money. Would Labour be imposing a law on students when they repealed it?

    What about getting rid of the military draft? You’re arguing that people are being forced to not be forced to do something…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Rob – Don’t keep making it up. Students *do* have to pay their levies every year in order to get their degree. Student associations have for years not informed students of the conscientious objection option at enrollment, so for them they have been forced to join an association. This means they *DO* have to fund radio stations and media, decolonisation workshops and anything else their association decides to spend it on.

    If a student does apply for conscientious objection it doesn’t mean they get granted it, they have to write a submission and get to speak to the student association and council first and answer their questions. It isn’t enough that you have to disagree with their political opinions – you really need a good solid case. If you get accepted (and I have yet to see any successful cases and I have been playing this game for almost as long as DPF) then you DON’T get your money back.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is Robs idea of democracy. Take a bow chump.

    Jeff83 – the current law does NOT work. Where is the evidence that anybody has been able to get out? Not one. Currently the referendum is run by the University and the association who cannot (as proven in the 99 referendums) run a unbiased campaign. OUSA spent in excess of $30k of students money on the anti VSM campaign that year.

    “somewhatthoughtful” Wrong on so many points. Who is feeding you this nonsense? OUSA are one of the worst associations, (VUWSA being the worst) for their political campaigning. The current set up suits them well because nobody can opt out now and the apathy levels at student meetings are so bad, nobody knows anything about it. And why should all students be funding you to get pissed at O week? There are loads of pubs that run all sorts of good O week events.

    Luc Hansen- *most* students go to University to get a degree and not spend months planning to overthrow the student association. Put it this way, I wager you would never get your money back if you tried to. Never ever.

    JKS – Why should students be funding Salient in the first place. This is available throughout Wellington, so in effect students are funding a left wing “community” newspaper – and have to in order to get their degree. Your example of Jasmine Freemantle is a good one, she is another ex Workers Party far left loony. You should read all about her here: http://www.vuwsaworkersparty.blogspot.com/

    How many other countries have compulsory student union membership? Rob? Anybody?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Graeme Edgeler (3,276 comments) says:

    3) ACT don’t believe the majority should be able to decide whether someone gets a fundamental human right.

    @Peter. I call BS.

    I think you’ve met David Garrett :-)

    He’d abolish the right to a fair trial* for certain defendants on a popular vote.

    *this includes: Art. 14 ICCPR
    “In the determination of any criminal charge … everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality: … to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it”;

    s 24(f) NZBORA:
    “Everyone who is charged with an offence— … Shall have the right to receive legal assistance without cost if the interests of justice so require and the person does not have sufficient means to provide for that assistance”

    etc.

    How many other countries have compulsory student union membership? Rob? Anybody?

    @Clint – I answered this on the other thread:

    Australia obviously did until reasonably recently.

    Wikipedia suggests Canada, Norway and Sweden do.

    Many students’ associations in the US receive money from all students at the university, with no option of opting out. Although many of these are in the nature of compulsory student government, rather than forced membership of an association.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Thanks Graeme – Sweden, the great architect of the voucher education system you say? Brilliant. Good old Wiki.

    Lets look at these examples. – (In Sweden) Student union membership is compulsory according to law, although many students never see another face of the students’ union than that of the party organiser. And it only costs no more than 40 euro.

    If only that was the case in NZ.

    The Norwegian NSU sounds a little like NZUSA, but better organised :) http://www.nsu.no/Default.aspx?tabid=761

    In Canada there are two organisations – Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and The Canadian Federation of Students, which is the largest. There are loads of Wiki pages dedicated to the turmoil attributed to both organisations, the infighting and their massive wealth. The Federation also runs a services section,(CFS-Services) that takes care of its discount cards and health and they also own a travel agency (Canadian Universities Travel Service). It sounds like a bloody monstrosity.

    Everywhere else – the UK, US, China, Denmark etc etc all have voluntary membership. The US system has its flaws too but it does not at present have policies that reflect NZUSAs ambitions for all students.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Graeme Edgeler (3,276 comments) says:

    Sweden, the great architect of the voucher education system you say? Brilliant.

    Would you support the Swedish voucher system in New Zealand?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    You mean this definition from Wikipedia Graeme?

    “””””In Sweden, the 1991-1994 government introduced a voucher system at primary and secondary school level, enabling free choice among public and independent schools (friskolor) in the community.

    The voucher is ‘virtual’ and worth the average cost for a place at a state school. Restrictions prevent private schools from charging top-up fees or selecting students, creating true equality of access. There is no user charging involved at all or pupil selection, making it as universal as state schools.

    Over 10% of Swedish pupils were enrolled in private schools in 2008 and the number is growing fast. Sweden is internationally known for this innovative model that provides pupils with the opportunity to choose the school they prefer.

    Per Unckel, Governor of Stockholm and former Minister of Education, sums up the advantages of Swedish system: “Education is so important that you can’t just leave it to one producer. Because we know from monopoly systems that they do not fulfill all wishes.”””””

    Free choice? The end of school monopolies? Sign us up now! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Graeme Edgeler (3,276 comments) says:

    yeah – mostly just this bit “Restrictions prevent private schools from charging top-up fees or selecting students, creating true equality of access.” though.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Fair enough too buddy. ACT are all about equality of access. :)

    Ask anyone from ACT, we love it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    ““somewhatthoughtful” Wrong on so many points. Who is feeding you this nonsense? OUSA are one of the worst associations, (VUWSA being the worst) for their political campaigning. The current set up suits them well because nobody can opt out now and the apathy levels at student meetings are so bad, nobody knows anything about it. And why should all students be funding you to get pissed at O week? There are loads of pubs that run all sorts of good O week events.”

    Personally, I’m not ideologically opposed to freedom of association and I understand all the arguments put forward thus far. However I think being part of a students association is part of being at university. Excuse me for being old fashioned, but I think well-run SA’s are important for making the university experience better and, despite their bloat and intra-org BS OUSA do a good job (they also enable your beloved souls to exist a little easier too…). If voluntary membership becomes compulsory then I hope OUSA can pull finger and generate enough income to keep running a good events department that are capable of convincing international acts to play here over o-week (I’m sorry but what type of bogan are you that you think that anything the DN pubs organise even compares with what goes on @ the Union hall?). Of course they probably won’t and campus will become that wee bit duller, however at the end of the day this is natural and I’ve got better things to do (like complete my dissertation and graduate) than argue over something which I won’t care about as (hopefully) the next uni I attend will be in the US or UK and will prob have VSM and I won’t notice.

    i truly belive that I get value for money from my 130/ annum to OUSA in just the campus not feeling so sterile alone, however would I pay if no one else did? Probably not. I still think it’s a tradgedy that a small group of ideologues are trying to frame the debate in terms of the costs rather than the benefits, but hell NZUSA is such a clusterfuck that when they’re supposed to be counter-spinning they’re advocating for fuck-knows-what. To sum my position: I’m anti-VSM, but wtf can you do and care that much when it’s being handled out of the control of anyone it’s going to affect? Peace.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    You’re opposed to a “small bunch of ideologues” framing the debate? Are you talking about NZUSA? The workers party? Labour? OUSA? VUWSA? I’m afraid I can’t remember how many bunches of ideologues that have run this debate for their interests for decades. If you are happy to pay ytour $130 to join then I hope you’ll join again next year and for other years.

    Why should all students subsidise your drinking? And the other pubs have done a damn good job in the past for O week. In my final year we had a different every day at a different pub – I won a fridge, beers got free T shirts, free food… sheesh. Better than any OUSA event and I paid for it all myself (well apart from the pub)

    OUSA and other associations have had so long to protect itself for students best interests and chose to instead ignore it. Their selfishness and political posturing has meant that if it does suffer under VSM they have themselves to blame and we can point the fingers not at ACT or the Nats, but at each and every exec member who took students money to spend on their political misdeeds. Students should be pissed off at OUSA for squandering their association.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    It’s nothing to do with the drinking in o-week clint, however if that’s all you want from entertainment then you’ll never understand anyway. I’m glad you got value from the pub events, you obviously enjoy the kiwi bogan drinking culture. Some of us (like the people that sell out gigs like liam finn) don’t just want to go to the cook and watch rugby, but this is a personal choice thing. You’re a bogan and you’re obviously happy with that, and I don’t expect you to sponsor me trying to see quality shows which have been UNDERWRITTEN (not paid for or subsidised, they make money on them then use that money to run other things during the year) by OUSA.

    OUSA I think have actually been quite god for students intersts. They protested the CoC as well as they were able, they advocate for lower fees and run the class rep system, allowing student feedback on their classes. But this is a circular argument and in this forum I’m obviously on the wrong side of it. You’re not going to change my mind with your “but the cook gave me a fridge!” argument and I’m not about to change your mind with my argument for OUSA costing fuckall and making an Otago Uni experience better. Also if you follow OUSA it has been doing a lot with VSM in its foresight and doesn’t fuck up half as much as VUWSA. If it weren’t for the SGM system and it’s ability to mandate silly reps I think it would be a great governance arrangement.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Ha ha, I have never been called a bogan but if you call going out, making friends, enjoying a few drinks and listening to all sorts of music while getting involved with the local community “Bogan” then I will wear that badge and question seriously the quality of education you recieved in Dunedin! I take offence that you suggest I went to the Cook…outrageous, I never did such a thing for O week.

    Thankfully you have just unwound your argument as soon as you meantioned the SGMs. What a joke. These usually never meet their quorums and OUSA members have to count people in the area having their lunch as participants in order to legitimise their meetings. If this is the kind of democracy you’re so splendidly proud of then I bet you’re also a vocal cheerleader of the Zimbabwe elections :) Yeah, Mugabe all the way hey? Sheesh.

    You presume that students will not want to get involved ever again on any level because they don’t have a union to pay their levies to. That is a little OTT don’t you think? Surely if people value OUSA as much as you obviously do then what do you have to fear? Class reps don’t cost anything – so what are you on about? If students think that OUSA membership enriches their university experience then what do you have to fear? Losing a couple thousand members will only make OUSA stronger rather than weaker as you’ll have a higher proportion of members who LIKE OUSA rather than the situation now where apathy rules the roost.

    And yes, OUSA pays students money to get bands to play (come on, get a better example than Liam Finn!!). However if I am participating at a quiz evening or watching a band play in the Octagon – why am I being asked to pay for that too? Didn’t OUSA also undrewrite the organisation and running of the toga parade on George Street? I am sure you were most happy to help fund that eh? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    By the way I thought you were worried about these ideologues? OUSA has been run by the same types of people who are friends of friends and politically aligned as similar to Labour, Greens, Alliance, Socialist Workers etc for decades. Smack in the face of political changes in the NZ political landscape these same people have advocated for free education, universal allowances and all sorts of far left policy and you want to call the “other side” the ideologues???

    At least the other side lives in the real world. You know, the world where you pay taxes, don’t get handouts, WORK for a living and best of all – are NOT forced to join their trade union. Ahh freedom.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Paul Williams (877 comments) says:

    Clint/Graeme, the Swedish school system is essentially incomparable with NZ’s not least of all since, until recently, they had only state-schools, not independents or privates and nothing like the local accountability.

    ACT trot this out all the time; if it’s their best evidence, it’s an increadibly weak argument.

    Incidentally, if you look only at PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) 2006 data, NZ schools perform better than Swedish, Australian, the UK and the USA… so why precisely are ACT advocating policies that are less successful that NZ’s?

    You seem sadly determined to prescribe false cures for an otherwise healthy patient.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    Free education, universal allowances. What horrible policies!?!??!?! Quelle Horreur that we have an educated population. Silly far lefties….meanwhile in the real world, most of Europe has free education, however unlike NZ’s any-idiot-can-get-a-film-or-management-degree they do it rationally. They have limited funds thus limited places. NZ should be making education cheaper for those who should be there by limiting places and taking money already spent but dividing it among the more worthy. But that’s not the point of this argument. Class reps don’t cost anything? Someone still has to coordinate the system Clint, but that’s ok, you guys advocate for everything to be user pays then expect it to work the same as it always did and receive the same service, despite not choosing to pay for it!

    “And the other pubs have done a damn good job in the past for O week. In my final year we had a different every day at a different pub – I won a fridge, beers got free T shirts, free food… sheesh. Better than any OUSA event and I paid for it all myself (well apart from the pub)” Hardly sounds like high culture does it, clint?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Paul, I think that is subjective really. Unless you’re saying our teachers are not up to the job? NZ teachers are well regarded so I don’t see how implementing a system to pay them more and improve standards would mean teachers start to suck! :)

    Somewhatdoubtful.. universal allowances and “free” education. Policies rejected by the voters mate. Get over it. So you propose we restrict places to Uni too eh?

    Back to the topic, as it is rather obvious that you don’t like freedom and people having choices. It is remarkable that you think students need to be supervised and coordinated – last time I checked, students were dreadfully resourceful and proactive. They don’t need your Alliance supporting buddies in OUSA telling them that to do!

    So high culture is other people paying for you to go see a few okish bands? Gee mate, myou should get out a bit more and experience what Dunedin has to offer. Your selective quoting of me also isn’t helping your point mate!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    “aliance supporting buddies”? hah it must be nice looking at the world through poo-tinted glasses. must make life feel a lot easier when you can ignore reality so completely and just bounce along through a never-ending row of view-confirming stereotypes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Aww, hit a nerve did I? Don’t deny it – the policies you are going on about have been rejected by much of the population and are only repeated by Alliance party supporters and NZUSA and their member unions. Didn’t the Bill and Ben Party almost double the Alliance vote last election? :)

    Yaaaawn, we listened to you nutjobs at Uni and would have been happy to ignore you except for the fact that we were paying for your indulgences. Now we have a chance to correct the wrongs and all you care about is that we continue to pay for you and your mates to tell us whats best for us. How arrogant is that?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. I-am-me (1 comment) says:

    seems to me that Clint has a chip on his shoulder about student associations…..did you run for exec or president and lose?

    also maybe before making statements attacking FACTS about the bill you should do some research, this bill is different from previous bills…..but then again, with your chip maybe it is blinding your ability to see.

    I am able to go and see the president and the exec at my association when ever I need to, they have helped me out a great deal with many different issues, and also my friends at this institution. I will advocate for their survival because I know that they put students above all else, including politics.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    Oh diddums “I am me”, thankfully most students don’t need their hands held at Uni. I have done plenty of research and all you are saying is that under VSM an association won’t survive – showing that even you admit freely that students don’t value them enough today. Bye bye compulsion!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.