A university halls fees strike

That’s one strike that everyone should get behind.

Charging students fees for rooms they are unable to access is just wrong.

Also it appears Vic Uni is double charging the same room. They’re charging those in emergency accom at Weir House $300 a week and also charging the original inhabitants $150 a week as a holding fee. Just nuts.

If student associations want to prove their value, they should be preparing a lawsuit on behalf of affected students.

Also have to laugh at this response:

The Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington says students’ education will suffer if they don’t pay a $150 weekly ‘holding fee’ for student accommodation they can’t access. …

In an email to students yesterday, Victoria University vice-chancellor Professor Grant Guildford said the halls operate as a “cost-recovery ancillary operation”.

“Without the hall fees being paid we are having to cross-subsidise the halls from the tuition revenue – disadvantaging the quality of the education of all students.”

He said the other option was to fire staff.

“Or we cut the costs of the halls which would means a lot of staff (including RA’s) losing their jobs which is the last thing we want to see happen,” he wrote.

What nonsense. The other option is just to wear the loss against your balance sheet as a one off loss, as many other organisations have had to do.

VUW has $150 million of current assets including $80 million cash reserves. Overall net assets are $800 million.

So claiming that it is sack staff or charge students for rooms they are unable to access is a PR claim, but not a binary issue.

The issue is one of common sense. You don’t charge people for a service they can’t access.

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