Student union blindsided

BY PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 19/10/2009
Vic student union std
ALL IN FAVOUR: Jenna Raeburn, Lauren Brazier and Peter McCaffrey support a bill seeking a law change on compulsory student union membership.

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Victoria University's student union has been blindsided into briefly backing moves against compulsory student association membership.

Around 50 students supporting the ACT Party's Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill hijacked a Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting last week. The bill seeks to change the law so students will no longer be forced to join a student union.

SRC meetings, held by the Victoria University Student Association (VUWSA), are usually sparsely attended and often fail to reach a quorum. However, a large group of students, many from ACT on Campus, attended the meeting. Others said they were not politically aligned.

They moved, and eventually passed a motion "that VUWSA actively supports the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill" by 45 votes to 35.

Victoria University student president Jasmine Freemantle said the motion had since been declared void by VUWSA's lawyer.

ACT on Campus member Jenna Raeburn said it decided to rally a large group of people on the morning of the meeting.

"It was because the services provided by VUWSA have not been good enough," she said.

ACT New Zealand MP Sir Roger Douglas said: "I am very pleased that students are having their voice heard on this issue."

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- The Dominion Post

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