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Guest Post: VUWSA’s VSM Violations

October 16th, 2009 by Madeleine

When ScrubOne sent us this offering as a guest post we couldn’t resist. This sort of thing has been happening for years and we saw it a lot back at Waikato University but that was pre-You Tube…gotta love the internet.

DPF links to some videos of a student meeting held at the University of Wellington where some students decided to show up and demand their association (VUWSA) support compulsory membership.

The association insiders try to shut it down by

  • breaking rules
  • announcing lack of quorum in a packed room (wait till the camera turns around – it’s absurd)
  • ignoring the result of votes

In other words, they employed every trick in the book legal and illegal to try and stop students having their say.

Watch it for yourself (you may need to hunt down parts 2 and 3 as it doesn’t seem to have been set into a playlist)

DPF reports that they’re now using similar tactics to overturn the result by scheduling a meeting…

So an illegal meeting, in breach of their own constitution, held in a bar at 11 am on a Friday (when all good students are hungover) is the first response of the compulsion lovers.

But it gets even better. After forceful representations about the illegality of the proposed Friday meeting (not that the forces of compulsion did the same thing at WSU – hold a vote with only a day or two’s notice) including a potential injunction, the compulsionaters have come up with an even better plan.

They have simply declared the Wednesday meeting void  on the grounds two VUWSA people declare a quorum count of 45, less than the required 50. Now note the resolution was passed with 80 people voting and a later quorum count (with one independent person) found there to be over 60 people present, and this count was done within the 30 minutes allowed in the constitution.

The chances of the VUWSA putting in a submission in support of VSM are roughly those of a snowball’s chance in hell. Even if they accept the legality of this vote (which they won’t) and the illegality of the new meeting (which they won’t) they will simply ignore the motion or spin it away somehow.

But that’s the point – the more VUWSA refuse to obey their own rules, and ignore their own members, the more they demonstrate the need for students to be allowed to remove their support from the association.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • And the situation is worse when you consider that a tiny (932 votes in the general election), extreme left (having to arrange holidays beforehand is an affront to workers rights) party has dominated the executive for some years.

    The mere suggestion that the executive represents the student body is patently ridiculous.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Liston College’s Bullys =-.

  • I recently read a pro compulsory association brochure (at Otago) – and it actually convinced me…. why compulsory association (in its present form) should be eliminated.

    Now my money will not be used to find parties (I dont go to)
    Or pay for sports teams (I don’t are about)
    Or pay for orientation week (which I wish didn’t exist… in Otago this just means there is a risk my car will get smashed by drunken louts…)
    Help fund cafes (which are of lower quality and more expensive than the ones just off campus)
    Etc etc

    Now, unlike a lot of people who will read this, I actually support compulsory unionism – but the only things that Otago boasts about are using my money to pay for their social calendar? What on earth does that have to do with what a union is supposed to do?

    So – if its a choice only between compulsory associations as they stand – or VSM – I guess, in shame, I have to admit the lesser evil is….
    .-= My last blog-post ..A Conservative version of The Jesus Seminar? =-.

  • Ah Max, but your fees don’t pay for orientation week, they simply subsidise it!

    Bet you didn’t know that eh. The budget that OUSA presents to it’s members is only a fraction of the money that the association works with. It’s just how they spend the money from some investments and student fees.

    What looks like the budget figure for orientation etc is actually the subsidy – the full cost is mostly paid for by selling tickets etc.

    At least that’s how it used to work a few years ago.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Changing to a Republic =-.

  • “Ah Max, but your fees don’t pay for orientation week, they simply subsidise it!”

    I am not sure if you are serious or saying this in jest. Obviously Orientation week (etc.) gets most of its revenue from sales and advertising… but this does not change the fact that the vast majority of the money I give OUSA is used to subsurdise other people’s social lives.
    .-= My last blog-post ..A Conservative version of The Jesus Seminar? =-.

  • some students decided to show up and demand their association (VUWSA) support compulsory membership

    I am not certain of the various sides. Does this group of students referenced support compulsory membership as per the post, or should it say voluntary?

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