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Voluntary Student Unionism March 15, 2005 8:55 PM

The government is about to introduce voluntary student unionism to Australian campuses. Most people tend to only see this in terms of freedom of association. However student unions are not unions in the typical sense. They are more like a form of local government. It is not possible to opt in or out of local, state or federal governance, so it shouldn't be possible to opt out of student unions. I have studied at American campuses with VSU and it has completely killed of any campus social events. You can't really do anything as a large group because of the liability issues. The people who do try it (fraternities and sororities) spend most of their effort just maintaining themselves. VSU in Australia would completely transform what it means to be a student here. It has already happened in WA.  [ send green star]
amenities fee March 28, 2005 11:19 PM

presently in WA the uni's have an amenities fee part of which goes towards the student guild which previously was funded by the compulsory fee. As you say now the government wants it to be voluntary throughout Oz. Stupid thing is if you had a religious or other objection to paying a union fee you could pay a recognised charity( some of my friends did that as they didn't believe in unions).

Another aspect of the unions which did not get enough credit is the fact that they can speak for us students and be heard.

Typical politicians focusing on the negative aspects and not the positive.

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 28, 2005 11:27 PM

They have been using WA as an example of what happens when VSU is introduced, but obviously it wasn't made completely voluntary if there was still the amenities fee. So it's getting cut back further under the new laws in WA?  [ send green star]
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