19 May 2005

NowUC Covers Voluntary Student Unionism

| johnboy
Join the conversation

NowUC have just revved their content and have a story up on the battle over voluntary student unionism.

(Disclaimer – I’d personally choose to pay for student union services in my once and future tertiary studies. But once again I’m a lone voice in seperating my own choices from what I would choose to impose on everyone else.)

The story has a curious line:

Demonstrating the cross-sector opposition to the legislation, speakers at the rally included President of the Canberra branch of the National Union of Students Ryan Hamilton, the UC National Tertiary Education Union branch President Di Adams and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) John Dearn

That’s cross sector?

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

It’s not changed at UC RandomGit. They would probably be better off just charging some rent and letting a Subway and Boost juice set up there or something.. couldn’t be any less expensive.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart12:27 pm 20 May 05

Nah, the discounts were absolutely minimal, and the prices for us outsiders were roughly the same as civic.
The good part about the refectory is that it was a 15 second walk from Linux.Conf.Au…and the coffee shop on the top floor filled my LCA mug cheaper than the Purple Pickle place.


When I was at UC it was worth the walk to McDonalds to get cheaper, fresher and more healthy food.

The commerical operations were a sham.

jamius maximus10:08 am 20 May 05

Following from Samuel’s comments, are the food discounts even that much? Apart from the occational special on soft drinks and the like, the food here at ANU is no cheaper than the same stuff bought in the food court in Civic.

Are they not thinking of developing Civic West to merge with the ANU? Does this new development include cafes and the like? Good luck Refectory.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart9:22 pm 19 May 05

Yes, it is cross-sector, it is also missing a few letters: across-one sector
Reminds me of the episode of Yes Minister where all the senior public servants call themselves “a real cross section of the community.”

I will admit to being an outsider when it comes to VSU, but when I was at Linux.Conf.Au the only benefit I could see was a minor discount for members at the asian bistro…funny thing is, the girl at the cash register said she had absolutely no idea what VSU was when I mentioned it.


I remember a previous NowUC article which said the UC Student Association had fought to have 3 credit point subjects rather than 4 credit points.

As a part-time student who now has to spend extra years (at $135/semester to the glorious student union) completing my degree because I have to do more (but supposedly easier) subjects, I’d like to say a big f!@# you to the student association.

Some people say that VSU is an attempt by the Government to muffle some of its most vocal critics.

Personally, I currently hate forking-out for student union fees when I’m barely on campus.

The beef when I was at Uni full-time was that the student union fees were not being used to fund essential services. At Wollongong fees were channelled into subsidising the UniCentre – which supposedly has a turnover of several million dollars a year. There is no cheap food because the UniCentre has tendered out all its catering services. The uni has a ‘food hall’ which resembles the food court you will find at any Westfield – with prices to match. Students boycott the bar (replete with plasma screens) for the nearest bowling club because it is too expensive. It is also in the business of catering for, and hosting large events. I suppose the profits get channled back into the university. They uni has a service that provides food hampers for needy students, but from memory this was funded by sales from the second hand bookshop. They were frequently asking for food donations from students who called afford to contribute.

You’d be surprised how much of your fees are used as a buffer to save the Union from bankruptcy due to poor management of it’s commercial aspects.

The fact is, students are poor and most wouldn’t contribute their cash if it was optional. But at only $4-$6 a week, it’s a good way to ensure that vital services are available to students when they need them.

Personally, I believe that funds currently designated as “Student Union” fees should be changed so that they can’t be used for political purposes.

The decision to join the NUS should be voluntary, but I see the student services provided by these fees as vital to a healthy university atmosphere where the emphasis is on learning rather than scraping up the $50 you need to visit a doctor, pay for childcare or whatever.

Well, it seems cross sector to me in that it has representation from both unionised students and the academics.

VSU was fascinating during my time on the Union board, because it would result in the commercial administration of the Union holding all the power and relavence as it would be providing the only reliable source of income (thats assuming they could manage said operations like a real business that turns a profit, hardy fucking har to that!).

That way, all us pesky student ideolouges would stop trying to unearth past accounting records to prove they were shaving a free allowance off the side.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.