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UC’s SA membership runs at 5%

By johnboy - 16 October 2006 39

The University of Canberra’s Student Journalism outlet, NowUC, has an interesting story on the uptake of Voluntary Student Unionism:

“The student association (UCSA) has revealed it spent $82,000 on renovations for its offices, yet only five per cent, or 520 students have bothered to sign up”

Showing the grasp of fiscal reality for which student politicians are renowned throughout the land the SA President, Marc Emerson, defends the money spent on the basis that the University had spent $100,000 on a proposal for a lake. Ignoring the minor matter that the University could afford the money and his body could not.

In any event the 5% sign up seems to vindicate the Government’s view that students had little real desire for the services offered at vast expense by their elected bodies.

What’s Your opinion?

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39 Responses to
UC’s SA membership runs at 5%
VYBerlinaV8 10:10 am 17 Oct 06

…I should probably add that the arguments revolved around statements like “but we’re engineering students, and will be earning a shitload more than the useless lazy bludgers who’s interests you are trying to represent, so you can take you socialist horseshit and tell it to your customers while you get them their fries.”

Sometimes the comments were less polite, too. We also used to go to the ‘free’ barbeques put on for rallys, eat heaps (and yes, a bunch of 8 6 foot engineering students can eat a fair bit when they try), then simply refuse to march/protest, saying how much we liked the incumbent management, but thanks so much for lunch.

On hindsight I probably should have just paid the membership fee. But I didn’t.


VYBerlinaV8 10:07 am 17 Oct 06

There is as advantage to having hippie and socialist newspapers around the place, and that was winding up the morons handing them out! We derived considerable entertainment from endless arguments over socialist doctrine with purple clothed hippie losers.

VYBerlinaV8 10:05 am 17 Oct 06

“And VY, are you sure about that?”

I distinctly remember paying the ASF separately, and telling the uni admin chick that I was paying the SU fee directly, or some such.

Admittedly it was a while ago!

Thumper 9:48 am 17 Oct 06

There maybe no ‘I’ in team, but there is definitely a ‘me’.

Mr Evil 9:44 am 17 Oct 06

Oh come on Thumper – be a team player! Just think about how many student politicians had a damn good time on your hard earned cash each semester.

Thumper 9:36 am 17 Oct 06

I just resented the fact that my 100 odd bucks a year for eight years apparently went to leftist socialist groups self promoting newspapers.

Now if there was a balance in student union politics then I would have minded so much.

Actually, no I lied. I just resented the fact I had to pay them money for apparently very little return.

caf 9:36 am 17 Oct 06

The NUS doesn’t have a presence on all campuses, it wasn’t at ANU until about 4 years ago.

johnboy 9:30 am 17 Oct 06

Caf, you forget the thuggish NUS making it more trouble than it’s worth to the uni’s (which were quite happy to charge extra taxes on students anyway)

Hell the NUS almost made it too hard for the federal government.

Kerces 9:25 am 17 Oct 06

What gets me about this is that they used all students’ money to pay for the upgrades, but not all students are able to use the facilities — only those who have joined the SA. I intended to join up, but on the day when I managed to get organised enough to have the money spare and on me and at uni, I couldn’t find anyone to give it to.

And VY, are you sure about that? Because if you had the uni HECS notice with the $135 ASF on it, they automatically took the ASF out of whatever you paid. A friend of mine thought he’d paid the minimum HECS amount to get the discounts, but they took the ASF out of it and he didn’t find out until too late to get it.

caf 9:21 am 17 Oct 06

If the services are so unwanted, then how come no uni ever implemeted this until they were forced to? (yes – that’s right, charging all students a fee to fund the union was always a choice made by the uni). Shouldn’t market forces have meant that the unis would only have done this if in fact it did make their campuses more attractive places to study? Is not VSU unwarranted meddling in the market?

VYBerlinaV8 8:52 am 17 Oct 06

The last couple of year I was at UC I just didn’t pay the student union fee. No-one came asking after it, so I figured they could get along without my contribution. I was a union delegate for one of the largest unions in the country when I was working part time (and studying full time), and seeing what went on there was enough to cure me of ever wanting further union involvement.

mlm 8:06 am 17 Oct 06

$130 more in my pocket each semester. I love VSU.

nyssa76 7:07 am 17 Oct 06

I was doing my masters at night and had to pay for the amenities fees.

The only thing open during our 20 min break was the damn library. I argued with the guy over this – seeing as it was only a part-time enrolment – and he said I still had to pay full fees.

The TV reminds me of a rort at ACU when I was there. The “president” basically bought up all this new exercise equipment and kept it in the office. Therefore no one used it, so after 3-6 months,he bought it off the school for a cheaper price.

Ironically, he’s still doing relief teaching 5 yrs later.

darkladywolf 6:05 am 17 Oct 06

I’d second that it’s less Union related, and more money/time/effort related.

While I was at UC *mumble* years ago, I never really knew what services there were, nor if anything I used was financed by them. Though I think the pool tables were…

I think those interested in the political side may be more likely to join than the average I’m here to party/I’m here to study/I’m here cause I have nothing better to do, type students.

Of course, wasting money you don’t have on anything is a bit silly. Though I do think Marc Emerson has a fine career in Politics ahead of him. He’s already comparing apples with oranges.

miz 11:59 pm 16 Oct 06

Students are pragmatists with little spare time or money. I doubt it’s an anti-union thing.
However it does sound like the SA bought a lot of unnecessary stuff. I’ve been at UC (part-time) all year and knew nothing about the tellys . . . mind you, I’ve been there (part-time) for several years, have had to pay full amenities fees, and have used nothing at all provided by the SA as far as I can tell. Hang on – one of those plasmas must have my name on it!

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