I support voluntary membership of students associations for two reasons.
Firstly, I find it abhorrent that anyone should be forced to join or fund an organisation against his or her will.
Secondly, students associations are a stronghold of the far left and as such are training grounds for future enemies of freedom.
ACT’s Heather Roy has a bill in the pipeline to abolish compulsory membership, while groups like Student Choice have been hammering away on the campuses.
Some associations seem to realise that their compulsory days are numbered.
Student Choice would like to congratulate the Otago University Students’ Association on moving towards becoming an organisation that students would want to join voluntarily.
OUSA’s recent announcement that it’s preparing for a future under voluntary membership shows an acceptance that the days of compulsory are numbered, Student Choice spokesman Mike Heine said.
“Student associations have never had any incentive to serve students properly under compulsory membership. The result has been decades of misrepresentation and misuse of student money. OUSA’s announcement that it is actually going to try representing students is long overdue, and sadly all too rare,” Heine said.
“While OUSA are to be commended for their change in attitude, there is much more that needs to be done. No association can ever be fully relevant to every individual. OUSA – and every other student association – should test their relevance by giving students the freedom not to join.
“Only by introducing freedom of association will OUSA achieve their aim of becoming truly relevant,” Mike Heine concluded.
Student Choice is a student-run, national organisation promoting voluntary student association membership on the grounds of freedom of association.