"Waikato students are on the verge of bringing back a functioning student association, with a vote this week to restore
compulsory membership to their student union" said Sam Huggard, Co President of the New Zealand University Students
Association, from Hamilton.
The NZUSA Co Presidents are in Hamilton this week assisting the Waikato Students' Union with their campaign for
compulsory membership, and are hopeful that students will return a vote for compulsory membership.
"WSU was held up as an example of how voluntary membership of students associations would lead to increased efficiency,
accountability and better service provision for students. However the experience at Waikato has proved all of these
assertions wrong," said Sam Huggard.
"Voluntary membership simply has not worked at Waikato. The Union's ability to support students has been massively
undermined. They have lost representation on key university committees, including council, they can only provide a few
services, are not represented nationally. WSU is also unable to provide independent advocacy for their students, with
the University now running that service", said Huggard.
"This is last chance for Waikato University students to have a student union. Under the new Education Amendment Act,
votes on the membership status of student associations are only able to be conducted by institution councils a maximum
of every two years. If students don't vote in favour of compulsory student membership this week, the WSU may not be able
to last that long."
"Student leaders at Waikato are confident that the students will return a compulsory vote in this weeks referendum. We
are supporting their campaign to bring back a student union that is capable of delivering effective advocacy, services
and representation for Waikato students," said Sam Huggard.
ENDS For further comment: Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President, 025 86 86 73.
New Zealand University Students Association (travel email) ph: 025 86 86 73
In Wellington: 04 498 2500, fax 04 473 2391 PO BOX 10-191, Wellington