INDEPENDENT NEWS

Otago Uni. Should Reject Illegitimate Charter

Published: Wed 3 Oct 2001 04:05 PM
Otago University Should Reject Illegitimate Charter
The 'student charter' drafted by the Otago University Students Association (OUSA) should be rejected by Otago University because OUSA is based on compulsory membership and has no mandate to speak on behalf of all Otago University students, Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said today.
Mr Heine said that as all students are forced to join OUSA, the association does not represent all Otago students. "However OUSA is trying to use its position to bind all students with this charter," he said.
Heine said there had been inadequate time allowed for students to give feedback on the charter. "OUSA have only allowed 10 days for student consultation. This is typical student association behaviour where an outgoing president tries to ram things through before the end of the year," Mr Heine said.
Heine also said the charter made no mention whatsoever the right of students to freely associate. "OUSA is opposed to freedom of association because the organisation depends on compulsory membership to maintain its unearned slush fund of almost a million dollars a year," he said.
"It's also notable that the charter doesn't mention academic freedom because true academic freedom would allow students to study without being forced to join a political group," Heine said.
"If the university actually treated fee-paying students like the paying customers they are, a charter would not be necessary. Unfortunately both the university and OUSA prefer to treat students like cash cows," Heine said.
ends For more information:
Clint Heine Spokesman Student Choice 021 122 8544 clint@politician.com

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