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Voluntary Student Membership Bill Will Set Students Free

Posted on 21 Aug 2009

There was jubilation today in the ACT parliamentary office when the Educaiton (Freedom of Association) Bill was drawn from the Private Members Bill Ballot. The bill is in the name of Sir Roger Douglas and will go on to the order paper for debate on the next members day. It is the same bill that was in the ballot in my name prior to the last election and which I've written about many times on this blog.

This is the first step in liberating students from the flawed and out-dated law that forces them to join their local student association. Workers don't have to join a union - only around 15% of workers choose to do so - and Student Associations are one of the few organisations in New Zealand that can compel membership.

Compelling students to join and pay its fees provides associations with a guaranteed stream of income. There are many cases of misappropriation of these funds and a lack of accountability to properly manage the pool of money this income generates.

Student associations purport to represent the views and desires of the wider student body – yet most are dominated by a small minority of student politicians who prefer to push their own agenda and promote their own views rather than those of the majority.

We allow students to choose which university or polytechnic they attend, and what papers to take - it’s time we gave them the freedom to choose whether or not to join their local student association rather than forcing them to pay a union fee if they want to study.

Now that the bill has been drawn from the ballot the debate can begin in earnest. It's time for students to stand up and be counted on this issue, and to persuade the National party to support this initiative. To date it is only ACT that has demonstrated the rights of students to freedom of association on the campuses.

That article is so great.

That article is so great. But aside from that breaking report let me share something new concern to you. The Avatar teaser trailer has been released, and it is beginning to generate buzz. An Avatar teaser trailer has been long awaited – probably because the film trailer is from has been languishing for a few years. Avatar, is a 3D science fiction epic from director James Cameron – you might know the name, as his last film, Titanic, is the highest grossing movie ever made – period. The film stars Sam Worthington, a relative unknown Australian actor, Sigourney Weaver, and others. The film was reportedly in development hell, but Cameron was determined to make a great science fiction epic. The Avater teaser trailer is certainly enticing – it might be worth a cash advance to see the film.

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