Friday, October 27, 2006

Conscientious Objection - VUWSA VSM Option

A note to all the VSM supporters around Victoria: VUWSA provides a way for you to avoid being a member of it if you are opposed to the idea of compulsory membership. For people who have an objection to compulsory membership of students associations.

This is allowed under VUWSA's policy on membership that was approved in 2000.

The policy states that people may be granted exemption under the following grounds:
2. Any student may apply in writing to the President for exemption from membership on the following grounds:
2.1 Financial Hardship
2.2 Conscientious Objection
2.3 Short term enrolment of three months or less for the purposes of completing a post-graduate thesis

and when deciding on an application for exemption under 2.2:
6. In the case of application on the grounds of conscientious objection the application must state clearly the grounds on which the student has a conscientious objection and the application will need to demonstrate a deeply held philosophical conviction that compulsory association infringes the applicants rights in ways and for purposes that are demonstrably offensive to the applicant.
7. In line with past precedents set by the University when dealing with conscientious objection, the President shall work with a definition of “conscientious” which shall include moral, philosophical and religious grounds, but not dissatisfaction with policies (that can be affected democratically) nor dissatisfaction with VUWSA services.

But before any students think this is a great way to save on paying the $120 levy the policy says that anyone granted the exemption must:
8. Any student granted exemption on the grounds of conscientious objection shall be required to pay a sum equivalent to a charity which has been endorsed by the Executive. In addition to the charities approved in Appendix 1 of this policy, the President shall refer any other charities requested to the Executive for approval.

The approved charities are:
1. Rape Crisis
2. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
3. Women’s Refuge
4. The VUWSA Foodbank
5. Wellington City Mission
6. Wellington Life-Flight Charitable Trust
7. Wellington People’s Centre

This would seem to be the perfect option for those Student Choice and Act On Campus members who are so opposed to CSM.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

VUWSA Elections 2007

Firstly congratulations to Geoff Hayward who has been elected 2007 VUWSA President and commiserations to Nick Kelly who lost out. The president is a hard gig and Kelly has taken the rap well as the man at the top.

Geoff will be a great president who knows what needs to get done and who has the skills so that things can be delegated to ensure that VUWSA runs with great efficiency.

Peter McCaffrey has the full results on his Blog.

Jeremy Greenbrook-Held has some good background on Geoff and the campaign on his Blog.

I was elected to the position of Treasurer and the 2007 budget is already underway. This is possibly one of the important issues that VUWSA will deal with this year. Having raised the student levy VUWSA must use this to place us back onto a sound financial footing otherwise students are not being well served by their students association.

Nicola Kean has covered this in a "Newsflash" on the Salient Blog.