Monday, August 28, 2006

what is freedom of association?

Freedom of association is a fundamental civil and political right.

It's prescribed in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

Freedom of association has two elements.
1. You should be free to associate with whomsoever you wish for legal purposes.
2. You should not be forced to associate with others.

Compulsory membership of tertiary student associations violates clause number 2.

In New Zealand people who go to a tertiary institution to study are told they first have to associate with others. This takes the form of forcing people to join and fund an incorporated society, namely a tertiary student association.

There is no equivalent in New Zealand society. Hospital patients don't have to join a patients' society. Old age pensioners don't have to join Grey Power. Motorists don't have to join the Automobile Association. Warehouse customers don't have to join the Consumers' Institute.

True freedom of association would allow individual tertiary students to decide whether or not they join a student association.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 27, 2006

voluntary membership in a nutshell

So what's this all about?

In short, this blog and student choice promote voluntary membership of tertiary students associations in New Zealand.

student choice believes in freedom of association and don't believe anyone should be forced to join a student association before they can enrol in a New Zealand tertiary institution.

We'll put forward the arguments in favour of voluntary membership and challenge the reasons put forward for compulsory membership.

We'll also highlight the flaws and problems - both past and present - of compulsory membership.

And we intend to have a bit of fun along the way.

Labels: ,