Friday, March 23, 2007

Geoff misses the boat again

In his second column on the role and function of Vuwsa, president Geoff Hayward attempts to explain the 'representation' provided by the association.

Unfortunately all we get is a description of the various meetings Vuwsa holds. Geoff doesn't attempt to examine the actual nature of representation and doesn't question the legitimacy of the representation Vuwsa claims to provide.

Representation is a simple concept. It's where a person or group gives their permission to another person or group to speak on their behalf. The key word here is permission. Somebody can't speak on your behalf unless you have authorised them to do so.

As Vuwsa membership is compulsory, no individual student has given their permission to Vuwsa to speak on their behalf. For this reason Vuwsa, and all other compulsory associations, are fundamentally illegitimate as representative organisations.

Perhaps this explains why Geoff prefers to talk about meetings. It's a lot safer than asking whether Vuwsa actually has any mandate to claim to legitimately represent its 18,000 compulsory members.

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