Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fees for me but not for thee

Most research at universities is carried out by academics and scientists, but at Victoria University student politicians have made a remarkable breakthrough. Student politicians have just discovered two types of fee increases – bad fee increases and good fee increases.

A bad fee increase is when an institution wants to charge students more for their education.

A good fee increase is when a compulsory student association wants to charge students more for….err, well, for things like quiz nights, cheap bands, and err…car parking.

You can recognise a bad fee increase by student politicians’ rhetoric. Bad fee increases treat students like ‘cash cows’ they say. Student politicians like VUWSA president Geoff Hayward say bad fee increases show a severe and systemic lack of leadership, and “every time fees are raised, the University are literally passing the buck to students.” NZUSA co-pres Joey Randall says Vic council, by wanting to impose a bad fee increase, had “taken the easy road out and focused solely on students in order to increase revenue.” People who vote for bad fee increases are ignoring student opinion and abusing the democratic process.

However a good fee increase is different. When a compulsory student association wants to increase its fee it’s an absolute necessity. Without a good fee increase life as we know it will come to an end. Opponents of good fee increases are greedy and selfish. People who vote for a good fee increase have listened to the overwhelming weight of student opinion and exercised their democratic rights.

So be on the lookout for bad fee increases and good fee increases. If in doubt, remember this simple rule of thumb: students paying more for education is bad, students paying more for compulsory student
association membership is good.

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