The beginning of VSU

VSU: Voluntary Student Unionism. It's a pretty simple idea that says you don't have to belong to a fairly unaccountable student union if you don't want to. You'd think that would be common sense, but unfortunately it's taken a long time to reach Parliament. The Sydney Morning Herald reaches a high-point when it perfectly sums up the legislation in one sentence:
Under the new legislation, universities will be prohibited from collecting fees from students for activities not directly related to academic courses.
As expected, the same left-wingers who are more than happy to take people's money and use it to fund rabidly left-wing causes don't like this idea. The article continues:
Both the National Tertiary Education Industry Union and the National Union of Students have expressed concern over the proposed sports facilities and services fee.
"Voluntary unionism is not a viable model ... it is ideology getting in the way of a rational way of providing non-academic and advocacy services," said the tertiary industry union's policy co-ordinator, Andrew Nette.
But Jono Ellis explains what this really means:
All around Australia, student unionists, who for far too long have lived off the compulsory fees will be screaming blue murder. Its an end to their rorting of the student body.

The National Union of Students (the peak body representing student unionists, not students) seems a little confused as to what VSU will mean for students. They harp on about HECS fees, but neglect to mention they take upto $AU300 from students at the beginning of the academic year, the time student can least afford it, to fund their women's space (whilst discriminating against men), queer space (whilst discriminating against heterosexuals), campaigns against free trade, global warming, big corporate etc. Oh and I forgot, funding the ALP, Greens and other socialists organisations. Not to mention Melbourne Uni student union's failed attempts to become property developers.

Further, NUS seems to believe that union membership isn't compulsory. But failure to pay means you can't enroll. hmmmm.... Am I missing something?
You're only missing the standard what-I-say-means-something-else line that is quite common among The NUS. Jono Ellis underestimates some takings - The University Of Sydney took $590 from each student. And what has this funded?

- Anti Liberal Party rallies in Victoria (not pro-education)
- Attacking Howard for his supposed inaction against violence toward women (not trying to stop violence against women, just attacking Howard)
...and many more like it.

Yet less than seven years ago, the NUS had a very different stance:
Katrina Curry, education officer of the National Union of Students, worries that university students no longer have the time or the economic freedom to participate in protests and rallies. [Emphasis mine]
Well, an extra $590 a year should give them that money, but of course, nothing is ever good enough for the NUS.

(Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)

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