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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 16. 1972

N.U.S. no Con

N.U.S. no Con


Travel services, insurance schemes, bursary increases - why should these and other tangible benefits gained by a strong university body be denied to Teacher's College Students? Why should a recognised channel through which effective political protest may be made at top Government level be closed to other tertiary students?

It seems elitist to suggest that only university students are idealistic enough to seek to make our society a better place in which to live, and it seems selfish to suggest that only university students should benefit from concessions such as the NAC 50% standby fares.

The proposed National Union of Students allows the Student Teachers' Association of New Zealand (and ultimately, perhaps, all students) to take advantage of NZUSA services, while according our national student body greater credibility in negotiations for further services and in submissions concerning political issues. Because it will, in future, represent a broader cross-section of young people, our policy in the fields of accommodation, education, welfare and all national and international political concerns may be altered slightly, (representation at national level of the N.U.S., as currently envisaged, greatly favours the current constituents of STANZ).

At the recent S.G.M. of V.U.W.S.A. this matter was very thoroughly discussed, and although there were a number of sceptics, I believe that nobody was strongly against the concept of a national body. Criticism was levelled at the planned administrative heirarchy, but it must be emphasised that the details of this which were published in the N.U.S. Proposals report considered at the S.G.M. were tentative only. At this stage the issue is one of principle, but it should be stressed that STANZ and NZUSA are both in a comparatively strong position at the moment, and a merger is viable as well as desirable Our S.G.M. of a fortnight ago had an undecisive "wait and see" result. It now appears that other constituents are definitely in favour of the proposed N.U.S., and I suggest that at the next S.G.M. to consider this, we should concur also. This should be done not just to follow suit, but also to ensure that we are not undermining what promises to be the strongest voice of socially conscious youth in New Zealand today. Alternatively, but more selfishly, we should not cut off our nose to spite our face and lose the benefits inherent in belonging to a national service organisation.

Tim Sheppard.

NZUSA Liason Officer