An overwhelming majority of the University of Canberra Student Representative Council has voted against affiliation with the National Union of Students (NUS).
Last Thursday, the UCSRC committee got together to vote on the matter, however, only six members were present at the meeting. In order to ensure everybody got to express their view, an online poll was created. The final results being 9 against and 1 for affiliating.
UCSRC President, Darcy Egan said he believed the NUS did not provide any services worthy of UC’s SSAF fees.
When he was running for president last year, Egan said he was against NUS because of the monetary cost, something which he still believes.
“All we received from NUS is requests to allow them to campaign on campus,” he said.
“We are happy for them to campaign on campus for relevant issues but we don’t want to spend any money on doing that.”
Earlier this year, an invoice was sent to the UCSRC from NUS with a reaccreditation fee of $76,018, however, the council was given the opportunity to renegotiate the fee which was reduced to $1000.
“It is at NUS discretion to reduce it after a fee review process,” said Egan.
“The worry is that this committee, could give affiliation to NUS and next year’s committee would be met with an invoice for $76,018 that may not be reduced.
“This wouldn’t be ideal given the arduous de-affiliation process.”
UCSRC Welfare Officer, Luke Catania was the only member to vote in favour of affiliation.
“Ideally students need unionism, the issue that my colleagues seemed to have was with the cost, lack of consistency and lack of deliverable services,” said Catania.
“I think that while UC students don’t feel they need NUS right now – from what I have seen they are justified – (but) in the future there will be times when NUS is a competent and necessary part of UC life and the student experience.”
Featured image by Stephen McCallum – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.