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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Acting Vice President Education’s column

Executive column

Kia Ora fellow Victorians! My name is Bridie Hood and I am your Acting Vice – President (Education) and also you’re Campaigns Officer. It’s lovely to meet you! Hopefully all you first years are no longer getting lost on your way to class and you returning students aren’t getting too mad at the Laws121 kids blocking the walkway in New Kirk.

I find the start of a trimester to be so exciting (inner nerd)! New stationary, new textbooks for new papers, maybe some people are even picking a new major. The only downer on the start of year excitement is that email that you get from Victoria University:

Dear Miss Hood, you owe the University $6300.00. Pay now.

That’s when the downbuzz hits. And your student loan is only set to grow in the coming years. Not to mention the fact that your textbooks cost upwards of $300, your rent is due, you have no food in your cupboards and you have to find money for the bus to uni. And you get slightly more stressed out when you learn that Studylink hasn’t yet approved your loan because ‘they need more information’, even though you have already sent it to them. Twice.

Less than twenty years ago, there was no such thing as university fees. Tertiary education was basically free. Now students are landed with a student loan bill that jeopardises their entire financial future. It’s pretty hard to put a deposit on a house when you are in debt $40,000 from doing a LLB. Buying a car is a little harder with IRD continusly telling you that you owe the Government $20,000 for you BA. And lets not even talk about the wages a teaching graduate gets.

Students have made some gains in the past few years, like the introduction of interest free students loans, but we still have a long way to go. So if you want to be part of a group that stand ups for students, come along to the Education Action Group.

Our first meeting for 2010 is this Thursday (11th), at 11am in Meeting Room 2. Or give me an email if you want some more information evp@vuwsa.org.nz. We want to hear what you think!

Bridie

P.S If you can’t find the money to fill your cupboards at home, come down to VUWSA, we’ll give you some free food!

[ssba]

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