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

VSM / CSM Feature—Bonus DVD

An educated student body is a happy student body—or so they say (don’t ask me who they are). This is especially true with the student membership debate, the effects of which bear impact upon every single person undertaking tertiary study. In this week’s issue of Salient, an article was published discussing the arguments in favour of, and against, both VSM and CSM. This exclusive web feature provides you with an extensive list of resources which you can use to further inform yourself on the debate.

Feedback is highly encouraged in the comments section. In particular, if you have additional links you would like to add, please do so.

Features in this Week’s Salient

VSM: 2010’s most contentious Acronym, by Matthew Cunningham
Student media: What might become of us under VSM?, by Sarah Robson
The VSM Bill: wut?, by Freya Eng
A new Minister of Tertiary Education. But will students ReJoyce?, by Caitlyn O’Fallon
Head to head: that VSM will benefit students, by Jordan King and Stephen Whittington

The Interviews

Interviews were conducted by phone, email and in person with the following individuals in the process of writing the main article:

Alexander Butterworth, President of the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation
Catherine Delahunty, spokesperson on tertiary education for the Green Party
David Do, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations
Elliot Blade and Alex Nelder, President and Education Vice-President of Auckland University Students’ Association
Lauren Brazier, spokesperson for Student Choice
Maryan Street, spokesperson on tertiary education for the Labour Party
Max Hardy, President of Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association
Peter McCaffrey, Vice-President of ACT on Campus
Roger Douglas, ACT MP and author of the Education (Freedom of Association) Bill
Steven Joyce (via a spokesperson), National Minister for Tertiary Education

Salient Coverage

Below are links to several previous articles published in Salient on the issue of student membership. The articles in 2007 in particular demonstrate the strong resurgence of pro-VSM sentiment at that time:

Giving up the ghost? by Nicola Kean, Mon, 7 May 2007
Freedom Is Choice by Lukas Schroeter and Peter McCaffrey, Mon, 14 May 2007
Freedom from what? by Joel Cosgrove, Mon, 21 May 2007
VSM: Not a sexually transmitted disease by Jackson Wood, Mon, 23 Mar 2009
CSM: Worse Than a sexually transmitted disease! by Peter McCaffrey, Mon, 30 Mar 2009
Roger’s VSM bill by Jackson Wood, Thu, 20 Aug 2009
Douglas’ VSM bill pulled from the hat by Jackson Wood and Michael Oliver, Mon, 7 Sep 2009
Vic students see both sides of VSM coin by Molly McCarthy, Mon, 14 Sep 2009
VSM debate fun for all the family by Michael Oliver, Mon, 5 Oct 2009

The Education (Freedom of Association) Bill

A copy of the bill can be found online here.

A transcript of the debates held in parliament during the first reading of the bill can be found online here.

A copy of the existing legislation on education can be found online here. In particular, section 229 deals with student association membership.


The following reports have been published on the subject of student membership:

The Impact of VSU on Postgraduate Students by the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, August 2007
The Impact of Voluntary Student Unionism on Services, Amenities and Representation for Australian University Students by the Hon. Kate Ellis MP, Labor Minister for Youth, April 2008
Submission to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee by the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation, February 2009

Other Resources

—Stephen Hamilton, VUWSA, A Radical Tradition: A History of the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association, 1899 – 1999, Wellington, 2002.
ACT compilation of links on VSM
Roger Douglas’ statement on VSM
—The VUWSA website, for a more in-depth description of the services they currently provide
Free Me, the campaign for Voluntary Student Membership

Organisation Websites

ACT on Campus


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Comments (3)

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  1. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Another key link that I forgot to include (but which is mentioned often in this week’s edition) is the pro-CSM site ‘Save our Services’:

  2. Freya Eng says:

    Yay! Win, Michael. This is a good idea. I <3 Bonus Features.

  3. Michael says:

    Well, I really had nothing to do with it…

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