Student Union Rackets

So I am about to go back to study this year – in an attempt to complete a BA, but also as a way of avoiding work…because of this I have been brought back into the loop on University operations. In particular how VSU is being rolled out…

It seems that in order to maintain their institutional existence student unions have signed up to extortion efforts with Monash University. Efforts to try and get money out of students to pay for their own transformation into efficient machines by the degree factory. Perhaps the result of VSU can be seen as a diminishing of the power of student unions in relation to anything but being part of the machinery of the factory that is the neo-liberal univeristy.

I recieved an email from the University advising me of the Monash Community Card (with the uni in community emphasised).

The major benefits of the card include (as cited from the email):

* 30% discount on blue parking permits (save up to $84)
* up to 15% discount at Monash Sport facilities
* unlimited free use of the university’s inter-campus shuttle buses
* a wide variety of discounts and free goods and services provided
by student organisations

But in order to force people to sign up to it…
* The cost of blue parking permits was previous to this year $80ish dollars now (if you aren’t in the racket) it is $280.00. (all prices) Further, since Clayton is pretty much in the middle of nowhere people are forced to go there by car…
* The inter-campus shuttle bus was free for everyone – now it isn’t. Plus the university has made it essential for the use of this bus for people to complete many of its courses.
* this is anecdotal at the moment but most of the discounts are actually (limited price increases on last year).

The card costs $140 each year and the full range of benefits can be viewed here.

It seems that as a result of VSU the legislation has made student unions into nothing but the protection rackets that compulsory amenities fees pointed towards. The difference is of course that now unions are limited to those extortionist activities and assisting the university in its manufacturing of human machines. VSU has not freed students from paying money – but has tightened the gap through which any ability to experience the world in a way not in the interest of capital can emerge… The fee paying has not changed but the poverty of student life will surely increase.

In future I may post some stuff that I produced argueing over this, especially on arguements about the institutional position of the student union vis a vie the university… Perhaps that would be a bit of ha ha I was right but no where fuckedism on my part.

I probably know alot more about this sort of stuff given my involvement with VSU so maybe I will put together something more substantial later on… if I can be arsed.

also ben is (apparently) putting together stuff in reflection of the VSU campaign.

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About barkingcoins
This author is just another fucking dickhead.

3 Responses to Student Union Rackets

  1. barkingcoins says:

    The student union is still ‘run by and for students’ but the self-management of exploitation is all that is possible to do…

    I jokingly suggested that maybe people should start putting out counterfeit ‘benefit cards’ some time ago – but now…

  2. barkingcoins says:

    more…

    this is from the student unions faq on the communicty car

    —-
    Why has parking increased by so much?
    You may have been surprised by the large rises in parking permit prices for 2007. The universities justification for this was they needed to raise money to compensate for the 13 million in lost revenue as a result of Voluntary Student Unionism. The university also needs to make up the $6.5 million they gave the MSA and other student unions and service companies in grants for 2007.
    While this is far from ideal and something the MSA strongly campaigned against over the summer holidays, it is one of the inevitable results of VSU. Universities have to find the money to fund student services somewhere, and they will do this wherever they can by raising prices.

    Car parkers and other users of services that levy a fee, will unfairly and disproportionately take the brunt of VSU. At least with compulsory amenities fees things were fair, everyone paid for the services everyone used. Now a few will pay for some selected services at inflated costs, that will subsidise the services that everyone uses. In effect car parking will subsidize the student rights department, the sporting ground maintenance and the careers and employment service.

    You can alleviate this by buying the Community card! By buying the card you are funding universally accessible student services (MSA and others), and reducing the need for the university to charge such exorbitant prices for other user pays services on campus.

    On a positive note the campaign against price rises did produce one win. The initial plan for parking price rises was to abolish free parking on Blackburn rd. After an email campaign and meetings with university admin the MSA got this reintroduced, so at least students have the option to avoid selling their arm and first born to buy a blue permit.

    Written by MSA President: Zoe Edwards

  3. Pingback: Your heirarchy’s more heirarchical that mine! « Drugs in Class

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