I don’t seem to be able to go 50 metres anywhere on campus without seeing some anti-VSU (Voluntary Student Unionism) propaganda. The thing I don’t understand is how the union hopes to convince students that they should be required by law to pay whatever fees the union sets. This is a far bigger ask than simply championing the value of being a union member. They are asking for a blank cheque from all current and future students. It’s a notion that I can only positively describe as “ballsy” and pessimistically describe as “condescending”.
If there is an ethical argument for CSU (Compulsory Student Unionism) I would really like to hear it. This website has a number of links to both sides of the argument. The most important link is probably the one to the who can you trust page that details the interests of the groups involved. The major arguments against VSU have nothing to do with the concept and everything to do with practicality: where will the funding come from? Well, that’s an entirely different issue.
In the end, I admit that my personal view on the union’s campaign is right on the line. I’m just not sure if I sit on the “you can’t blame them for trying” or the “they should really know better” side of things. My view on “where the funding should come from” is more cut and dry. I strongly feel that any required services should be funded by government. Student fees are a barrier to university entry and undermine a basic right to education.