Here are some good websites about VSU:
From Newcastle Students Association
Position Papers of the National Tertiary Education Union
From UTS Students Association
Impact on community radio
I have just read all about the Canadian Student Movement. I am very intrigued by the way they are structured; the way they
dialogue with the student body; the way they invite the participation of the ordinary student.
In Quebec, the CFS and ASSE is particularly interesting,
in the context of the student strikes over government cuts to student financial aid).
The Goals of ASSE are relevant, yet very different to the Australian context.
(I will discuss this more soon in the context of VSU, but in the meantime I'll go an a tangent:)
Small Case Study:
"ASSÉ is a union-type organization which aims to defend the material and moral interests of students, regardless of their
political opinions, philosophical convictions or religion."
JUST an irrelevant tangent...
For example, I'm interested in the way they use the word 'moral'...the Australian student movement would be unlikely to use
the word 'moral' to describe their project.
*Most students in the 'Left' would resist the word 'moral' because it implies authority and judgement. Some people communicate
their disagreement with society through open rebellion and rejection of conventional ideas.
*Pop-culture postmodernists and Po-mo queers (like e.b.) think this word represents hegemonic values, threatening her (narrow
view in my opinion) of liberation.
*Ideologues from Socialist Alternative would similarly think that 'moral' is a word defending the capitalist nuclear family.
Perhaps its a peer group thing.- the left in Australia currently lacks openness and servant leadership- it is controlled by
unspoken laws and rituals of exclusion and rejection- a dangerous place to say the wrong word in.
Of course this is all entirely speculation, but it does bring attention to some problems in the way we imagine our work.
I sometimes doubt the maturity with which many in the Left approach our rights and responsibilities, which we would need
to deal with seriously in order to defend the students and society's interests with integrity.