BIG NEWS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One bad apple should not spoil barrel of student associations

I co-wrote an article published in the Dominion Post today.
The behaviour of former representatives at the Whitireia Independent Students’ Association (WISA), as it has been reported, has been appalling and is completely unacceptable. The individuals involved have taken advantage of a position of trust. It is extremely disappointing to see members’ trust in any charitable organisation abused to any degree, let alone fraud of hundreds of thousands of dollars taken from students, many of whom struggle to make ends meet while studying.

The situation at Whitireia is an exception to the rule. No business, charity, or home is immune from fraud and crime. Take the recent examples of Roger McClay with charities, or Mark Bryers with Blue Chip. While it is blatantly clear that Whitreia Independent Students' Association has failed its members, it would be wrong to imply one example as representative of all students’ associations. Calling for voluntary membership for all student associations based on one example would be like calling for Parliament to be abolished because of the deeds of [former MP] McClay. Just because there’s one or two bad apples doesn’t mean you throw out the whole barrel.
Although it is not online at Stuff, NZ Union of Students' Association has put a copy on its site.. Have a read.

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