Oh dear. The student association of my Alma Mater, the University of Otago, has its panties in a twist. See, students in one part of town in particular have been giving the authorites headaches. They have this tendency to start large fires in the middle of the street. They burn garbage sometimes, but the most popular fuel is old couches. So somebody calls the fire brigade. But when the fire brigade comes, these poor oppressed students object to grown ups stopping their fun, so they do the obvious thing. They throw bottles at the fire brigade. Of course, I mean what else would you do? So the fire brigade call the police. And then guess what? Some students end up getting arrested. Boo freakin hoo.
Even though these intoxicated morons who think that the whole world revovles around them, I mean – these students – are already breaking the law, the University recently passed a code of conduct for students, stipulating that students should not break the law, cause disruptions, damage other people’s property, start fires in public, and so forth. Oh the humanity! How facist. How unreasonable. Naturally, The Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) think that this is a terrible thing.
And why are they so upset? Well, for one they don’t think that having such a code of conduct is legal. They’re wrong. But here’s the interesting thing. According to Paul Chong, the President of OUSA, OUSA had advice that the code of conduct actullay violates the Bill of Rights. Again, they’re wrong, it doesn’t. But OUSA does! OUSA is a compulsory association, just like most student associations in New Zealand.
But guess what – compulsory unions/associations violate the Bill of Rights Act, which very clearly stipulates – as does the UN’s universal declaration on human rights, that nobody may be compelled to belong to an association.
Some advice comes to mind for OUSA. It has to do with glasshouses and stones.