Who should decide how campus services are delivered?

Over at Lavartus Prodeo, Paul (no relation) Norton offers an argument against the government’s position that student amenities fee money go to the universities. Instead, he wants to

restore the role of democratic student management of services and funds, but strictly subject to certain institutional safeguards and accountability mechanisms which have been largely missing from the governance structures of student organisations hitherto.

His argument for this is essentially anecdotal, that at a couple of Queensland universities of which he has direct experience a student run entity performed better than a university management controlled entity.

He may well be right about these examples, but his post is an instance of a general problem with this debate: almost every participant is trying to turn their personal idea of how student affairs ought to be organised into a model all universities must follow.

NUS wants to get their hands back in the till; Liberal students are adamant that NUS hands should be kept out of the till. Some want democratic student control of student services; others think that university management should be in charge of delivering those services.
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