Tertiary Education Union - Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa
2 March 2017
CALL FOR VICE-CHANCELLOR TO TAKE ACTION OVER ACESS TO CAMPUS SPACE
The Tertiary Education Union has joined with AUSA and other groups urging the vice-chancellor of Auckland University to step in and reverse a decision that allows a group promoting white supremacy to spread racist messages as part of orientation week.
The TEU is among a range of organisations appalled by a decision of the university’s Campus Life department to grant the ‘Auckland University European Students' Association’ a stall in orientation week. Slogans and material posted on the group's Facebook page strongly point towards an objective of promoting ‘white pride’.
The Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) has expressed its disappointment “that a potentially offensive group will be permitted to have a presence at the University of Auckland Orientation, despite serious student concerns of racist material.”
The decision by the Campus Life department to grant a stall is something afforded to groups who have not yet had a chance to affiliate with AUSA. TEU’s branch committee pointed out that this situation would not have occurred before the responsibility for approving stalls at orientation week was removed from AUSA hands in 2012.
Sandra Grey, TEU national president, said “this illustrates the pitfalls of taking control of student affairs away from students. It is clear from the imagery used (now removed) on the group’s Facebook page that these are people that promote white supremacy. There is no place for a group such as this in the university community.
“Like the students' association we respect the importance of free speech on our campuses, but ‘white pride’ promotes hate not free speech. On this ground, and for the safety of others, we urge the university management to step in. This ‘white pride’ group should not be allowed to have space at the university's Clubs' Expo.”
The TEU Council, Te Toi Ahurangi, and the University of Auckland TEU branch will be making representation to the Vice-Chancellor and Proctor to ask them to act to ensure the campus remains a safe and tolerant space.
For more information
- Sandra Grey, TEU national president, 021 844 176