Students hex the HECS
By Philippa Stanford
BRISBANE — About 200 students attended a "Hex The HECS" (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) rally on Black Friday, September 13. The rally was held in the city's Roma St Forum and was for students of all campuses to voice their protest.
Chanting "No ifs, no buts, no fees, no cuts", students summed up their attitude to the education mess.
Speaker Carolyn Ride said, "We are not just protesting increases to HECS but we are opposing the whole principle of user pays with regard to education. We believe that education should be free and accessible for everyone."
There was strong agreement that student unions strangled by Liberal or Labor students clubs had done nothing to help students to campaign against fees. Wendy Nelson of Queensland University said, "We have to build a student movement that is independent of the major parties or their appendages such as the National Union of Students".
Students then marched through the city centre to the Department of Employment, Education and Training, where they were refused entrance.
An intercampus anti-fees group has been organised to campaign for students' rights.