The University of Sydney Political Economy Students Society released the statement below to explain its Save Political Economy campaign.
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The Department of Political Economy is under threat of amalgamation into a school of Politics and International Relations. The School of Social and Political Sciences is undergoing a review. In the draft proposals for School restructuring, two of the four proposals result in Political Economy being amalgamated into a School or Department of Politics and International Relations, and losing academic and administrative independence.
A student campaign, led by the Political Economy Students Society, has mobilised to protect the department. The Political Economy department, despite enjoying an impressive international reputation and being exceedingly popular among students, has experienced ongoing insecurity at the University of Sydney.
Despite repeated successes, students and staff of the department are yet again being forced to justify their work and studies in the discipline and defend the department that they feel so passionately about.
The campaign has held several events since July, most recently a public meeting attended by 60–70 students, staff and alumni held on the front lawns of the university. The Save Political Economy campaign has called a demonstration for October 18. Students, along with staff and alumni, plan to meet at the City Road end of Eastern Avenue and walk to the Quadrangle building where they will stage a sit-in.
The campaign consists of three demands.
• That the University commits to maintaining an academically and administratively independent Department of Political Economy.
• That there be no staff or unit of study cuts.
• That students be more closely and widely consulted in changes to the university that directly affect their education.
The Save Political Economy rally on October 18 will be an opportunity for students to voice their anger and concerns about the direction the review has taken and the possible outcomes.
We hope the review panel will take this opportunity to reevaluate the process, engage with concerned students, and come to a resolution that maintains an independent Political Economy department.
[For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit facebook.com/SaveEcop or phone Emma on 0411 452 352.]