University of Sydney Women’s Collective: ‘End misogyny, repurpose uni colleges’

Protesters outside St Andrews residential college on May 25. Photo: Rachel Evans

The University of Sydney Women’s Collective organised a snap action on May 25 in front of St Andrews calling for the residential colleges to be repurposed into safe, affordable student housing.

Around 80 people gathered to hear from former Women’s Officers, National Tertiary Education Union activist David Brophy and Greens NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi.

Ex-college student and a former women’s officer Katie Thorburn highlighted the ongoing sexism in residential colleges and universities despite three detailed reports on the culture of hazing. Faruqi condemned the controlling  behaviour and added her support to the call for colleges to be repurposed.

“The antiquated prejudice we see in these institutions are deeply resistant to change,” Brophy said.

University’s student publication Honi Soit editor and former Women’s Officer Madeline Ward spoke about the importance of university publications reporting on this toxic behaviour, while pushing for reforms. Sexism, racism and hazing are rife, despite numerous calls for reform, she said.