UTS students protest


UTS students protest

By Carolyn Minchin

SYDNEY — About 300 students at Sydney's University of Technology stormed and occupied the vice-chancellor's office on September 9 to protest against the allocation of $2 million of university funds for a vice-chancellor's residence.

Students argue that the money would be better spent on improving the university's overcrowded facilities, paying the debts of underfunded faculties and providing badly needed student accommodation.

The physics and humanities faculties have a combined debt of $750,000, and both face severe cutbacks in classes next year. Faculties such as business and law have chosen to stay afloat by seeking private sources of funding, which students argue will limit academic independence.

Several classes were held in the administration foyer during the afternoon, and about 50 students continued the occupation overnight, moving in sleeping bags to highlight the need for student accommodation. The protest combined '60s optimism and '90s technology, with students singing protest songs while student president Ben Oquist got the message to the media via radio telephone.

"While students continue to sit in lecture room aisles, are denied essential study materials and told there is no money left for student accommodation, the university is going to spend $2 million to house one person — it's an outrage", said Oquist.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.