Qld students campaign for security
By Philippa Stanford
BRISBANE — Staff and students at the University of Queensland are campaigning for increased security on campus. While this has always been an issue, the fight intensified after a woman was abducted at gunpoint from campus, then raped and dumped in bush in outer Brisbane.
New parking rules have worsened the situation. Under the new system, the more money you have, the closer to buildings you can park. Also, Senate members and academic staff have access to the closest car parks while students and general staff have access only to parking areas hundreds of metres from the centre of the university.
The women's rights area is campaigning for improvements such as lighting, direct phone links to security and more security buses. Staff, represented by the Federated Clerks Union, Queensland Professional Officers Association and Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union, are pushing for a change to parking.
-1>Staff have organised several stop-work meetings to plan their campaign. After a Senate meeting which refused a staff and student delegation, the staff voted to hold random strikes.0>
The university administration's first response was to state that claims of numerous rapes on campus were "wild statements". However, after several large rallies by students and strikes by staff, the university has agreed to fund an extra shuttle bus around campus and double security staff (which were reduced by half at the beginning of the year!).
The university is still looking into installing emergency phones. Students and staff feel that this is merely a stalling tactic and are not ending the campaign. n