Markela Panegyres reports University of Sydney staff and students have been protesting the federal government’s attacks on higher education, management’s austerity measures and NSW Police's brutal policing policies.
University of Sydney
Chanting “Michael Spence, you will fail, USyd is not for sale!”, students opposing the vice chancellor’s support for the Ramsay Centre made their point outside the University of Sydney administration building on October 31.
Speakers condemned the discussions between university management and the board of the right-wing Ramsay Centre think tank, which aims to set up a degree in “Western Civilisation”.
A protest at the University of Sydney on June 27 demanded the University Senate drop its talks with the multibillion dollar Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, which had offered millions to the university to offer a “Western Civilisation” degree.
Racist and fascist groups have graffitied Sydney University. In mid-April, a pro-Le Pen group — supporters of the far right candidate in the French presidential elections for the virulently anti-Muslim, anti-refugee National Front — graffitied the campus.
A study by student advocacy group End Rape on Campus has revealed the systemic failure of some of Australia’s highest ranking universities to deal with rape and sexual harassment allegations.
Over the past five years, more than 500 complaints of sexual assault — including 145 complaints of rape on campus — were made to the university administrations of several high-profile universities across NSW, ACT, Victoria and WA:.
Of these allegations, End Rape on Campus reported that only six cases — just 1.2% — resulted in the expulsion of the alleged perpetrators.
Arguably, the University of Sydney’s decision to give former Prime Minister John Howard an honorary doctorate on September 30 has backfired badly.
Academics and students spoke eloquently against the award before and during the ceremony, prompting some students who had just been given their degree to join in.
The university had cited Howard’s “world-leading gun law reform, leadership in East Timor and contribution to Australia’s economic reform” as reasons for the award. While many would question these, the elephant in the room was Iraq.
Juanel de la Forêt gave this speech at a Sydney College of the Arts rally on September 7 against Sydney University’s proposal to close the college.
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I would like to acknowledge that I am an occupier on occupied land. I offer my respects to Aboriginal elders, past and present.
I am an international student from Cape Town, South Africa, and a first year student at Sydney College of the Arts. I am also a proud occupier and would like to thank you all for coming and for this incredible support.