University of Sydney

Students from the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) began occupying the campus's administration building on August 22. Resistance members have been involved in the occupation and the campaign leading up to it. Bronte Nicole Scott, Resistance member and a future SCA student, explained why she is part of the occupation to save SCA in a August 22 Facebook post. * * * Right now I am occupying the office of the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) administration because it is absolutely criminal that the arts are always the first up on the chopping block.
On Tuesday August 16, the University of Sydney will experience the most exquisite celebration of love as the Rainbow Campus campaign unites rainbow couples to show Australia what it is missing.
Students gathered outside the Wesley College gate at the University of Sydney on May 16, with their mouths taped shut, demanding the names of the editors of the 2014 Wesley Journal, which included a page called the “Rackweb”. The “Rackweb” featured in the journal as a spider diagram of intercollegiate campus “hookups”, complete with the full names of students who had reportedly had sex with other students, and referred to women named in it as “Biggest Pornstar” or “Best Ass”.
Activists, students and academic staff met at the University of Sydney on April 29 to discuss the university’s recent attacks on those involved in a protest against a lecture given by an Israeli colonel on March 11.
Sydney Staff for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions sent this open letter to University of Sydney vice-chancellor Michael Spence on March 25. The letter is in response to Spence’s email of March 19, in which he claimed anti-Semitism was the trigger for the university’s investigation into the student protest at the March 11 lecture by Colonel Richard Kemp and its sequel. * * * We are compelled to write to you to register our serious concern about the concerted campaign being conducted against Palestine activists at the University of Sydney.
University of Sydney professor Barry Spurr has been suspended following a protest at the university on October 17. Students and staff rallied to express their disgust over reports from New Matilda the professor had vilified minority groups in emails to his colleagues by using terms such as “abos, mussies, chinky-poos” and referred to a woman as a “worthless slut”.
Staff and students from universities around Australia held demonstrations on May 14 to protest the Gillard government’s $2.3 billion cuts to higher education. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) called a 24-hour strike which coincided with a student strike called by the National Union of Students. Students were encouraged to skip class for the day and join picket lines and rallies.

University students across Australia will take to the streets on May 14 to protest the federal Labor government’s $2.8 billion cuts to higher education. The call by the National Union of Students (NUS) for a “student strike against education cuts” has not only received support from students, but also the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), which covers university staff. On a number of campuses, NTEU members have been resisting cuts that university administrations claim are necessary due to lack of government funding.

The National Tertiary Education Union released this statement on March 7. *** University of Sydney staff are on strike today — for the first time in a decade. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is taking action over stalled enterprise agreement negotiations. “We’d rather not take industrial action in the first week of semester but management’s contemptuous approach to staff claims has left us with no alternative,” said NTEU Branch President Michael Thomson.
Students supported teachers and staff in their one-day strike at the University of Sydney on March 7. Read a statement by the National Tertiary Education Union explaining the reason for the strike. Photos: Peter Boyle.
Around Australia, proponents of neoliberalism have led attacks on tertiary education an ideological onslaught against the idea of well-funded public education.   In July, Fred Hilmer, vice-chancellor of UNSW and chair of the Group of 8 Universities, a coalition of university managements, called for total fee deregulation and “cutting red tape”.  
All suggestions of an insipid and apathetic Sydney University political culture have been shot dead over recent weeks by an inspired campaign by staff and students to defeat Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence's plans to cut 340 university staff, and cut courses and the budget by a further $28 million. Starting with a stunt at Orientation week, which disturbed Spence's opening address at the Great Hall, and a rally and march through the centre of the university, students have ensured that they've kept the pressure on Spence and his management cronies.
The University of Sydney Political Economy Students Society released the statement below to explain its Save Political Economy campaign. * * * 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.
The March 15 banning of two Socialist Alliance activists, Paul Benedek and myself, from the University of Sydney was revoked on April 9, after vice-chancellor Michael Spence received a storm of protest letters. Among the many who protested against this attack on freedom of speech were renowned journalist John Pilger, 15 professors and lecturers at Sydney and other universities, Sydney City councillors Meredith Burgmann and Irene Doutney, leaders of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), students and civil rights activists.

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