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Hour of the dead protest continues against cuts

Association of University Staff

Media Release

Attn Education Reporter 28 April 2008

Hour of the dead carnival as protest continues against ongoing cuts to core staff at University of Canterbury

Ceremonial executions and amputations will be held at the University of Canterbury this week to symbolise the impending death of arts as the university moves ahead with plans to restructure its College of Arts with the loss of thirteen jobs, and to act as a fund raiser for the perpetually cash-strapped university.

An Hour of the Dead carnival will be held at the central library steps on Wednesday, 30 April from 12.30pm. The central attraction will be a life-sized guillotine and ceremonial executions from 1.00pm.

Staff and students will be invited to pay to have body-parts removed by professional executioners with the proceeds donated back to the university to stave off the axing of jobs. Suggested donations are $50 for a foot or hand and $20 for a head. “Heads are cheaper,” according to Association of University Staff Canterbury Branch President, Professor Jack Heinemann, “because then we save on salaries too.”

Professor Heinemann says that students and staff have vowed to continue the fight against the cuts to the College of Arts. “University management will argue that this change is financially necessary and that overall it will have a limited impact on students and staff,” he said. “We believe instead that this is a symptom of skewed priorities that are not being adequately reviewed by Academic Board and the Council.”


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