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Canterbury Uni trespass action 'heavy handed'

Canterbury Uni trespass action 'heavy handed'

Otago University affiliated student club Otago NORML is criticising the University of Canterbury administration for attempting to shut down their sister club BudSoc, by trespassing a successful student, part way through her studies.

On Tuesday last week police served a trespass notice on the President of the Canterbury University BudSoc at her home, barring her from entering the campus for two years.

She was taking a semester off studying to earn some extra money but was part way through a Commerce Degree and intended to return to study next year.

The trespass notice came as a direct result of increased publicity surrounding the BudSoc 420 protest meetings on Campus, after campus security attempted to intervene. The '420s' see students smoke Cannabis in a prominent public place on campus, as an act of protest.

Otago NORML spokesman Abe Gray said he was appalled by the actions of the University and angered at the distress it has caused to his friend and colleague.

"She is understandably upset by the actions of the University as it seems to be a very heavy handed way of shutting down free speech."

Mr Gray was disappointed that the University had chosen to resort to confrontation instead of dialogue.

"They don't feel they have done anything wrong, they are merely fulfilling the traditional function of University students as the critic and conscience of society," he said.

"The actions of the University are so over the top that it has only hardened the resolve of the protesters, however they will still be attempting to initiate dialogue with the University"

The BudSoc treasurer and a fellow member of BudSoc who is studying law were also called to meet the academic assistant to the vice chancellor and intimidated with threats to their future careers.

"We hope the University will reconsider the trespass notice so the BudSoc president is able to complete her degree. It only makes them look like bullies and the issue is not going to go away."

BudSoc plans to meet for the weekly 420 smoking protest as usual, this Friday at 4.20pm on the lawn outside C block.

ENDS

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