Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Removal of Auckland University Club Threatens Free Speech

Removal of Student Club at Auckland University Threatens Free Speech

Prolife Auckland announced today at a student forum its determination to fight a renewed attempt by Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) to disaffiliate them. An online referendum is to occur next week proposing the motion: "Should AUSA disaffiliate the Pro Life Club and ban any clubs with similar ideology from affiliating in the future?"

“This referendum is an attempt to punish the exercise of free speech on campus,” says ProLife Auckland spokesperson Francesca Yuen. “The free exchange of ideas is an integral part of academia; any attempt to repress that deserves condemnation.”

Disaffiliation from AUSA will entail losing access to material services that AUSA provides. Prolife Auckland also views disaffiliation as symbolically denying recognition by the student body of the ideals that the club holds dear - a culture that respects life at any and all stages.

Yuen also expresses concerns about due process. “When asked, AUSA could not disclose the identity of the individual who submitted the proposal or the nature of the allegations being made about us. Furthermore, we were provided with less than a week’s notice of the forum. This is a violation of principles of natural justice.”

“We were required to defend our affiliation today with limited information of the source and scope of accusations against the club. The person who submitted the motion did not even appear at the student forum to substantiate the grounds of their motion. Why is AUSA facilitating this faceless attack on our club?”

“We have always been committed to open and civil debate, yet AUSA constantly attempts to silence our views. It is not the first attempt to ban our club: an SGM in 2012 and a fizzled disaffiliation attempt in 2016 make this the third such attempt in five years. No other group has received the same level of continued scrutiny and protest as ours on campus.”

AUSA is aware of the irregularity in this referendum and has engaged a lawyer to comment on its legality. It is interesting that they have gone ahead with the proceedings while still questioning whether they are in fact legal.

Issues raised at the forum included concern about the vague phrasing of the motion, and the slippery precedent it sets for silencing clubs with similar stances.

“We are proud to have defended today not only our rights but the rights of other clubs which challenge prevailing orthodoxy on campus,” Yuen concluded.

The referendum is to take place next week from Monday 21st August to Friday 25th August.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>

Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.
More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland