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Student protest against library closures

Student protest against library closures calling on the Government to better fund the Arts

Almost 1000 students plan to attend the Rally against the closure of five libraries at the University of Auckland.

The students will be delivering a petition to the Vice Chancellor, which already has 4000 signatures on Monday at 12pm outside the General Library.

“Students’ response to this proposal shows how angry and concerned we are” says Education Vice-President, Jessica Palairet.

“Libraries are at the heart of our University. They provide spaces for students to study, specialists to help with research and essay writing, and access to some of the best collections in the Southern Hemisphere”.

“We shouldn’t have to protest about the University taking away fundamental resources. But the fact they are doing it without proper student consultation makes it even more important that we do”, says Palairet. “Students have been told that because this affects staff, we can’t submit on the proposal. This isn’t good enough. The lack of any formal student consultation is locking out the voices of those who will be most affected by these proposed changes - students!”

“The Proposal to shut down libraries represents a wider problem with the way Universities are funded. A free first year doesn’t matter if Universities aren’t funded enough to provide students with quality library resources.”

“Further, we want the Government to stop prioritising Stem subjects at the expense of the Arts. While the University builds new science buildings and extravagant new gyms, the Arts and our libraries are being consistently underfunded”, says Palairet.

“We’re calling on the Government to respond. They need to put their money where their mouth is, and better fund Universities and the Arts. The current ‘bums on seats’ and research-orientated model isn’t working.”

“Cutting costs shouldn’t come at the expense of our education”.

The rally against the library closures will be held at 12pm outside the General Library on Alfred Street. We welcome any media enquiries.

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