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Massey deprives students with new policy

MEDIA RELEASE
Massey deprives students with new free speech/external speaker policy


12 November 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Responding to the launch of Massey University's new policy and code regarding free speech and external speaker, Free Speech Coalition spokesman Dr David Cumin says:

"Massey's new external speaker code is a bureaucratic nightmare, and its "free speech" policy is an Orwellian absurdity."

Each event organiser, and any external speaker, is expected to read twelve new pages of code and policy.

The event organiser needs to fill out a form to help university officers conduct a 'risk assessment' of the speaker and topic, including the likelihood of 'mental harm' and 'negative media coverage'. This must be submitted three weeks prior to the event.

The speaker is expected to express ideas that university officers consider 'meaningful' and 'mana-enhancing'.

And finally, if after the event the University deems that the speaker breached these terms, it can take disciplinary action against the event organiser.

"The broad, inscrutable language of Massey's new policy gives university staff enormous discretion to shut down speech according to their own biases, or those of would-be protestors. The 'thug's veto' which saw the cancellation of recent events will be as effective as ever."

"Most importantly, Massey has completely failed to understand the chilling effect of its anti-speech policies. The bureaucracy, delay, uncertainty, and threat of punishment all serve to discourage students from inviting any external speakers onto campus. Massey is choosing to deprive its students of the rich educational experience they deserve."

ENDS


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