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August 8, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Students Register Their Dislike of Vic’s Change Proposal in Protest Form

A mob of students and staff descended on Victoria’s Kelburn Campus last Thursday to protest the changes proposed for a number of university programmes.

The protest was organised by the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) as a way to voice the opposition of staff and students to the restructuring of the International Relations Programme and the disestablishment of the Criminal and Justice Research Centre (CJRC).

About 350 students and staff members chanted “No voice, no choice” outside the Hunter and Murphy buildings to demonstrate the lack of consultation there has been on the proposals.

The crowd also used the University’s motto to show their opposition to some of the changes which are proposed for financial reasons.
“Wisdom is to be more desired than gold. Yeah right!” they chanted.

The group was addressed by a number of prominent speakers, including Head of the TEU Sue Kelly, President of the Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly and Green Party MP David Clendon.
The changes were not driven by “anything sensible or justified” Kelly told the crowd.

In regards to the CJRC, David Clendon said “I cannot get my head around why they want to shut down such a rich resource.”

To much applause, one affected student also shared her views with the group.

“We don’t get to study things like human rights, international development and gender because it is not in the University’s strategic plan,” she said.
Salient spoke to a number of international relations students participating in the protest.

“I chose Vic for the international relations major. If I can’t do the courses I want to do I would consider dropping my BA,” one student said.
“The University is ruining the wonderful choices and diversity we have had at Vic until now,” another told Salient.

Many in the crowd also opposed the closure of the CJRC.

“The centre has produced over 100 amazing reports that have been recognised internationally,” says one student. “Are we just going to wave goodbye to that independent voice?”

VUWSA also took part in the protest with President Seamus Brady addressing the crowd. He described the proposal process as ‘disgusting’ and that it would have a “severe impact on both undergrads and postgrads.”

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this