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May 27, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Free Speech at risk at University – Shalom Students Association

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion is under threat at VUW, according to the Shalom Students’ Association.

During a speaking event last Monday, president and co-founder of the association Andrew Iupati told audience members that rights to freedom of speech and religion at the university were under attack.


The Students’ Association had put posters up around campus advertising a forum with National MP Alfred Ngaro, who was scheduled to talk about Jewish identity and Zionism.


These posters were apparently promptly torn down, and Iupati stated that posters promoting opposing views, such as those from ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’, stayed up .

Iupati’s claims were echoed by Ngaro when he began his talk, citing the misconception and misinformation that people had towards Zionism, “All we ask for is for is that Israel, like any other nation, has a fair and just opportunity to let its views and values be known.”


VUWSA has not altered its position on the Israeli–Palestine conflict since 1974. Twelve policies relating to the Middle East voted on by VUWSA members exist, including “…a free, secular and democratic Palestinian state should be created.”


Andrew Iupati told Salient that there are a number of on-campus groups that have been hostile to the Shalom Students’ Association, but refused to name the groups.


“There are posters [advertising] other controversial events and it is our posters that are taken down, and for us that felt like an attack on our freedom to express our political opinions.”


Shalom spoke to Vic Clubs on the issue, but Vic Clubs requested proof that someone was taking posters down. An email was then sent out to all clubs on campus saying that the conduct was inappropriate.
Students for Justice in Palestine did not respond to requests for comment by Salient.  

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