Media Release 10th October 2017
The Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) has backed down from its initial decision to disaffiliate ProLife Auckland from the Association. The decision to pull a ‘U Turn’, seems to have been as a result of the Association seeking legal advice which suggested that the initial referendum question on which the students voted, could be considered biased or leading. It asked not one but two questions. The question voted on was “Should AUSA disaffiliate the ProLife Club and ban any clubs with similar ideology from affiliating in the future?”
A university should be a place of academic freedom and debate, not a place where ideology dictates what ideas may be expressed. Are we beginning to see evidence in a New Zealand university, of rule by Ochlocracy? Free speech only for those whose views the majority agree with? If so then New Zealand might be heading towards a dangerous new low as exemplefied by events recenlty occurring in certain liberal universities in the United States. Here the ‘lunatics are attempting to run the asylum’. Students there have at times taken over and threatened violence and thrown tantrums, because they do not agree with the views of (even progressive leaning) staff and in other cases attacking and injuring staff because they opposed the views of a visiting guest speaker.
A good background to this issue can be gained by viewing this video from the Stuff website. It features interviews with Jelena Middleton the ProLife Auckland co-president and Auckland Students for Choice spokeswoman Justine Rose, who is also a member of Campus Feminist Collective.