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September 28, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Protest mars council meeting

Give not this Rotten Orange to your Friend!

University Council members had to duck for cover as protesters threw fruit and eggs at them at a meeting where fees and the student services levy were raised last Monday.

VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle was hit in the head by an orange, but Chancellor Tim Beaglehole and Vice Chancellor Pat Walsh survived unscathed.

Official VUWSA Protest leader, Education Vice-President Freya Eng said the poultry-produce pillory was not supported by VUWSA, and no executive members threw items.

The group of about 25 protesters, largely made up of Workers’ Party members, marched from the quad to the Hunter Building Council Chambers shortly after 4pm.

Almost 20 students gathered in the quad last Monday afternoon, outraged at the university’s decision to raise fees and combine the Students Services Levy and close to double it.

Workers’ Party activists who no longer attend Victoria University took control of the protest, shouting for students to disrupt the Victoria Council Meeting.

“Education shouldn’t be a privilege, it’s a right!” called a representative of the Workers’ Party.

During a speech by Victoria Broadcasting Club managing co-director Matthew Davis on why fees and the levy should not be raised, Reith, fellow Workers’ Party member and former VUWSA Campaigns Officer Sam Oldham and perennial student Kerry Tankard began yelling and chanting.

As Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh moved to report on the increase in fees, protestors shouted obscenities at Council members who for the most part received free education.

Chancellor Emeritus Professor Timothy Beaglehole issued a formal warning to protestors, stating any further interruptions would result in their removal.

Beaglehole read a second warning and took a vote to vacate the council chambers as the protesters began to throw eggs and fruit.

The Council was then moved from the Council Chambers to a smaller room in the Kirk Building under a heavy Campus Care presence, where the meeting continued.


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