13th July 2015
Students Black Out University Hub
Students at Victoria University have started a new trimester with giant glass doors in their Hub blacked out in a
protest against the university’s proposal to hand pick students to sit on University Council .
A banner calling for ‘democratic election, not council selection’ has also been spread across the Hub.
The doors which, at 6m high, are the largest sliding glass doors in the Southern Hemisphere, have been covered in black
matting which will double as a message board for students to show their support for democracy.
The protest comes after a proposal, released last week, to replace the current structure of electing staff, student and
alumni members of council with an appointments panel created by council itself.
President Rick Zwaan says “the proposal is a slap in the face for students, who overwhelmingly told the University they
wanted elected representatives. In a VUWSA survey 80% of respondents supported students choosing their own
The survey, conducted earlier this year, found over half of students felt isolated from decisions made by the university
and the proposed appointment process will only isolate students further.
“Victoria University is filled with some the world’s greatest minds, yet the institution believes that those same minds
are incapable of electing representatives onto their Council. Even corporations allow their shareholders a vote.”
“A seven-person panel cannot replace the voices of 20,000 students” concludes Zwaan.
An online petition has also been launched at www.vuwsa.org.nz/ourvuw