‘We Are The University’ - A Firsthand Perspective on the Auckland University occupation

September 28, 2011

This article is written by a Workers Party sympathiser at Auckland University

Once again the mainstream media establishment have neglected to tell
all sides of a story - in this case regarding the autonomous student
action that resulted in an occupation at the University of Auckland on
the 26th of September. I feel that my own experience goes in direct
opposition with a lot of what has been said - from not only having
been at the event, but also taking a small role in its organisation.
The occupation was about far more than the Voluntary Student
Membership (VSM) bill, it was about the increasing corporatisation of
tertiary education in this country, of which VSM is but one part of a
sustained attack on tertiary education as a whole.

Other demands were against the cutting of academic work conditions,
negatively affecting quality of research, and against the continual
rise in student fees. With this in mind, the choice to occupy the Owen
G. Glenn Building was an inspired one, as to many it is a symbol of
Auckland University’s not-so-gradual transition from an educational
institute to a business.

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