Students at Victoria University have constructed a ‘Box University’ within the Murphy Overbridge, overlooking Kelburn Parade, to raise awareness and organise against the cuts and attacks which University management are undertaking against staff and students.
The box university is a rare chance for students to creatively construct and engage with what we want Victoria to look like. The box uni is an environment conducive to critical thinking and free thought, something that management has denied students.
“This University is funded by ten’s of millions of dollars of public money, through taxes or directly through student loans and yet we have no say over what happens in our name and with our money,” says Shannon Keast – student and Site Manager of the Box Uni.
Victoria University management have been cutting resourcing and staffing throughout various university departments for more than half a decade now and students and staff are seeing the effects all around the Uni.
The International Relations programme is being fundamentally reshaped, against staff wishes and in the face of over 1000 students who have signed a petition against the changes. The Certificate in University Preparation, VUW’s bridging course is also being cut, with staff handed out redundancy notices for February 2012.
“People who have tried to engage with the changes or express their thoughts have been bullied by management. I’m really excited to be engaging with other students to find a creative way forward for Vic” says Bronte, student and spokesperson for the group.
Students will be staying overnight and have planned lectures, boardgames and wider discussions about the direction of the university.