Students collectively hold incredible power. Although baby boomers, regressive governments and university administrations try to discredit us, our passion, spirit and fight have regularly changed the world for the better. Students marched for an end to countless wars, mobilised against inaccessible education systems, and fought to end racial inequality and environmental destruction.
The Sydney University Education Department has a proud history of upholding this radical tradition. Our commitment to radical and militant activism that ensures the SRC is a fiercely political body has been especially strong in recent years, with the department being the heart of student activism on campus. In 2012 we mobilized to fight management’s attempt to cut over 300 staff jobs and successfully prevented all but a handful of job losses. In 2013 the SRC and student activists stood alongside staff striking for better working conditions during their unprecedented seven days of industrial action. From 2014-2015 students at Sydney University were part of the national campaign against the liberal governments attempt to introduce fee deregulation. Student activists mobilized in thousands during National Days of Action, stormed ABC’s Q&A and regularly chased Liberals off campus.
Our fight is far from over. Birmingham might be a slicker salesman than Pyne but he and Turnbull are still staunchly anti union and anti student. With a federal election looming the liberals will be seeking a mandate to enact this agenda. Turnbull supported every aspect of Abbott’s budget. Deregulation isn’t defeated; it’s simply on the backburner. Already we have seen vicious attacks on welfare with the transformation of start up scholarships into loans and nearly $6.5 million in cuts to healthcare. Refugees and Muslims are demonized by the political discourse and mainstream media while the working class and Indigenous people suffer under capitalism. As the future of this country it’s our responsibility to fight and demand a better world.
While the national neoliberal agenda is a major reason to get involved, the repulsive intentions of Sydney University management are demanding a return to grassroots activism on campus. Michael Spence, the Vice Chancellor, chair of the Group of Eight and a major proponent of fee deregulation announced his intention to restructure the University over the Christmas break. This involves slashing the number of undergraduate degrees on offer from 122 to 20, layoffs of countless administrative staff and merging the ten faculties and six schools into six faculties and three schools. The restructure is a transparent attempt to climb the rankings ladder and implement deregulation through the back door.
We will be fighting on national, state and local level through the Education Action Group, a democratic forum for on campus activists. Come to our open forum to discuss and plan against the restructure on March 10th Join us in protesting Spence’s plans on Wednesday March 16th, 1PM at Fisher Library. Help us organize a Refugee tutoring program to teach our most marginalized. Finally, take to the streets on April 13th on the National Day of Action to demand a fairer education. Remember…
STUDY, BE SILENT, DIE!
Get in touch:
Contact the Education Officers Liam and Dylan:
firstname.lastname@example.org (ph) 0401 847 279 or (ph) 0432 236 668
Attend the weekly EAG meetings on the New Law Lawns.