A reminder that our rally kicks off tomorrow at 1.00pm on the steps of the UQ Union offices. The flyer is attached for you to circulate. Thanks to everyone who has been promoting the event to their networks and distributing the flyer the old-fashioned face-to-face way.
At 4.30 tomorrow afternoon we will reconvene the rally at the JD Story Building in order to impress upon the University Senate meeting that these buildings are not their toy blocks to be knocked over on a managerial flight of fancy. We will be shoulder-to-shoulder with university staff protesting the university’s equally insidious plan to host a Ramsay Centre course on the virtues of Western Civilisation.
In a recent development in our campaign, I was contacted on Friday by a senior representative of UQ management, requesting a meeting to discuss our concerns. She said she felt it was not appropriate for management to clarify the issues by attending a protest rally. Which is a shame, really, because I expect the rally to be very informative. As educators, however, we need to allow for different learning styles. So I have agreed to meet her and one of her colleagues late next week. I too will be taking a colleague in case some salient point gets overlooked. It does suggest, of course, that management is taking our campaign seriously. Which is all the more reason to organise a good turnout tomorrow.
Here is your eve-of-rally dose of history. In 1976, a relatively small group of students set off from the UQ Union site, determined to march to the city to express their dissatisfaction at the paltry allowance available through TEAS, the federal government’s scheme for supporting students from working class families. (Yes, in those days, not only was university free, the government paid some of us an allowance to attend.) One of the students participating that day was Rosemarie Severin, an Arts student who joined in principally out of a sense of adventure.
What happened to Rosemarie at the hands of police during that march politicised her for life. Rosemarie will be speaking at the rally tomorrow. To hear her story, come along at 1.00pm. Attached is a photo of the march leaving campus.