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University bulldozes past

Hardship is fish but no lemon
Poverty is lemon but no fish
Starvation is neither fish nor lemon
Death is no appetite

– Michael Dransfield

Someone at University of Queensland’s student union paper, Semper Floreat, is on the ball.

Now and then.

Ian Curr
17 Feb 2021

Bulldozing the union

Over the years the university administration has cleverly been siphoning assets from the union with the help of those willing to sell them. Notable examples here include union college, and the entire union complex who some bright spark decided the student union could do without.

Meanwhile the union complex (including the beloved Schonell Theatre) is io an even more dire situation, slated to be knocked down. This is, of course, intentional. It’s hard to fight a multibillion-dollar University’s grand plans when y are losing income, even harder when your community hub is reduced to a small cube.

Besides, the union complex is both a bit daggy and a centre of genuine student life, neither popular with UQs management team who prefer brand new blocks of sterile, partitioned rooms. For them il’ more about which buildings will look good enough in a brochure to increase enrolment, rather than what’s comfortable for, or valued student’s. By the time you figure out that their priorities don’t involve you you’re probably about to graduate, so why would they care? – Semper Floreat 21 Feb 2021


50 years ago
As a second year medical student I participated in the strike described below. I joined a group called Tidalikand and tried to help an aboriginal family at Albion. I wasn’t much help and gave up after a while. I realised then that a lot of people in the New Left were interested in the exciting issue of the time, opposing the Springbok Tour but the really hard slog of struggling against apartheid in Queensland didn’t interest them much.

UQ Students & Staff Strike

During the afternoon of Friday July 23rd (1971), 3,000 students and staff of the University of Queensland held a mass meeting in the refectory and decided to go on strike for the duration of the Springbok Tour, and to convert the University into a centre of anti-racist activity and propaganda, as the only reasonable response to the Tour, South African and Australian racism, and the State of Emergency in the face of the denial of even limited rights of protest by the large scale systematic police action of that week, and in particular at the Tower Mill on Thursday night.

It was decided also to call on the Trade Unions and other Australian Universities to join the strike. Whatever, the fate of the action decided by the meeting, that vote was a historic one both for this university and for universities in Australia.

Roger Stuart
Strike historian

NB This history is dedicated to King Yippie, Will Steer, (P.O.A.) and his dog ‘Bark’, without whose constant help, encouragement, advice and sheer presence we might have succeeded.
Semper Floreat (Vol. 41 No. 11) 1st September 1971 [See http://radicaltimes.info/PDF/RogerStuart1971.pdf%5D

People’s Park, UQ Great Court, May 1971 in Book of Doors by Anne Richards thanks to Radical Times @ http://radicaltimes.info – Peter Gray

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