Earlier today Auckland University students voted 227 to 125 to quash the attempted disaffiliation of student club Prolife Auckland (and yes, it is definitely concerning that 125 students voted against freedom of expression on a university campus).
Now that this attempt to quash freedom of expression at Auckland University has been put to bed it is time to ask some serious questions about how such an unjust act was even allowed to happen in the first place.
So, in no particular order, here are some questions that I think need further exploration and discussion:
How were the official mechanisms of AUSA Executive so easily able to be hijacked and used to try and deny a group of students the right to freedom of expression?
Why did the AUSA Executive never even speak to Prolife Auckland, or invite them to address the AUSA Executive before ruling on this matter?
Why did the AUSA Executive hold their deliberations on this matter in secret?
Why do the official AUSA Executive minutes appear to show that the AUSA never actually tabled the Right to Know pamphlet, or the solitary anonymous email complaint against it at their meeting to discuss this matter?
Once they made their ruling, why did the AUSA Executive not actually contact Prolife Auckland to tell them that their official club status was going to be the subject of a vote at a Special General Meeting (SGM)?
Why did Arena Williams, President of the AUSA, ask for $200 of AUSA money to be spent on promoting this attempt to disaffiliate a student club, and why was her request approved?
Why did Arena Williams, President of the AUSA, refuse to tell journalists, when asked, which information in the Right to Know pamphlet was “harmful misinformation” even though this was the very reason for the SGM?
Why hasn’t Arena Williams, or any other member of the AUSA Executive, taken up my offer of $100 cash if they can prove that the Right to Know pamphlet contains content that is either ‘harmful’ or ‘misinformation’ as they claim it is?
And most importantly of all…
How was the AUSA Executive able to hold an SGM on the grounds of spreading harmful misinformation when it has been shown that the Right to Know pamphlet at the centre of this allegation contains no information that can be classed as either false or dangerous?
No matter how they now might try to fudge and spin their way out of this incident, there is no doubting that Arena Williams and the AUSA Executive have some serious questions to answer about why they instigated this shameful act of bullying and harassment against a group of their fellow students, and why they did so based on grounds that are patently false.