University of Auckland taking actions to address discrimination

May 15, 2019

University of Auckland taking actions to address discrimination

A working group of students and staff is being formed at the University of Auckland following a hui against discrimination two weeks ago. Photo: Oliver Rusden

A special working group is being formed following a hui against discrimination at the University of Auckland two weeks ago.

A report with recommendations was sent by the Auckland University Student Association (AUSA) after the hui to Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon, which he accepted.

The recommendations include establishing a special working group on discrimination comprised of members from both the faculty and the student body, which university spokesperson Lisa Finucane said is underway.

AUSA welfare vice-president, Samuel Snell said he is optimistic the working group “will create genuine and meaningful change here at this university.

“If we truly want a safe, inclusive and equitable university for everyone, then it is incumbent upon all of us – as a collective, and individually – to build that culture,” Mr Snell said.

“This is important mahi, and we must all do our part.”

The report also recommends that the university affirms its zero tolerance for discrimination, which Mr McCutcheon did in response to the report, stating that the university is committed to being fair to everyone.

At least two complaints have been made to university proctors against two separate students, with white supremacy being a factor in both, as well as instances of graffiti.

Ms Finucane said “there are two individuals whose behaviours have resulted in complaints to the university and we are acting on those.

“From time to time the campus is graffitied – this includes a wide range of political and social stances. It is all removed as soon as we are aware of it.”

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