‘TEU has sided with book burners and authoritarians’

Book burning in Germany 1933

The Free Speech Coalition is labelling the Tertiary Education Union “sad” for not following the leadership of the student unions in expressing no confidence in Massey Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas for her ban of Dr Don Brash from campus and attempts to defund the student group for inviting a speaker she does not agree with.

?Here we have an instance where the student unions understand the value in academic ideas and debate while the so-called experts? union could not be further from their mission as educators.?, says Patrick Corish, a member of the Free Speech Coalition and current university student.

?As a student, I must worry that my educators are keeping ideas from my classmates and me because they deem them too dangerous for our consumption. We are adults. We can make up our own minds.?

?Who wants to go to a university of safe spaces and unions banning what they don?t want me to hear? That?s not a university at all.”

“The TEU are normally strong on academic freedom, but apparently are letting their dislike of Dr Brash get in the way of principle.”

?Academic freedom is no freedom if it only applies when the Vice-Chancellor agrees with it. Free speech is not free speech when it only applies when the Vice-Chancellor agrees with it.?

?The whole idea of higher education is the challenge of existing ideas and knowledge. Political and moral debate is at the very heart of a university. By supporting the Vice-Chancellor?s decision, the TEU has sided with book burners and authoritarians.?

?New Zealand?s tertiary students have lost an ally in freedom of speech. But if we must battle on for our basic rights alone, then so be it.?

book burning