Lee Rhiannon calls on the University of Wollongong to restore student democracy

Thursday, December 7, 2017 | Lee Rhiannon

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has condemned the decision of senior management at the University of Wollongong to replace a democratically elected student president and is calling on Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings to restore student democracy after the overturning of results of the recent Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association (WUSA) election.

Chloe Rafferty, presidential candidate for the progressive Save Our Union campaign, was overwhelmingly elected by the student body as WUSU President but has been replaced by a candidate who only received 6% of the vote.

“This is a shocking violation of student democracy and a clear attempt to stifle student dissent about university management decisions”, said Senator Rhiannon.

“To replace a democratically elected student President, with another candidate that only received 6% of the vote is outrageous.

“The removal of Ms Rafferty as WUSU President appears to be politically motivated. Save Our Union campaigned strongly to save the student union from being restructured or defunded – a campaign clearly at odds with the university management.

“It is incredibly concerning to see the University of Wollongong engage in the suppression of student democracy.

“I warmly congratulate Chloe Rafferty and the Save Our Union campaign on their democratic election as WUSU President, and will continue to work with them to see student democracy restored at the University of Wollongong” Said Senator Rhiannon.

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