Massey assaults free speech

Words totally fail me for what is going on at Massey University and it is not alone in the world of universities for this type of behaviour.

In my time at VUW in the “terrible” 1960s student organisations simply booked rooms for their speakers in the Student Union Building.  It did not matter at all whether they were communists, business people, politicians  or anarchists.   If you didn’t want to hear them you didn’t go.

Anyone today who cannot live with “unacceptable ideas” being promoted on campus should not be at a university.

The evidence of the real world shows that many young people don’t need to go to university at all, to have a meaningful life and work.  Some are better off at ITPs or simply going straight to work or starting their own businesses.  When you see lunacy of the type going on at Massey, one realises that its time for a reassessment of tertiary education because too many institutions are losing the plot.

MEDIA RELEASE
Massey deprives students with new free speech/external speaker policy

12 November 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEResponding to the launch of Massey University’s new policy and code regarding free speech and external speaker, Free Speech Coalition spokesman Dr David Cumin says:

“Massey’s new external speaker code is a bureaucratic nightmare, and its “free speech” policy is an Orwellian absurdity.”

Each event organiser, and any external speaker, is expected to read twelve new pages of code and policy.

The event organiser needs to fill out a form to help university officers conduct a ‘risk assessment’ of the speaker and topic, including the likelihood of ‘mental harm’ and ‘negative media coverage’. This must be submitted three weeks prior to the event.

The speaker is expected to express ideas that university officers consider ‘meaningful’ and ‘mana-enhancing’.

And finally, if after the event the University deems that the speaker breached these terms, it can take disciplinary action against the event organiser.

“The broad, inscrutable language of Massey’s new policy gives university staff enormous discretion to shut down speech according to their own biases, or those of would-be protestors. The ‘thug’s veto’ which saw the cancellation of recent events will be as effective as ever.”

“Most importantly, Massey has completely failed to understand the chilling effect of its anti-speech policies. The bureaucracy, delay, uncertainty, and threat of punishment all serve to discourage students from inviting any external speakers onto campus. Massey is choosing to deprive its students of the rich educational experience they deserve.”

ENDS

Media contact:
Dr David Cumin
021 369 282

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