Uni praises students' peaceful rally

Wednesday, 31 March 2004

The University of Adelaide today praised its students for conducting a responsible and peaceful demonstration on its North Terrace Campus.

The students were part of a National Day of Action to protest against possible HECS fee changes, proposed voluntary student unionism and a lack of funding for universities.

About 100 students from the universities of Adelaide, Flinders and South Australia initially gathered outside the Barr Smith Library at 1.00pm before marching through the city. The march ended at the Mitchell Building, where they requested to meet with the Vice- Chancellor Professor James McWha.

As Professor McWha is currently overseas on University business, the students were met by Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Penny Boumelha, who was presented with a submission relating to possible fee increases.

Professor Boumelha undertook to convey their submission to the Vice- Chancellor in the context of the current process of consultations with students and the Students' Association.

"What I can tell you is that no decision as to how the University will respond in the matter of HECS loadings has yet been made," Professor Boumelha told the students.

The students then left the Mitchell Building.

"This University recognises students' rights to express their opinions and we respect a diversity of views," Professor Boumelha said. "The students voiced their views and concerns in a responsible manner; and we commend our Students' Association for the way in which they organised their demonstration."


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