how can we trust the university to care about us and treat us with dignity when every day we are reminded of how much the university and the New Zealand government, (the ministry of education and ministry of health) do not care about us. We are reminded every day that the university and the government do not care about us, when we are in our cold, damp housing, struggling to cover rent and power and buy food with student allowance and/or student living cost not being enough. We are reminded when our friends talk about not going to the doctors cuz they can’t afford it. we are reminded when our friends miss class because they have to work to cover costs. We are reminded when we are over burdened with assignments and stress taking semester long papers that used to be full year papers, charged double the cost and expected to do the work in half the time. We are reminded when we seek help and are told the Student Health counselling waiting list is 3 months long. We are reminded when our friends try to **** themselves from the stress and hopelessness of it all. We are reminded when university officials talk about us and treat us like we are lazy little ***** when we are tired and trying so hard. We are reminded when the university rai$e$ the fee$ by the maximum legal limit every year, we are so worn down that we can hardly voice our opposition. We are reminded when are told that special consideration for exams will only happen if someone dies or you are hospitalised. We are reminded when we are too depressed to function but not ‘depressed enough’ to warrant any academic leniency or support. We are reminded when Student Health costs are raised even though we already pay for student services through our student services fees. We are reminded when we spend all day (and a lot of the night too) in the library because our homes are not warm enough. We are reminded when we are given no choice, when we are condemned to decades of debt with the threat of imprisonment if we default on our loans. We are reminded when we sit in our cold flat and read the numbers of our debt that having our own healthy home is a lofty far off dream. We are reminded when they tell us university increases your income yet we know the job market is unstable and that studying out of the threat of poverty is no choice at all. We are reminded, we are shown, every day, that the university and the government do not care about us. We cannot trust them to care about us. The university shows us that this is a business and that there is no room for caring in a for-profit company.
But we the students (as well as the staff), we are what make this community great, not the power holders, not those most high up with their high incomes and net worth and assets and stock investments, it is our passion for learning and caring for each other and striving to make the world a kinder place for all, that makes this space and community of learning worthwhile. It has been said by many before me, WE ARE THE UNIVERSITY.
The institution will not give us the fair treatment, dignity and care that we need, so we must take it, we must demand it.
There cannot be business as usual because the university should not be run as a business in the first place,
we are people not machines and we are hurting.
I call on all students all staff, all people of the local and national community if you are concerned about staff cuts, course cuts, inadequate health care, poor responses to ****** violence, lack of commitment to environmental justice (no staunch stance against further offshore drilling) these issues are not separate, these concerns we feel so deeply in our heart that it burns, they are all connected because these atrocities come from the same beast of corporatised, neoliberal education run for-profit.
Let us join together against this atrocity as one!