A statement from the Victoria University International Socialist Club, the VUW club of the International Socialist Organisation.
This week the Victoria University International Socialist Club has come together with other student groups to help launch the campaign group Students Against Staff Cuts (SAC).
The Labour government needs to fund universities adequately. These institutions are not privately-run corporations, but are a public good. The five percent announced in the budget is a funding cut – below inflation.
We are a student club. Without the university we do not exist, and these cuts represent an attack on the university, or at least on the university as a thriving, diverse community where student politics can flourish. As a student club we want the university to be a place where a wide variety of well-taught subjects attract a new generation of young people to learn, question, and debate. Where clubs like ours can flourish in an atmosphere of vibrant political and intellectual debate and exploration. If cuts like these continue, the future we face will be very different. That future is one of dwindling programmes, gutted services, dropping enrolments and the withering of all the most exciting and valuable elements of student life.
As a wider organisation, the International Socialist Organisation, we stand with all workers struggling for their rights. We stand for everyone’s right to quality education that serves the needs of the people and the planet, not the needs of profit. We stand in solidarity with the VUW staff (including some of our own members!) fighting back against this attack, and we believe that student-staff solidarity will be a crucial part of winning this fight.
We know the importance of universities as sites of struggle. Radical organising on campuses has been a crucial part of progressive movements. Students in Aotearoa and around the world have been, and continue to be, leaders in struggle and a crucial part of the socialist movement. Let’s fight to keep this tradition alive!
To support Students Against Cuts, follow us on Facebook and other social media: https://www.facebook.com/StudentsAgainstCutsVUW/
Attend the public meeting this Friday to join the fightback: https://www.facebook.com/events/1646866795795062/
Get more information about the proposed cuts at VUW: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018891627/union-fights-for-employees-facing-victoria-university-job-cuts
Read on our website about the fightback against similar cuts at Otago University: https://iso.org.nz/2023/05/08/protect-otago-save-our-university/
For just a small taste of the history of radical student organising on the campuses of Aotearoa, see this article from our archives: