Student union accused of censorship

19 February 2020

Media Releases 2020

The Students Association of the Australian National University stands accused of censorship and shutting down debates, exactly the opposite of what one should expect in a modern university, says Sandra Kanck, President of environment group Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

National Vice-President of SPA, Ms Jenny Goldie, was booked more than a month ago to address an O-Week forum on climate change today but, having travelled from Cooma to Canberra to fulfil her commitment, arrived to find the room unattended.

An e-mail was sent to her from the O-Week co-ordinators saying they were sorry for the inconvenience ‘but we are not able to host you at the panel today’.

SPA has been forwarded a post which appeared on the two ANU Environment Collective’s Facebook pages overnight, defaming both Ms Goldie and SPA.

One post was in the name of Grace Hill, identifying herself as the ANUSA’s Environment Officer , the other – also as the Environment Officer – in the name of Grace Isred, ‘most likely a pseudonym to match the politics of the Environment Collective ’ says Ms Kanck.

‘Grace Hill/Isred falsely implies SPA is racist and chauvinist, wrongly aligning us with far-right groups.

‘Instead of calling out clear instances of libel the ANUSA effectively condoned it by leaving the posts on Facebook and merely cancelling the event at the last minute.

‘It is a false dichotomy to view climate change as an issue of the left or the right. With the perilous future facing us as a consequence of climate change it will take all of us to fight it, regardless of political persuasion.

‘SPA is not a racist organisation and Jenny Goldie is not a racist person. Grace Hill/Isred might be surprised to find a photo of Jenny surrounded with her yellow and brown-skinned children and grandchildren. She might also be surprised to find photos of me marching in rallies to support refugees.

‘SPA is concerned we are seeing a new wave of politically correct repression of free speech arising in our universities, although disguised as environmentalism’ said Ms Kanck.(media release 18/02/2020)

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