Published on August 2nd, 2016 | by Jake Cupitt0
NUS on UOW campus to combat WUSA vote
With the WUSA vote to leave the NUS currently underway, ending on Wednesday, NUS representatives have been protesting on UOW’s main campus.
They were approaching students entering and leaving the WUSA office, an area that is shared with the Queer Collective office and the Women’s safe space. As a result of this, there were reports of students feeling accosted and uncomfortable with the NUS presence. UOW security was called to the scene and directed the NUS representatives to leave the WUSA office and campaign outside building 19.
The move to leave has been considered dramatic by some, but WUSA President Sam Tedeschi, considers the change in direction pragmatic and in the best interest of Wollongong students, “I think it’s a very common sense [decision], I don’t think it’s controversial at all. But these people (NUS) want to cling on to whatever pretend power they think they have so they can hold on to their salaries and the free flights they used to get up here and protest outside our campus, hassling students who have nothing to do with them.”
Student Association Administration assistants Kirsten and Yasmine were amongst the crowd of people gathered in the WUSA office. “Because this is an LGBTI space, it means it is a safe space, it wasn’t very good for them to constantly be here and hassling students, so it wasn’t really a ‘safe space’,” Kirsten said.
“We were made to feel quite uncomfortable by the amount of people they were bringing in here, to you know question us on things.” Yasmine said.
Flyers handed out by the NUS representatives detailed “victories” they had achieved in the pursuit of student comfort. Such “victories” included; “the defeat of $100,000 degrees, stopping Centerlink waiting periods, and the introduction of the Student Services Amenities Fee (SSAF) for guaranteed money for campus services, which according to WUSA President Sam Tedeschi, WUSA intends to eliminate.
NUS representatives were approached for comment but declined to speak to student media.