Know of any (Aussie?) universities that ban political groups?

I go to an Australian university which doesn’t allow party-orientated groups to form. Apparently non-partisan groups are ok if there are representatives of the main political parties in it. But I’ll clarify it with the vice chancellor soon (hopefully).

Anyone know of any other universities that do this? Particularly in Australia or other supposedly free countries.

I’ve not heard of any other universities acting in this way. Which university do you attend? And what do you mean by “doesn’t allow”? Does this mean the groups can’t exist, or they can exist but not get any university funding?

University of the Sunshine Coast.
BTW, I asked the Student Guild and a course coordinator they referred me to if it was in writing and they said it wasn’t. I asked the course coordinator if that kind of thing was widespread and they said it was unique as far as they knew.
The student guild said that there was a political group last year but it got shut down due to the VC’s policy.

There are American universities that ban some party-oriented groups, but all of them (that I’m aware of) are religious schools, not public universities.

BTW there’s a Queer Collective and Christians on Campus group…
What I want to do is to promote the new Michael Moore movie - Capitalism: A Love Story, which is released in Australia on November 5th. Maybe some of the movie is flawed (I haven’t seen it… there are DOZENS of fakes on bittorent though) but I want to help people be more informed.

BTW on youtube you can do a search for “michael moore on copyright” and he says a few years ago that he doesn’t have a problem with people copy his movies if no profit is involved. But I’d ask permission anyway if I was going to distribute it.

Not withstanding the utter disgust I feel for your institution in banning party-political groups, I don’t understand why you feel a need to form one (of any persuasion) just to promote a Michael Moore movie.

Is there something I’m missing here?

I want to hand out DVD’s from Alex Jones and his friends too (I think Alex Jones’s theme about civil liberties being stripped away is mainly based in fact). I want to make sure that I don’t get in trouble. I want to clarify their policy to check whether it is ok for me to engage in political-type activities even if I’m not in a group.

Well then I’d think you’d be OK.

If I understand you correctly, and I’m not sure I do, I think you want to take up a single political issue and promote it. If so, I think you’re good to go.

I don’t know whether your university does in fact prohibit political party groups from forming, but I would be surprised if they did. But even if they do, I can’t see how you are angling to tie that in with a restriction to promote a movie.

Finally, there might be a lot of fake Micheal Moore movies out there, but I haven’t heard of it. Do you mean re-edited versions that somehow detract from the message but cutting out scenes or by inserting new scenes? If so, then I support what you’re doing. I think a lot of people misrepresent Micheal Moore’s messages.

Good on your Uni for encouraging an apolitical learning environment, I say.

Ask yourself this, though: Are many people at your university likely to care about the new film? Honestly, the answer is probably “Not really”. Most of the people that would are probably affiliated with the Socialist Alliance or the Greens or otherwise suitably “clued in” enough to be aware that the movie is coming out next week.

Could you just put up a couple of posters around the campus advertising the movie? That would have the same effect as a “political group” on the subject, one would think.

I mean on isohunt there are 72 matches for “capitalism a love story” and 71 have a negative score for being fakes. I haven’t tried seeing what the fakes contain… maybe garbage or a mislabelled film. Well now there is a real one that has 5 minutes missing and is from a video camera.
Well I’ll keep you updated about what the VC says. The receptionist said to send a email and so far I haven’t gotten a reply from his secretary or anyone else. (I sent an email at about 2:30pm) The VC is apparently overseas this week.

It means people are much less involved in the political process though.

I think so… it’s tagline includes the following " the biggest swindle in American history".

There is no Socialist Alliance or Greens group on campus though. It seems unlikely they’d be members of it.

I see there are some posters up advertising various things… I want to get permission for it (get Big Brother’s stamp of approval) otherwise I might get in trouble and I’m already quite disruptive… well I speak up in my classes a lot even if I’m not sure of the answer and recently I had a bit of an argument with a guest speaker about copyright legislation.

That’s a good thing, IMHO. Especially in Australia.

If I might make a friendly observation, as one Australian uni student to another: Other people at uni are generally far less passionate than you (generic you) about Issues, and it can be quite frustrating having an Issue that you really care about but everyone else thinks is irrelevant, trivial, or unimportant.

If your campus is a “politics-free zone” then there’s doubtless a reason for that, which may include “a student body that’s generally not very interested in politics”. That doesn’t make your interest in politics wrong or invalid, but it might be… mis-targeted on your campus.

Michael Moore is pretty well known- certainly, I’d expect English-speaking university students to be familiar with him- but his films are, I think, still pretty “take it or leave it” for a lot of people. The fact this one is subtitled “The greatest swindle in American history”, for example, doesn’t compel me to go and see the film or care about it any more or less than I might already.

Good on you for checking to make sure you’re not breaching any policies, though- very sensible and something that’s sure to be appreciated by the University.

“It means people are much less involved in the political process though.”

So are politicians more likely to serve the public if they’re left to themselves?
For people to be even less involved in politics would mean voting to be voluntary, and then for them to be even less involved, there would be no voting at all… !

There are about 5000 students at the uni… I’m sure some would be interested in the movie.

That doesn’t explain why the student guild said that there was a political group starting up last year but it was shut down.

What about this nine-msn headline:
“Capitalism: The tragic love story that spawned the GFC”
Economics students would know what “GFC” means.

Well hopefully I’ll get an appointment with the VC soon.

Correction for previous post’s url:

What about this nine-msn headline:
“Capitalism: The tragic love story that spawned the GFC”

They don’t serve the public anyway and nothing the average punter can do is ever likely to change that, IMHO.

Michael Moore is shall we say… not unbiased. I’m sure the film will be entertaining but anyone with a passing familiarity with his work will know what to expect. I just don’t think it’s likely to have the revelatory impact some people might hope for on the audience you’d like to encourage at your uni.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “Stop wasting everyone’s time and get on with your studies!”, or saying you shouldn’t encourage people to see the film or anything like that. I’m just saying “Don’t get too passionate about it because that can make people uncomfortable and have the opposite effect to the one you want.”

Does your uni publish a regular student newspaper? A word with someone there might get you an interview or an article on the upcoming film, which would avoid the “getting into trouble for putting posters up” thing (one would hope!) but still advertise the film (and your views) for the informed and intelligent person’s consideration.

They give people welfare payments, they provide health care, roads, etc. BTW educated people from uni’s aren’t necessarily average punters.

Actually I think I’m pretty detached… and I talk pretty slow… I think people are more likely to become uncomfortable because of my poor people skills - or maybe they’d feel a bit sorry for me. Or just uncomfortable at me second-guessing their reaction and being neurotic.

There’s no student newspaper.

BTW here is the email I sent:
Subject: Request for appointment with VC

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to meet with the VC to discuss his policies related to some political groups not being allowed on campus. Apparently non-partisan groups are alright though.

Yours sincerely,
xxxxx xxxxx

(I knew that the secretary was a woman but I thought I’d say Sir/Madam anyway. And I’m aware the message was a bit odd)

The Government as an entity does those things. Your local MP doesn’t.

As you rightly point out, The Government does indeed serve the public in many ways. But the MPs who are elected to that Government do not, IMHO.

Good luck with your meeting with the VC tomorrow! I’m sure it will work out for you. :slight_smile:

I thought the MPs form a cabinet and the ministers have power over their departments…

Actually the VC is overseas this week and I haven’t been given an appointment date yet… BTW I thought I might even pay money to advertise it since I’ve got hundreds of dollars…

Try getting hold of the Minister For Something Important one day, and see how long it takes. Then try getting an appointment with them.

I’m reminded of a joke about the former Soviet Union:

Boris and his wife Natasha are thrilled when Boris gets “Socialist Worker Hero Of The Month” at the factory, and as a reward they will now be allowed a Television.

Unfortunately, explains the man from the Ministry of Television And Radio And Newspapers And Not Propaganda, there is a waiting list for new Televisions and subsequently, Boris and Natasha’s new Television cannot be delivered for another three years.

Boris digests this for a moment, then says “We’ve gone without a television for this long, so I think we can wait another three years in solidarity with our working comrades. As long as the television installer doesn’t come on a Tuesday, though.”

“Boris, your Television will not be delivered for another three years” explains the man from Ministry of Television And Radio And Newspapers And Not Propaganda. “What does it matter if it is delivered on a Tuesday three years from now?”

To which Boris replies: “Because that’s when the plumber is coming”. :smiley: