At Sydney Uni this week

Posted on | April 6, 2012 | 1 Comment

Starting with an assembly in Eastern Avenue – one of the many campus locations to have been “enhanced” in recent years at major expense – Wednesday’s No Job Cuts rally moved to the iconic sandstone quadrangle, to the office of the absent Vice Chancellor, Michael Spence.

A section of the protest group then stormed the office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The final photo here captures Dean Duncan Ivison addressing the group after he was made to wait in turn following other speakers.


Thanks to Save USyd Jobs, USyd Greens and NTEU NSW for these images.

I love the photos especially because of the cubicles. Students fighting for their education in the very scene of administrative labour. But it made me think, how many will end up in a workplace just like this, whether or not their course options are cut? Does the consciousness-raising of this rally partly come down to realising what professional work now looks like? Especially given key staff in the faculty office – many of whom are themselves past and present students of the faculty – were live tweeting the events with empathy?

Protester/student/worker: the hybrid identity of cognitive capitalism.

Comments

One Response to “At Sydney Uni this week”

  1. M-H
    April 9th, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    I really don’t agree with lining up staff cuts vs ‘campus improvement’. That’s the VC’s argument, and I don’t think we should buy into it, because its effect is to set faculties against each other. The ‘improvements’ on Eastern Avenue (making it a walking space) have made that major campus hub a much more pleasant place. The new computer spaces in Carslaw building on Eastern Ave, in the Engineering precinct and the new HDR student spaces in Wallace (which are for use by all faculties but will be most useful to Arts who have by far the worst proportion of HDR students to space) were paid for by a direct grant from the federal govt of $40M three years ago and have nothing to do with current staff cuts.

    SO, I think the fight against staff cuts should be taken on its own merits, not connected with the physical campus space, which is really in a bad way in many areas – there are still buildings that don’t have good disabled access, for example, including the one that I work in which is housed the parking services, and quite a lot of staff training. It is really embarrassing for us when PWD book in for training without realising how difficult it will be for them to get from the disabled park to the front door. But I don’t want staff to lose their jobs to get it fixed!

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