The Dom Post reports:
Students hurled eggs and grappled with security guards at a meeting about raising course fees at Victoria University.
About 30 protesters crowded the public gallery of the university’s council chambers yesterday, shouting slogans against a proposed 5 per cent increase.
They were also angered by a move to raise the Student Services Levy, which funds counselling, financial support, and career advice, from $251 to $510.
“We will not allow anyone who wants to raise fees to speak,” shouted one protester.
As university vice-chancellor Pat Walsh tried to explain the reasons behind the proposed increase, he was drowned out by chants demanding free education.
Chancellor Tim Beaglehole issued two warnings to the protesters, before closing the meeting to the public.
An orange and several eggs then rained down from the public gallery, just missing council members.
That crosses the line from protest to intimidation and thuggish behaviour.
Scuffles broke out with security guards as about 10 protesters moved to occupy the council chambers.
“The guy just launched into me,” said Joel Cosgrove, a former student president and veteran protester. “I just dropped to the floor. They were being pretty rough.”
I don’t suppose we can give the university security guards tazers, can we?
Incidentally I agree the increase to $510 is quite outrageous. 95% of students would not get even a fraction of $500 worth of value from the services that levy provides.
I suspect the university is increasing the student services fee, because it can not increase the tuition fee. Another reasons why the fee maxima policy is flawed.
UPDATE: I now understand that this was an incomplete article by the Dominion Post. The projectiles did not miss. At least two Council members were hit by eggs and VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle was visibly shaken after being hit square on the head by an orange. It was clear that the members of the Workers Party (wearing tee shirts and carrying banners advertising their membership) seemed to be targeting Freemantle who was expelled by the party earlier in the year.