The University Of Wollongong has responded to the queer collective’s recent sit-in protest by establishing a committee to tackle prejudice on campus.
Vice-Chancellor Gerard Sutton also met with a group of queer students and released a statement urging tolerance and mutual respect.
However queer collective AllSorts believes Sutton’s response is inadequate and says their demand for a safe meeting space is still being ignored.
Queer students at the University Of Wollongong aren’t fighting for tolerance, we’re fighting for the right to be safe on campus, said AllSorts spokesperson Daniel Brown. Tolerance is just covert discrimination.
In a statement sent to all students and teachers Sutton said: I would like to send a very clear message to all members of the campus community that prejudice against groups and minorities because of sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, disability or other differences will not be tolerated.
Equity awareness and education has become a priority. A new campus program will be developed by a representative working party.
The fact homophobia was being included with all other forms of prejudice on campus was an insult to queer students, said Brown. He was also angry no queer students were included on the committee.
Brown and two other students, Annaliese Constable and Dominika Grossy, were charged with trespass on 28 August after occupying a function room in the UniCentre Building for 47 hours. The protesters were demanding the university address the increase in homophobic behaviour on campus and allocate them a safe queer space on the university grounds.
AllSorts is currently housed in a building off-campus that has no security and which regularly floods.
Brown, Constable and Grossy will appear before Wollongong Local Court next Tuesday.