6 thoughts on “On Christian Engagement with the Industrial Action at Sydney Uni

  1. Hi Richard,
    I completely agree, many students Christian and otherwise haven’t invested time into working out what the strike is about leading to the uninformed and selfish remarks to you speak of.

    The first time round I was completely as you described, uninformed and only concerned about the impact on me (a 4 week research intensive being postponed meaning a 70% project would be due in a week i already had 70% of assessments due in). (Also, the impact on EUers and it’s activities after being verbally assaulted entering campus wearing my EU shirt).

    Last week my lecturer on social inequality spent 15 minutes explaining why she was striking. Not just taking her word for it, I did do my research. I did read Raewyn’s letter, NTEU info and the university info. While I see both sides and appreciate that many of the requests of NTEU are legitimate demands, and agree the university public relations crew have done a fair bit of spinning in their communication, I don’t agree the strike/industrial action is the right way to go about the resolving these issues.

    On the most part I detest EAG’s involvement, considering it has been their interactions i have and my friends classes have been affected from. The media coverage surrounding yesterdays activities has been completely damaging on the reputation of USYD’s students. Historically, Sydney University has demonstrated it is the leading institution to which the majority of our state and national leaders arise from, is this industrial activity sending the right message to Sydney/Australia: Sydney University is full of radical leftists who thrive on the opportunity to protest (anything).

    Anyway – a worthwhile blogpost, thanks.

    • Thanks Mel. I probably should have made it clear in the original post that I wasn’t trying to have a conversation about whether or not striking was the right move, but rather to talk about engaging with the issues the industrial action has raised. And you’re quite right: some of the behaviour of some strikers has been appalling.

  2. Well said Richard, though this has been a hard one to engage with, possibly because both sides have immediate access to students. We’re getting emails back and forth from both unions/staff and the university management describing the ways in which the other is lying. It’s possible to honestly try to engage, but to come away with the impression that one is being used by both sides as a scapegoat. I support the staff and particularly the academics, but I have a bad taste in my mouth from (some of) the rhetoric and from (some of) the approaches taken by (some of) the protesters. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the responses you’ve seen are from students who have tried to engage and given up – perhaps still not good enough, but perhaps understandable when they feel caught in the crossfire.

    • Thanks Iain! You’re clearly more pastorally minded than I; some people certainly are feeling ‘caught in the crossfire’ and I probably need to be careful to remember that. There has been some unhelpful rhetoric and tone on both sides, which does make it hard to engage well.

      • I wouldn’t say that, just feeling caught in the crossfire myself, particularly as both student and casual staff! Such messy times. Everyone safe and well? (re: abovementioned abuse of EUers)

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