Last night a delegation asked Dr. Matheson on resolutions opposing the draft regulation.
“Fundamentally, I am not opposed to what you are proposing,” I told them.
Dr. Matheson agreed to address a lunchtime student meeting at the union building on June 13 – after the holidays.
“As far as student freedom and the freedom to speak out on campus about the NLF or anything else, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no intention whatsoever to interfere with that,” he said.
“It’s when the university gets involved – unlike individuals – that I get worried.”
The Doctor. Matheson said that during the holidays he would consider student proposals against the regulation changes.
Dr. Matheson said he would not admit that neither he nor the university would not scrutinize acts that students performed off-campus.
“I’m worried on your behalf with the name Monash has now,” he said.
“If you knew what was said to me in the outside world, so would you.
“Maybe discipline isn’t the way to do it. I want to make it clear that the university must be isolated from the group actions of students.”
Dr. Matheson said the afternoon’s demonstration was based on an article that appeared in “The Age” on Wednesday.
“The facts were right, but the inference was wrong,” he said.
“I am fundamentally concerned that the article suggested that changes were considered because of the NLF issue.
“There is no fundamental change in the regulations. They are intended to clarify the current position.”
At the campus meeting, the 2,000 students passed three motions, stating:
That the authorities take cognizance of the students’ objections to the regulations and the conviction that these objections have been carried out;
That students are not subject to university discipline for private off-campus activities;
This student discipline is a student subject, and we require students to represent 50% of the discipline committee members in the future.
A fourth motion, passed by a substantial majority of the students present, stated that the university adopts the regulations, “we will not accept their power to do so, and they may find the discipline at the university unenforceable.”
Meanwhile, a student group called the Campaign for University Freedom (CUF) has been established and has plans to coordinate more activities.