Stuart McCutcheon thinks students are too sensitive

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, April 14th, 2019 - 39 comments
Categories: Christchurch Attack, racism, useless - Tags: ,

Of all the tone deaf post March 15 reckons I have heard the recent reckon from Auckland University Vice Chancellor has to be one of the worst.

He has said that concerns raised by students about increased fascist activity on and around campus are utter nonsense and that students are just being too sensitive.

From Josephine Franks at Stuff:

The University of Auckland says claims white supremacy is thriving on campus are “unsubstantiated”.

In a statement released on Friday, Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said there was “absolutely no evidence of an increasing problem”.

He said the university was dealing with two separate issues confined to one faculty and involving a small group of students.

It was “being conflated by social media and a naturally enhanced sensitivity following the Christchurch mosque attacks”,” he said.

Take that snowflakes.

Students have responded with some anger.  Again from Stuff:

In an open letter, a group of students said they were “frustrated at the trivialising language” used by McCutcheon in his statement.

“There is clear evidence that there is indeed a presence of white supremacist activity, and a number of students have experienced this very directly.

“We’re looking for leadership and proper engagement from the Vice-Chancellor. His public statement was the first acknowledgement of our complaints that we have seen, and he has not approached any of us personally.”

Some examples of the racist activity on campus dated back to six years ago, and no disciplinary action was taken, the letter said.

“Racist and white supremacist students have been allowed to remain on campus at the expense of others, who did not feel safe to work in the same spaces as them after having been harassed.”

The TEU has reminded McCutcheon about University management’s decision to allow the Auckland University Students European Association stall space at Orientation two years ago when they said this:

The Tertiary Education Union has joined with AUSA and other groups urging the vice-chancellor of Auckland University to step in and reverse a decision that allows a group promoting white supremacy to spread racist messages as part of orientation week.

The TEU is among a range of organisations appalled by a decision of the university’s Campus Life department to grant the ‘Auckland University European Students’ Association’ a stall in orientation week. Slogans and material posted on the group’s Facebook page strongly point towards an objective of promoting ‘white pride’.

The Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) has expressed its disappointment “that a potentially offensive group will be permitted to have a presence at the University of Auckland Orientation, despite serious student concerns of racist material.”

The decision by the Campus Life department to grant a stall is something afforded to groups who have not yet had a chance to affiliate with AUSA. TEU’s branch committee pointed out that this situation would not have occurred before the responsibility for approving stalls at orientation week was removed from AUSA hands in 2012.

Sandra Grey, TEU national president, said

“this illustrates the pitfalls of taking control of student affairs away from students. It is clear from the imagery used (now removed) on the group’s Facebook page that these are people that promote white supremacy. There is no place for a group such as this in the university community.

“Like the students’ association we respect the importance of free speech on our campuses, but ‘white pride’ promotes hate not free speech. On this ground, and for the safety of others, we urge the university management to step in. This ‘white pride’ group should not be allowed to have space at the university’s Clubs’ Expo.”

The TEU Council, Te Toi Ahurangi, and the University of Auckland TEU branch will be making representation to the Vice-Chancellor and Proctor to ask them to act to ensure the campus remains a safe and tolerant space.

Curwen Rolinson has some of the detail on the group in this facebook post.  Basically it was an attempt to troll the student’s community with thinly veiled material supporting white supremacy with them then standing back and saying they cannot understand why everyone was so upset.

And recent graffiti using phrases from phrases the Christchurch killer had tweaked on his weapons is the sign of someone with a sick mind.

Clearly following recent events tolerance for this sort of behaviour is and should be very low.  Which is why McCutcheon’s tone deaf comments are so hard to understand.

39 comments on “Stuart McCutcheon thinks students are too sensitive”

  1. 15 March or not, he has a university to run and his response is correct: the claims are unsubstantiated.

    I doubt McCutcheon thinks these students are being “too sensitive.” He’ll be well aware that they’re taking advantage of the post-attack political climate to push their agenda, and their claims to the media are to try and force him into taking action against the claimants’ political opponents on campus. He’d be a pretty poor VC if he bent over for it.

  2. WeTheBleeple 2

    I’ve mentioned before here my experience of being attacked on campus at UoA.

    A white South African came up to me where I sat in the quad, slapped my coffee from my hand, and jabbed his finger in my forehead. “Have you got a dot on your head or something”.

    I knew the guy and had spent a bit of time the semester before trying to help him meet others. Two months prior I’d seen him while hanging out in Albert Park. He came up and had a chat, as he left he shook my hand, my indian friend went to shake his hand too, and he looked to refuse, I asked him not to be rude and to shake, and he did.

    Two months later

    “Have you got a dot on your head or something!”

    There is no depression in New Zealand
    There are no sheep on our farms
    There is no racism in UoA
    We got no…

  3. simbit 3

    I and other Maori staff at another university laid several formal complaints of racism over a period of about 2 years, several years ago. Most of those affected resigned, were variously disciplined, or had their positions disestablished. This same university had complaints of racist behaviour from white students that included Nazi salutes and swastikas.

    I suspect the terrorist attack does not mark the end of violent white racism in Aotearoa NZ. Buy also the ‘tie’ Nazis (distinct from the ‘boot’ Nazis in dress, education and power) that occupy senior positions across the country, indeed the entire Western (for want of a better term) world have strategized better than their opponents. Like the lack of a coherent Leftist manifesto post-GFC, we seem curiously ill prepared for what had been obvious to many people for a long time.

  4. Incognito 4

    For a more balanced and informed commentary it would have been preferable to have included a link to the VC’s full statement of last Friday.

    https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2019/04/12/white-supremacy-claims-unsubstantiated-says-university.html

    There’s no denial of the problem and there’s no downplaying either.

  5. Anne 5

    Which is why McCutcheon’s tone deaf comments are so hard to understand.

    No it’s not mickysavage.

    Based only on his reaction to the student’s claims, I would say this person sits in his windowless ivory tower oblivious of what goes on down there… at ground level. Add to that the sense of proprietary and superiority his position implies, and you have a recipe for dismissal of the students’ claims.

    This is nothing new. I went through a similar experience with alt-right wing individuals thirty years ago (not linked to a uni campus) and I think it is likely the abuse and graffiti the students have reported is only the tip of the iceberg. There will also be covert harassment (possibly including stalking) that the students choose not to reveal at this stage.

    These right-wing fascists will have gone to ground while the publicity lasts but they will reappear somewhere further down the track.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Stuart McCutcheon should have been sacked long ago. His authoritarian, mangerialist and bean counting approach to university governance has no place in an academic institution. He is the Philistine personification of the commodification of higher learning.

    • Anne 6.1

      His authoritarian, mangerialist and bean counting approach to university governance has no place in an academic institution.

      Aha… what I suspected.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Part of the Managerialist, bean counting, controlled, bums on seats mold, that has been forced on education, as well as health and other services.

    • Incognito 6.2

      In that case, it won’t be hard to pick sides, will it?

      FYI, McCutcheon will be stepping down as VC at the end of the year.

    • His authoritarian, mangerialist and bean counting approach to university governance has no place in an academic institution.

      You and I believe that approach has no place in an academic institution, but current and previous governments over the last three decades have taken a different view. From the government’s perspective, Stuart McCutcheon is an excellent VC.

  7. marty mars 7

    Sadly the racist attitudes displayed by the white supremacists are the tip of the iceberg. The ‘do nothing’ anti leadership shown by the vice is part of the iceberg and typical of a wider societal problem imo – “it’s not us it’s them”. Nah it is you. Wouldn’t surprise me to find hotbeds of racist thinking embedded within our learning institutions at all – the surprise would be letting the information get out considering all of the layers of decency trying to hold in in and keep it secret.

    • KJT 7.1

      Not surprising considering the proportion of University students that are the entitled brats, of well off, right wing, tax dodgers.

      • alwyn 7.1.1

        I’ve no doubt that you have numbers to prove this claim?
        Just how many of them are the children of tax dodgers for example?
        Real numbers, not just some fanciful bullshit please.
        Or are you just making it up?

        • KJT 7.1.1.1

          I know two, for a start.

          • alwyn 7.1.1.1.1

            When one sees that there are more than 40,000 students at the University I really don’t think that that claim of yours proves anything at all.
            In other words you can’t provide anything at all to justify your claims.
            Or are you saying that the proportion you are talking about is that they comprise less than 0.005% of the student roll?

            • KJT 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh. FFS. I saw enough of it when I was at Waikato.

              Not to mention some staff thinking female undergraduates were there for the plucking.

              About 12 years ago.

              And the faculty didn’t seem to want to do much about it.

              I doubt if much has changed.

              Or. In your world is direct observation, not, evidence?

              • alwyn

                As you say. Oh FFS.
                The subject of the comments was the behaviour of of students at the University of Auckland.
                When challenged about your claims you start talking about the House of Horrors down SH1 in the Waikato.
                That Hick town Haven of Hopeless Hacks isn’t a University! It is for people who, after a couple of years of remedial reading go on to learn the different techniques for artificially impregnating Herefords as opposed to Holsteins.
                One doesn’t expect any civilized behaviour from people like that of course.

                • KJT

                  🤣🤣

                  Which is better.

                  Actually researching technology in Waikato.

                  Or Auckland, the place for students who are too timid to leave their comfortable white bread, home.
                  The engineering school which specializes in racist Haka.
                  Or the MBA, school which teaches ever more elaborate ways of cheating people out of their money.
                  Not to mention the tax dodging courses.

                  I have to admit their school of education isn’t half bad. Not a patch on Waikato, though.

                  BTW. My son learnt how to impregnate cows in a couple of weeks. He now makes more in a week than you do, knowing the difference between a jersey and a red devon. He didn’t need Uni to do that.

                  • higherstandard

                    Good money in bestiality is there ?

                  • alwyn

                    “The engineering school which specializes in racist Haka”.
                    My, my. You do have a good memory.
                    That must be 40 years ago. I haven’t heard of one lately though.
                    Complaining about Auckland isn’t going to cause me any pain though.
                    I never went there for my education.

                    How you come to this conclusion interests me though.
                    “He now makes more in a week than you do”.
                    I fail to see how you could possibly come to this conclusion unless you work for the IRD and you are breaking the law. If you went to Waikato of course perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t obey the law.

                    • KJT

                      Hit a nerve, eh!

                      Yep. Wherever you went, you should ask for your fees back.

                      Thanks for the humerous interlude, however, and the compliment on the memory.

                    • alwyn

                      “the humerous interlude”.
                      With that following on from “hit a nerve” I would like to think that you were making a joke but I don’t think so.
                      It was either an accidental mistyping of the word humorous or you really are illiterate. Your comments don’t show enough intelligence to manage something as clever as a joke.

                      On the other hand I don’t think you are from the IRD. I think you were just making up b*s and, as usual, pretending your statements are factual. Pretty typical for one of today’s lefties of course.
                      Why I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a schoolteacher.
                      If you want people to take your remarks seriously why don’t you stick to things that you can show are true?

                      Otherwise people will, like me, simple ignore the words you put into print as the confused ramblings of a pathological liar.

                    • KJT

                      I really did hit a nerve.

                      Projection much.

                      And I thought you were just a paid nat troll. Or a Crosby Textor algorithm. Apologies.

                    • Wensleydale

                      It’s nice to see your hobby of ‘pompous trolling in a sad attempt to appear clever’ is still paying dividends, Alwyn. Good for you.

                    • alwyn

                      @Wens.
                      That’s nice dear.
                      Now, just for the CCTV, say “cheese”.

      • Anne 7.1.2

        It sounds to me they are selecting the students they harass perhaps based on their back-grounds. It seems that some of those picked on have already dropped out which could be the perpetrators’ intentions.

        And the ‘management’ sit idly by and do nothing. Same old same old…..

        • Psycho Milt 7.1.2.1

          It sounds to me they are selecting the students they harass…

          Who is selecting students to harrass? Which students have they harrassed?

          It seems that some of those picked on have already dropped out …

          Which students have dropped out?

          It’s easy for people with a political agenda to make anonymous claims. That’s why such claims should be treated with skepticism unless substantiated.

          • Anne 7.1.2.1.1

            I saw a news article online but don’t have the time or inclination to search for it. I’m reporting what one (or more) of the students told a journalist.

            Its a sorry state of affairs if anyone who is the target of harassment, intimidation or worse, is not to be believed unless they can come up with the evidence. Like criminals, the perpetrators don’t go around leaving much ‘evidence’ of their conduct and in some cases even their identities. It requires an investigation to determine that, but managements – even the police on occasion – don’t want to bother because (imo) they don’t want to know what is going on under their noses.

            Instead they play it down and effectively blame the target/targets for the situation. I’ve been there mate. I know what happens.

            And the only political agenda here looks like it is coming from the perpetrators not the victims.

  8. Higherstandard 8

    Good grief what a load of fucking old wank.

    Majority of students on campus couldn’t give a flying fuck and busy themselves getting degrees and/or partying.

    As incognito posted above the VCs statement and actions seem quite reasonable and considered.

    https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2019/04/12/white-supremacy-claims-unsubstantiated-says-university.html

    Perhaps MS and some of the commenters want more universities in NZ to behave as Massey did in prejudging what and who can speak on campus to suit their own political agendas.

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      How quickly you forget .
      Harawira- when still an MP- back in 2011 was de- platformed by Auckland University Law school after Young Nats activists threatened a protest.

      The right wing cheer leaders at the time were squawking about ‘ freedom to protest’

  9. Stuart Munro. 9

    It seems from the outside rather like the case of the student nurse at Christchurch Polytech who was harassed about 20 years back. She moved to Australia, completed her degree in a less dysfunctional environment, and got on with her life.

    An enthusiasm for creating race panics makes an extremely dubious progressive credential.

    • Blade 9.1

      Good memory, Stuart. By the way, things haven’t improved. The health system is so politically correct the mind boggles.

      • Stuart Munro. 9.1.1

        There was some wrong on each side in fact – but the Polytech failed badly in their duty of care to their student by making unsanctioned use of her private mental health records, which they were aware of through informal channels.

  10. Jum 10

    Years ago, a very shy friend, a white teenager was walking down the quiet main street and was called a white honky from the other side of the street by a brown teenager. My friend just kept her head down and walked quickly on; why? The other person was trying hard, or not so hard, to keep control over a doberman.

    Then, a walk into a dairy, and surrounded by very big brown gang members hanging out there, just resulted in a smile and letting her through to the counter. No harrassment.

    And, me? I’ve been ignored often by people that think they are better than me in some way. I just feel sorry for their loss…

    Moral of these stories is that there is no telling what each individual is like, until they are tested.

    The message of any university is that it is the last place youth can freely test the system, and learn valuable life lessons. It was appalling when nats reduced the university board to a yes-board. No voice for the students or tutors. That is what has failed the university.

    A vice chancellor with an eye to the future of his/her students and tutors would use this current situation of one says/another says as a debating topic outside where anybody can ask questions. Any person with two braincells would know that knowledge throughout history was not the sole property of white people.

    Any paraphenalia that can be handed out such as flags, propaganda (and that includes books that are anti Darwin which was handed out) should be banned and the student or any group should face disciplinary measures.

    I don’t want anyone’s religion taking over New Zealand. I don’t want any race, etc etc controlling any student’s life while at University or any other learning facility. Outside university life there will be more than enough crappy stuff to influence them.

    University should be a melting pot of all sorts of beliefs and knowledge and all have something to teach the other.

    White supremacists think women are lesser beings; so do many, if not all, religions. Sadly, so many women agree with them. Personally, I cannot understand what people see in any of them.

    We’ve been given a chance, though it came about through tragedy, to be New Zealanders that can think with our hearts as well as our heads when we consider the rights of ALL other New Zealanders. That would be an outcome that could make a valuable pay it forward future, that on 15 March we lost sight of.

  11. Steve Bradley 11

    Nothing more than you’d expect from a hard-line anti-union representative of the corporate class. Stewart McCrotchrot is a Tory administrator who can be relied on to brush inconvenient truths under his plush carpet. He’s up for a night-hood next time National gets to be in government.

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