CORRUPTION CONTINUES IN THE IVORY TOWER OF THE SUNSHINE STATE
THE UQ UNION is dead.
As recent events seem to show, high ethics is not a prized virtue among those in the seats of power at the University of Queensland.
You may learn about the great philosopher ethicists, true enough: but by the action of inaction the faculty of this illustrious institution make it all too clear that one is not truly expected to practice what they teach.
To run a dummy election, where all race candidates are ultimately but one party in a different guise, and to do so in order to embezzle and misappropriate millions of dollars of university funds is more than morally questionable: it is blatantly illegal under the penal code of this great state. And any who allow it are fellow travellers, or, to use the terminology of the Queensland Criminal Code, “abetters”.
The long victorious party known as “Fresh”, although also by other names if the accusations made against them are true, is currently the only pony in a one horse race. This comes after other party candidates withdrew in protest; following abuses of power by those in student office which made it all but impossible for challengers to run their campaigns on an even footing.
In what has been called (no doubt correctly) a “secret meeting”, the rules to nominate a party for candidature were altered such that only 48 hours remained for hopeful would be representatives to meet these new guidelines before campaigning was to begin.
Allegedly “Fresh” has kept the race afloat by entering a second party. The more traditionally labor oriented “Pulse” has had their name deliberately and inappropriately requisitioned. “Pulse” has been nominated to run, without disclosure, now staffed by members of “Fresh” and its confederates.
Unfortunately, by orchestrating an intentionally planned “non-vote”, these misguided perennial party primates have done far more than offer their student contemporaries a certain banana republic at UQ: they have trespassed into the formally protected waters of forced disenfranchisement. An act sure to compound their duplicity in a manor such that would not be looked upon favourably in either an expulsion and misconduct tribunal within the university, nor a court of law.
Long has the UQ union been known, among students and faculty alike, as little more than a sanctioned piggy bank to be plundered by a pit of unscrupulous vipers supported by the members of the Young Liberal’s and their faculty friends and forebears. This remains merely a quaint anecdote; a story whispered in the sandstone halls between classes and reminiscent of playful youth and college life. That is to say, it does so only as long as what is actually at stake is not formally articulated.
However, this changes in an instant once one is told two simple facts. Firstly, that the sum of the union budget is not meagre chump change but rather the $18 million dollars already up for grabs is rumoured to be seeing an increase to an incredible $25 plus million dollars for the upcoming term. And secondly; is their any question that this is all being paid for by our UQ specific student fee’s, which are an addition to our student loan FEE-HELP payment requirements?
Although not printed on the receipt, when you realise it is coming out of your pocket from your future wages and see for yourself just how much money is at stake: suddenly it is less an instance for nostalgia of college days and more an all out criminal affair calling for an official fraud investigation. And such an investigation may benefit from paying special mind to the few million in “miscellaneous” funds whose pattern of spending is followed with less rigour.
Those who seek (and succeed) to steal from their brother and sister scholars are not likely to check themselves when it comes to ethical affairs. Never before has the fraud been so blatant and completely distasteful as is alleged to be going on currently at UQ.
An offense which under Queensland’s legal code would ensure a likely dime behind bars is no trivial matter. Indeed, when a crime carries a potential 10 year + jail sentence for those involved, one would be forgiven for thinking that it would be taken more seriously by those who wish to protect the name of our great school. These things are often better handled internally.
But perhaps an institution so steeped in the underhanded bourgeois traditions is due to be taken to task by an outside force. The instances are all but heritage listed: from the Mayne family murder; to the more recent tacit support of the medical student gag order to silence malpractice complaints; to the notorious medical program entrance academic rigging which, so recently, caused the resignation of 2 of UQ’s most senior ranking members of staff and a CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) investigation. Yet, unperturbed, the river of high order corruption shows no indication of slowing its flow.
What is a degree worth from an institution whose name is so often tarnished?
After all that has happened in recent months, one would think decisive action would be taken internally in the name of the school and on behalf of the UQ community, its alumni, the school investors and in defence of UQ’s still repairing name in the eyes of the Queensland constituency.
Can it really be so that the theft of millions of dollars through electoral fraud is simply allowed as those in power turn a blind eye? How can this be? But perhaps the more prudent question is why such occurrences are getting to be just “business as usual” at the University of Queensland.
Vice-Chancellor Terry; where is the evidence of the new and ethical leadership that you promised us with your claims of reform that this can possibly be allowed to happen on your watch?
*Jay is in involved in research and academic practice.
**Picture Time eyes – Rorschach Heads III Series,” by José Manuel Ciria
***Revision:- Picture by Anzenor @ Deviant Art.
7th Ed BIP JChron in Sci and Lett Aug 22/12