Latrobe University students were protesting against funding and job cuts at the humanities faculty during Open Day on Sunday at the university’s Bundoora campus. The student union claims the university plans to axe 41 staff and 500 subjects.
But as Professor John Dewar was talking to the media during La Trobe’s Open Day, marching students rounded a corner towards him. When they spotted the university head, the protesters chased him into a building and up through a corridor, where he was protected and surrounded by security and staff.
Dewar was jostled by the crowd of protesters before staff and security could whisk him away into a nearby room.
I was in student centre offices and then there was a lift that took us down to the tunnels and then we were easily away from there. So not a problem.
He says it just goes to show how passionate students are about humanities.
I was just anxious to ensure that the parents and the children and prospective students were not too alarmed by what was going on so the campus could focus on the main business of the day.
Despite the scare, Dewar says he supports the students’ right to protest.
I think it adds colour and movement to life on campus, I think it’s fantastic.
La Trobe University will review what happened and some students may face penalties, which include expulsion.