GSA supports graduate students’ right to free speech and peaceful protest at the University of Melbourne.

This aligns with our Principal Purpose as outlined in our Constitution, which includes supporting equity and the engagement of the diverse graduate student body in the life of the University, and promoting the role of graduate students in addressing the challenges of the future and building a just and fair society. We recognise that at times a peaceful protest will cause inconvenience or discomfort as the movement aims to raise awareness of its cause.

We acknowledge the importance of the Student Conduct Policy in ensuring a safe environment for students and staff to learn, research, and work. However, we believe this policy should not be used to stifle freedom of speech or peaceful protest, nor to punish student protesters who have not engaged in violence or seriously harmful behaviour. Additionally, the issuance of misconduct allegations should comply with the Privacy Act and the Privacy Policy. GSA is not privy to the details of allegations, but we hope that only robust evidence of serious misconduct has been considered in issuing any general misconduct allegation notices.

GSA advises any graduate student who receives a notice of academic or general misconduct to seek support from UMSU’s Advocacy Service and to attend the misconduct meeting. We emphasize the importance of mental health and encourage students in need to use the free services provided by CAPS.