Otago Student Harassed by Campus Watch for Taking a Study Break

Otago Student Harassed by Campus Watch for Taking a Study Break
Wed 21 May, 2008

Otago University - On Wednesday Otago University NORML recieved this e-mail from one of their members who is a particularly hard working student, while he was attempting to study for his exams in the central library.

"I'm in the library right now, and was just outside before having a smoke sitting where the ashtrays are immediatly outside the Link. This Campus
Watch guy came up and demanded I produce ID, and threatend to 'have me
arrested' if i didn't leave. I managed to be civil the entire time but he
was really angry. He said I would have to go and see the proctor at 8.30am
tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure it was an empty threat because he only radioed
back my ID number and then made the threat about 30 seconds later without
having any more radio contact. Obviously he doesn't know the proctor's
schedule. Anyway I have a final essay due tomorrow at 2pm and I don't have
time to go see the proctor!
I'm really gutted he got so mad because I was not rude at all! He got very mean and started
accusing me of all sorts of shit and repeatedly threatend me with various
degrees of punishment including, having me arrested, having my file given
to the police, and having to see the proctor first thing tomorrow.
I was by myself and not misbehaving in any way! I merely popped out of the
library for 5 minutes."

It looks like the Campus Watch are no longer merely just watching, and beginning to act like the Gestapo. Rigidly enforcing the wishes of DB and Speights that you only be allowed to relax in proscribed ways that are profitable to corporations.

OUSA would like to remind all of their members, and visitors to campus, that the Otago University campus is a 'prohibition free zone', meaning that the cannabis prohibition laws do not apply on the University grounds, and that they support smoking cannabis as an act of protest against unjust and unworkable cannabis prohibition laws.

Abe Gray of Otago University NORML and Simon Wilson, the OUSA President have spoken to the proctor about this incident and have sent him a strong message that these attempts at intimidation will not be taken lightly and that any time Campus Watch tries to harrass students for smoking cannabis they will be met with the full resistance of the entire student body, and the OUSA executive. They will not enjoy being rung up by the OUSA President every time they pick on a cannabis user, and hopefully they will get the message and think twice about any future actions.

If Campus Watch tries to harrass you for smoking cannabis, stand your ground and say that you have rights as a student and you are protected by OUSA. If they still persist in trying to hassle you, get in touch with Otago University NORML and OUSA immediately. You can run into the OUSA office, just next to the Union Food Court, between 9 and 4:30 on weekdays and ask to speak with a member of the executive. Also you can e-mail Otago NORML at dunedin@norml.org.nz