Flinders University students are currently staging a sit-in as they continue to fight to save the Flinders Drama Centre. The sit-in will continue until university executives cease all restructuring plans and agree to meet with students for meaningful consultation. The review of and subsequent suggested cuts to the Flinders Drama Centre have been yet another blow to Arts students at Flinders University and in South Australia, where ongoing restructuring has seen many Arts courses cut.
The review – which was not undertaken by nor did it involve any practicing artists – has been ridiculed by students, who balked at the idea that they should be “learning to act for TikTok”.
The students have three demands:
- That the university ceases putting any recommendations into action effective immediately
- That the university recognises the bias in the review, and that the review be redone “with artists for artists” including a fair representation of all perspectives and with a brand new panel that is truly unbiased
- That all current students are allowed to complete the current program without any structural changes until the beginning of 2024
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“This is the only drama school of its kind in Adelaide. This restructure will have a devastating impact on students, and on South Australia’s arts community over the coming years.
“Arts education is being eroded bit by bit. The profit motive for universities is increasingly driving decision making, and arts courses seem to always be first on the chopping block.
“This is supposed to be the festival state, but we are seeing students and performers being driven interstate.
“The Greens stand in solidarity with protesting students. We cannot allow 50 years of history and success to be brutally cut, leaving students’ education hanging in the balance.