Message from the Vice-Chancellor: Student protest update

This message was emailed to all students on 22 May 2024.

If you have been to the Agora today for a coffee, you may have noticed that the student encampment at our Melbourne (Bundoora) campus has now been disbanded following our directive to the encampment organisers last Friday, 17 May.

I welcome this development in the interests of the ongoing health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors to the campus. La Trobe will continue to accommodate the right of students and staff to protest peacefully, safely and respectfully without an encampment.

We understand that further protest activity may be planned and consider it timely to assure our community that we will not accept:

  • Physical violence
  • Damage to property
  • Disruption of University activities and services, including lectures, classes and research
  • Unlawful behaviour or messages including those which are threatening or abusive
  • Racist behaviour or messages with content that is discriminatory, harassing, vilifying or victimising

Although the encampment has been disestablished, our security team will continue to have a presence to ensure safety for all, including those participating in any protest activity. University services – including the Library – will continue as normal.

While there have been no reports of disruptions to classes to date, acts of protest activity that disrupt classes or other University operations, or which is antisemitic or Islamophobic, will not be tolerated. We encourage you to report activity or behaviour of this kind to Safer Community and to seek support from Security if further assistance is required, rather than confronting protestors directly.

The Student Wellbeing team is available to support any student who is concerned or impacted by protest activity.

ProfessorTheo Farrell