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Students criminalised for putting up 'campus feels like a factory' posters

Okezone - February 7, 2018

Prayudha, Makassar – Rezki Ameliyah, known by her friends as Melia, has had to swallow a bitter pill. Melia along with her friend and fellow student Mohammad Nur Fiqri have been suspended for two semesters after putting up posters reading "Campus feels like a factory" at the Hasanuddin University (Unhas) in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Melia related how the affair began when she and several other students held a lengthy discussion on the theme "Post-Fordism or the Post-Industrial Economy".

Students from the international department of the Political and Social Science faculty then felt concerned about what had came up during the discussion.

In protest, they expressed their concerns by putting up several posters around the campus. As they were putting up a poster in one place Melia and her colleague were detained by a campus security officer and held at the 3rd Deputy Director's office.

Without any explanation, on the same day Melia and her colleague were suspended for two semesters by campus authorities for committing vandalism.

According to Melia this arbitrary action amounted to little more than a form of criminalisation by campus authorities. She believes that university campuses are simply producing modern capitalist products that are no longer able to come up with great ideas to improve the nation.

"We felt that putting up the posters was an act of protest against what is happening on campus right now. Where the campus only exists as a product of capitalism which just produces certain groups and only in the interests of industry", Melia told Okezone on Wednesday February 7.

She also believes that the attitude of the university management shows that there is a kind of excessive paranoia which continues to the conserved to the point that it gives rise to an attitude of anti-criticism. According to Melia, her campus has no ethics with regard to the democratic system in Indonesia which is regulated by the Constitution.

"We put up the posters in three places that were clearly public notice boards. We do not feel that we ever violated existing regulations", said Melisa.

Meanwhile the head of the Unhas public relations and protocol office, Ishaq Rahman, said that the pair were suspended because they violated campus regulations.

"So they were suspended because they were deemed to have violated campus regulations. It was all done through existing mechanism and there was a process that was followed before the suspensions were carried out", said Rahman.

In relation to the posters that were put up, continued Rahman, the campus management has never prohibited or restricted this. "There is no prohibition, provided that it is in the correct place. If it is not in the places provided, then there must be prior coordination with the household section on campus", he explained.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Pasang Poster "Kampus Rasa Pabrik", Dua Mahasiswa Unhas Kena Skorsing Setahun.]

Source: https://news.okezone.com/read/2018/02/07/340/1856115/pasang-poster-kampus-rasa-pabrik-dua-mahasiswa-unhas-kena-skorsing-setahun.

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