EXCLUSIVE: Whaleoil interview with the President of the AUESA

When the MSM went all in on the so-called White supremacist, Nazi scandal at Auckland University I followed the hysteria closely. I reached out to the President of the AUESA on facebook.

… this time we feel it’s best for our individual members’ safety if we let this whole thing die down although someone may contact you in future depending on what happens.

-President AUESA

About 30 minutes after I received the response from the AUESA President the group’s facebook was closed down. It concerned me that the reaction was so bad that he felt that he had to close down the group and I wondered what had happened. Recently the page became live again and I requested and was granted an interview. Now for the first time, we can find out what really happened at Auckland University and how the group came about.

The idea for AUESA began on one of our Facebook groups. I shared the idea with everyone in the group and they all agreed that there should be a University club to celebrate European culture. It seemed only fair considering there is a Kiwi Asian club, UoA Pacific Island club (AUPISA), Indian Society, and various Maori organisations. The motivation to set this up was because we all wanted to celebrate European culture, but we all had a suspicion that there would be a double standard and the club would not be accepted because it was a European club and because  AUSA is run by very left wing people. There were 33 people actively involved in setting the club up, though not all were UoA students.

The slogan ‘strength through honour’ and the design were all done by me since we had no graphic designers working with us. I have no experience with designing logos and in hindsight should have contacted some friends who could have done a better job. ‘Strength through honour’ was a slogan I thought up myself. I had seen some Celtic designs before and thought they looked cool. There was really not much thought put into it, I googled “Celtic designs”, took a picture called the ‘celtic tree of life’ and edited it to include the name of our group. It was that simple. I had no idea some fascist groups use Celtic imagery. But even if I knew that it wouldn’t stop me from using Celtic imagery. There is nothing wrong with using Celtic imagery and it certainly is not racist.

The idea for the club began in October 2016. We started the club in January 2017 and organised our O Week stall that month. It wasn’t until one week before we were due to have our stall at O Week that a Marxist organisation on campus called “We are the University” noticed our group and decided to do everything they could to shut us down. These people do not believe in free speech. They wish to shut everything down that that ‘offends’ them. From there, they spread lies that we were fascists and quickly the media picked up on it and began repeating the lie that this Marxist uni club had started. This all began on February the 28th.

The decision to close down was because of all the threats we received. They were serious and included death threats. At the time we decided it was not worth the risk to continue so we closed down the club. I didn’t want to drag the whole thing out so did not contact the police but other members of the club did.

The University itself was wonderful. They had no problem with us setting up a stall at O Week and were very accommodating towards us. Campus Life even called after all the media attention happened, and offered support to us. It is important to note that the University does not decide whether to affiliate clubs. It is the role of the student union (AUSA). It just so happens to be that AUSA is run by left wing social justice warriors and they are the ones, along with ‘We are the University’ that started all the fuss. The University of Auckland, in my opinion, treated us very well.

Looking back on it, I would not have done anything differently. We have reopened our Facebook page, and will be holding meet ups, most likely at Shadows (the student bar) regularly. Had we designed a more professional cover photo and slogan, chances are we would not have received any media attention, but would still have been denied affiliation with AUSA, meaning we would have simply fizzled out. Even though all the accusations of racism were unfounded, it did give us national attention which will allow us to grow as a club.

All the media attention was a complete shock. I remember waking up and checking Facebook, only to see I had several messages from people linking me articles from the NZHerald, Stuff, and Newshub, all claiming we were white supremacists. It was unreal. I didn’t expect any of that so was unsure about how to deal with it all. After a week or so, once it had blown over, it came right. But it was hard to focus on the first week of Uni classes in light of all the controversy.

We are bringing the club back, but we are not going to affiliate with AUSA. We will just be an unofficial University organisation. It does not really matter that we aren’t affiliated with AUSA, because we have already received a lot of attention for our club. Most people who would want to join, now know about the club.

My advice for any students wanting to set up a similar club is to not make it political. Keep it cultural based, and no one can really attack you. There are clubs for many different cultures, and surely there is room for all the different European cultures to be celebrated too.

 

 


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