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University union accused of discrimination over ‘ridiculous’ policy

3aw mornings

The University of Sydney’s oldest debating club has been accused of discrimination and playing “identity politics” after it implemented an “affirmative action” policy that will see some of its best debaters miss out in favour of “non-cis-males” and persons “marginalised by white ­supremacy”.

Joshua Crawford is president of the Sydney University Liberal Club and told Neil Mitchell the move was ridiculous.

“The objective of the university should be to put forward the best team possible instead of playing identity politics,” he said.

“They’re telling some of our top debaters, people who have worked incredibly hard to make this team, that they don’t have the right skin colour or aren’t the right sex and that’s why they can’t participate.

“It is ludicrous. It’s the sort of discrimination you’d think society has moved away from.”

Mr Crawford said most people involved were against the policy but were afraid to speak out.

“It’s part of the Left’s war against merit,” he said.

“I’m disappointed to say there are actually debaters who have come to me and said they oppose the measures and want to speak out but they’re worried that if they do they’ll be punished and barred from the team.

“The great irony of this, of course, is that the debating team is supposed to be a platform for people to freely debate ideas, independent of their identity.”

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