Police have been called to University of Auckland’s O’Rorke Hall after a series of racist posts were made on Reddit.
They appeared after a Reddit user (going by the name ‘TheGreatTakeBackNZ’) posted a number of concerning messages on the unofficial university subreddit r/universityofauckland. The messages – some of which included threats of assault and genocide – were racist in nature, and specifically targeted Asian students. They called for migrants to be expelled from the country, and for white men to start a “killout”. The Reddit user claimed to have QR codes posted around the university that were there to spread their message. They also claimed O’Rorke Hall the movement’s “base is at the O’roke [sic] and we are growing stronger every day”.
Sources say police have been patrolling the hall since mid-morning Saturday, mere hours after the post was made. The user has since been suspended from the platform, but the initial post still remains. Craccum has yet to confirm if the police have found any students responsible for or involved with the posts at O’Rorke Hall.
This development comes one month after the University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon called the idea of growing white supremacy “utter nonsense”. McCutcheon claimed that the issue had been “conflated by social media”.
Despite the dismissal by McCutcheon, there have been consistent reports from students worried for their safety.
Earlier in the year, students reported the presence of a neo-nazi student in the post-graduate labs, resulting in a petition to get the student removed. The university said it was unable to take action because the student was not breaking any laws.
In early May the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) held a hui to discuss discrimination on university grounds. Many students and staff came forwards to share their experiences, undermining the university’s claim that there is ‘zero tolerance’ for the behaviour. In the wake of the hui, AUSA sent a report to the Vice-Chancellor. The report identified the ‘pain-points’ students and staff thought had contributed to racial discrimination on campus, and made several recommendations to Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon.
Following the report, McCutcheon implied he would be taking action to work on the recommendations. It remains to be seen whether or not he will take these threats seriously.
CORRECTION: The original article published on the Craccum website reported that the neo-nazi student was in the post-graduate lounge, not the post-graduate labs. Sources report that there has not been a police presence outside the post-graduate labs. There is however, a police presence outside the post-graduate lounge as reported, but Craccum cannot confirm that the incidents are related.