Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Griffithgate: One dead, two to go

Quite recently an exchange of emails between Grigoris Antoniou, my supervisor for the honours thesis at Griffith University, and myself took place. During its short course he told me he how unbearable it was for him to see someone like Terry Dartnall being attacked, especially since he had died in the meantime. One does not speak ill of the deceased.

Well, yes and no. In the confluence of life good things happen and bad. A funeral would not be the time to enter into every detail, but does it mean that death dissolves all, and no act may ever be touched again?

The situation with Griffith has dragged on for eight years. Every month is a reminder of its deleterious effects. For eight years the three examiners of the thesis and any other associate could have thrown light upon the affair; this includes the vice-chancellor, Ian O’Connor. Yet none did.

Not only that - a few months ago the ever-protective vice-chancellor had me removed from campus in a police van rather than engage in a conversation. It is the latest reward from my alma mater: for my achievements, for fulfilling the role of student with honour, the police shoves me into their car and takes me away like a criminal.

Forward to July and a request to the university under the Freedom of Information Act reveals Terry Dartnall as one of the examiners but leaves out the other two. Terry Dartnall is dead, but the others are still alive and their records had been destroyed.

Either records are destroyed or they are not. Consider the timelines: Dartnall’s death in September 2007, and the police action occurring in March 2008 with the ultimate outcome unbeknown to the instigators. And the names of those who could be made to speak are being hidden.

Now there are two left. Two lecturers who for the past eight years could have responded in some way, perhaps if only to demonstrate once and for all how deluded I had been. Yet they choose to keep quiet.

Two lecturers who cannot bring themselves to stand by their actions but rather hide behind crass examples of authoritarianism.

One dead, two to go.

No comments: