University stays mum over trespass orders

University of Otago management has declined to comment on trespass notices issued against two pro-marijuana students.

Abe Gray, president of the marijuana reform group Norml, and another group member were issued with trespass notices this week banning them from the Union Lawn, the area where group members openly smoke cannabis during their twice-weekly "4.20 smoke-up" protests.

Mr Gray and two other students were arrested by police last Friday after complaints people were smoking cannabis at a Norml information stand.

Otago University Students Association president Simon Wilson criticised the trespass orders, saying it was "ridiculous" students were trespassed from an institution where they paid fees.

Asked by the Otago Daily Times why there was a trespass notice against Mr Gray, university student services director David Richardson said in a brief written reply police had issued the trespass notice so all questions should be directed to them.

There was nothing to stop anyone protesting off campus he said.

"As has been stated many times, the university has no problem with lawful protest. It does have a problem with, and will not condone, illegal activities."

I never quite understood

I never quite understood what`s the problem with this trespass order. If anyone can explain me please do so in a comment because this problem concerns me and I`d like to have some more information about this matter.

Trespass Order

This comment is in response to Mercedes comment. I am disabled student who attends Massey University's Palmerston North campus. In the three years I have been studying, I have received substantial on-going support from staff members who work with disabled students.
In particular Ms Samantha Rullen is very supportive of my continued studies at Massey University.
I wonder why Melanie has not provided the medical information required of her by Massey University? For the last three years I have provided information concerning my disability so certain services can be accessed. If I and countless other disabled students, do present documentation of their disabilities I wonder why Melanie think she does not need to produce medical certification?
Melanie has trained the dog in question - and Melanie is not a recognised expert on dog or people behaviour - so why should the university take her assurances about the dog seriously?
Also I think there needs to be clarification concerning Melanie's 'dreams of being a vet'. In some newspaper articles the impression that could be gained is that Melanie has been stopped from entering or even completing her veterinarian training by Massey University because of the dog problem when in fact currently to date, Melanie has not successfully completed the requirements to be accepted into Massey's veterinarian school.

Re: No Trespass Order Comment

Otago University is not the only university to issue trespass orders. Whilst one may appreciate that where illegal activity is involved, this course of action is understandable, when a university (specifically Massey University, Palmerston North) contacts a law-abiding and vulnerable student with disabilities to inform them of an impending trespass order being placed upon them, one should surely be asking questions of the Ministers for Disability Issues, Tertiary Education and the Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey.I refer to the ongoing saga of the brain-injured student Melanie Donne whose story appeared in the ODT on 27 June 2008.Following publication of this story, Ms Donne received much positive feedback and advice that Massey University as an educational institution could not continue to flout its responsibilities under the Human Rights (1993) and Bill of Rights (1990) Acts. Specifically, the University could not continue to refuse access to Ms Donne's specially trained Neurological Disability Assist Dog 'Rica', who performs a vital role in mitigating Ms Donne's disability.Ms Donne and 'Rica' duly attended a Massey University contact course at which they received huge support and sympathy from fellow students. Unfortunately this support did not extend to Ms Samantha Rullen (Director, Student Learning and Support) and Dr Sandi Shillington (Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor), who declined to recognise their responsibilities under the Acts and subsequently summoned a security guard to the building.Ms Donne was neither told she was 'trespassing' nor asked to leave because the event was recorded on camera and there were many sympathetic witnesses. However, she received a letter from Dr Shillington on 19 July 2007 stating that "as a result of your actions...I have request(ed) a trespass order to be served on you".Ms Donne has to date supplied the University with all requested (and more than sufficient) information for Dr Shillington to satisfy herself of the dog's fitness for her role and Ms Donne's need for the dog, yet despite having had this information since 9 April 2008, Dr Shillington has steadfastly withheld consent (constituting prohibited discriminatory grounds) for the dog to attend the campus.It is interesting to note that NO other tertiary institute contacted for comment on this would deny Rica and Melanie access to their collective campuses. Even Ms Heather McCallum (Massey University Wellington Campus disability support) stated that she "could not imagine any tertiary education institution refusing access for Rica as that would contravene Ms Donne's Human Rights" (which of course it does).A copy of the letter sent to Ms Donne by Dr Shillington has been made available to the ODT.