Macquarie University student and alumnus demand end to political censorship of IYSSE

Opposition is growing to the refusal of Macquarie University to affiliate the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) as a club on campus.

Students oppose Macquarie University's IYSSE ban.

The university, in Sydney, Australia, has blocked the IYSSE, despite it having met all requirements. Management’s pretext, that the IYSSE has the same “aims” as the pseudo-left Macquarie Socialists, has been thoroughly debunked.

The IYSSE extensively documented the fundamental differences between the two organisations and the Macquarie Socialists have issued a statement acknowledging that there are no common aims.

With management refusing to budge in the face of these exposures, the IYSSE has initiated a public petition on change.org entitled “Oppose political censorship at Macquarie University! Affiliate the IYSSE club!” We appeal to all defenders of democratic rights to sign it today.

Below is a statement from a Macquarie University student demanding the IYSSE’s affiliation, followed by an email to management from an alumnus and former teacher at the institution.


I strongly oppose the anti-democratic decision made by Macquarie University in Sydney to reject our club's affiliation, despite fulfilling all requirements. This action represents a clear violation of the fundamental democratic rights of the student body, who should be granted their full freedoms of political association.

The decision to deny affiliation not only undermines the principles of free speech and expression but also restricts the ability of students to engage in open and critical dialogue on important social, political and economic issues. It is vital that universities serve as spaces for diverse perspectives and robust intellectual exchange, fostering an environment where students can explore ideas and challenge prevailing norms.

By rejecting our affiliation, Macquarie University is sending a chilling message that it is willing to curtail the democratic rights of its students and stifle alternative voices. Such actions hinder the development of critical thinking skills, intellectual growth and the formation of well-informed and engaged citizens.

We firmly believe that students should have the right to freely associate with organizations that reflect their interests, beliefs and political convictions. This decision by the university not only undermines the principles of democracy but also stifles the ability of students to engage in meaningful activism and contribute to the broader social and political discourse.

We call upon Macquarie University to reconsider this decision, recognising the importance of upholding democratic principles and respecting the rights of its student body. It is crucial for the university to provide an inclusive and open environment that encourages intellectual diversity, fosters democratic engagement and empowers students to shape a better future through informed and active participation.

The IYSSE remains committed to defending the democratic rights of students, advocating for the free expression of ideas and working towards a more inclusive and democratic university community. We urge students, faculty and all supporters of democratic principles to join us in opposing this unjust decision and standing up for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all students at Macquarie University.

Together, let us reaffirm our commitment to democracy, free expression and the right to political association within our academic institutions.


Dear members of the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging division,

I came to read today the article dated 7 July 2023 on the World Socialist Web Site.

Within this article I read how the IYSSE at Macquarie University has been denied legitimate status as a university Club on the false premise that it doesn’t have an original program, distinct from Maquarie Socialists and/or Socialist Alternative. Having read the article above, I can see that is simply not true, what’s more, I find IYSSE's positions, especially on the Ukraine War, the trade unions and the rising costs of living connected to the war, highly original, necessary and relevant in the general panorama of a lack of debate or opinion in today’s youth.

As far as I can tell, their membership as a Club is essential to preserve and grow democracy and plurality of views at Macquarie.

I am a former PhD in Music at Macquarie, an alumnus and former teacher at Macquarie, and care about honest and diverse debate being present and allowed among young people.

University years are extremely important in the formation of young people’s critical and political sense, and the move to stifle this by the Mq administration seems incomprehensible and counterproductive.

I hope you will reverse this status ASAP and allow the club to exist and accept memberships readily—enriching intellectual life at Macquarie and fostering young and brave minds who think outside the beaten track.

Yours sincerely,
An alumnus