Abortion row at university torpedoes annual best club competition

club competition

A row between an Auckland University anti-abortion group and a feminist group forced organisers to shut down a light-hearted student club competition and start again.

Students choose the best club annually by voting with a thumbs-up symbol or ‘like’ on Facebook.

The Campus Feminist Collective said it became suspicious when it saw the anti-abortion club had vastly more votes than others, with many coming from pastors and middle-aged people living in Missouri, Alabama and Australia.

The collective decided to act by alerting their supporters and encouraging them to vote for an alternative club – the Snowsport Club.

But then the Snowsport Club’s votes jumped by 1000 and it was accused of buying Brazilian bots to up the numbers – something the feminist group denied any involvement in.

The university was forced to change its voting process, to make sure only students were involved.

On a university Facebook page, the clubs support committee said the fun competition had “devolved into accusations of unfairness and cheating”.

It was untenable to continue to run the competition in its current form, the committee said.

The awards were announced on Thursday. The Snowsport Club received the People’s Choice Award. Last year it received the Sports Club of the year award.

The overall club of the year was the CompSci Society.

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News category: New Zealand.

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