By Nick Ridley

A student, who legally changed his name to that of a suspended friend, says he will stand aside for his namesake if he wins the Presidency of The University of Queensland Senate.

UQ student, Taylor Wass, has legally changed his name to Drew Pavlou, after the original Mr Pavlou was suspended for his activism against the Chinese Government’s influence at the University.

The former Mr Wass has vowed to step aside if he becomes UQ Union President, and give his position to the original Mr Pavlou.

Drew Pavlou and Taylor Wass show off their IDs
Drew Pavlou [left] and Taylor Wass [right] show off their UQ ID cards. Drew Pavlou was banned from stepping foot on campus on August 3. Credit: Taylor Wass

Mr Wass admits legally changing his name to Drew Pavlou was a subterfuge, but says it’s in his nature to be provocative.

“It’s my bread and butter sticking it to people within the rules and having a bit of fun along the way. It’s a crafty trick but UQ have played every trick in the bloody book,” he said.

The original Mr Pavlou was suspended in July for his activism against UQ and the Chinese Government which lost him his Senate seat.

Concern about Mr Pavlou’s suspension has been felt at other universities.

Queensland University of Technology student Tom Houston says the removal of Mr Pavlou from his position is unjust.

“All he has done is express his opinion on the ties between UQ and the Chinese Government. And if I think anything else, it just looks very suss,” Mr Houston said.

The newer of the two Drews hopes to change the university’s over-reliance on international student fees and expresses concern about apparent inequities in scholarships.

“There is a scholarship called the UQ Graduate Scholarship. From talking to international students in my laboratory, they’re told they’re guaranteed that,” Mr Wass said.

Mr Pavlou two [Mr Wass] says if he wins, he’s confident the original Drew Pavlou will make the university less bureaucratic and more efficient.

“We gotta clean up these excesses of people that just chew up money and time and make things inefficient. We just need competent people.”

The University of Queensland student elections will take place in mid-October.

You can listen to Nick Ridley’s audio package on the story here: