The Proctorial Justice stocks were removed from outside the Proctor’s Office in mid-January to be included in a historical exhibition for the University’s 150th anniversary.
A University spokeswoman said, “The removal of the stocks was unrelated to the protest held outside the Proctor’s Office last year”.
Some students expressed disappointment with the removal of the stocks, while others were unphased. One student remarked “It feels both forced and subversive after last year's miscarriage of justice,” while another student said, “I walked by that place three times today and didn't even notice they were gone. I give zero shits about that wooden art piece”.
The stocks were erected on the 25th of March 2015 in honour of former Proctor Ron Chambers who served for 21 years, from 1980 to 2001. He passed away in late 2014.
The memorial was a remake of what was originally a prank organised by students, where one night in 1999 stocks were placed outside Chambers’ office. Seeing the humour behind the act, the University cemented them in place, where they stood as a tourist attraction for many years.
The original stocks went missing after being put into storage when the office was removed to make way for the Centre of Innovation in 2001. The current whereabouts of the original stocks is still unknown. Upon hearing the story in 2015, former Deputy Proctor Andrew Ferguson decided to recreate the stocks as a memorial to Chambers.
The stocks will be featured in the “Dare to be Wise” exhibition at Otago Museum which will be formally opened on 31 May 2019 as part of the official Queen’s Birthday celebrations, said a University spokeswoman. It will feature many items of significance from the past 150 years.