Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi has spoken out against hate speech and the University of Wollongong's decision to strike a partnership with the Ramsay Centre.
The Greens spokesperson for Education and Housing dropped by UOW on Monday to launch the Greens' Housing Initiative for the Illawarra.
But Dr Faruqi also took the opportunity to reiterate the Greens' support for legal action taken by the National Tertiary Education Union against UOW over its fast-track approval of a Ramsay Centre-funded degree.
The Senator also sat in on a lecture debating the line between hate speech and free speech.
"We were talking about how hate speech has been normalised and legitimised in our society, especially in the aftermath of the horrific massacre in Christchurch," Dr Faruqi said.
"There is a bit of a debate raging on at the moment on where to draw the line between hate speech and free speech. From my perspective we need to draw that line because we do know that hate speech does lead to political violence.
"We do know that hate speech is harmful for many in the community, whether it be LGBTQI people, whether it be women, whether it be the Muslim community at the moment .
"We need to make sure we move to a future in Australia where people are respected for who they are, not abused for who they are."
After last Friday's University Council meeting, UOW Chancellor Jillian Broadbent backed the university's deal with the Ramsay Centre.
"I am comfortable that the decisions taken by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, in relation to approving the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation have been in accordance with University policies and in the best interests of the Institution," she said.
"I am very positive about the benefits that will accrue to the university and its students from the partnership with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation."
But Dr Faruqi said she shared the concerns of the NTEU about whether the university had followed its own due processes.
"We know there was not enough consultation. We know this deal was rushed through just before Christmas, when many of the staff were on leave. So we do need to investigate that and if the university hasn't followed its own rules, then this is a dodgy deal," she said.
"The Greens have stood shoulder to shoulder with staff and students at Wollongong University who have said loudly that the Ramsay Centre is not welcome here.
"It has an agenda to churn out students with an uncritical view of Western Civilisation."