Need legal advice and not at main campus?

SRC Legal Service is now available at other campuses!

Please find the following schedule where a solicitor/registered migration agent will be attending these campuses from the 3rd semester week (18 March 2013):

First Thursday of each month: Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Location: to be advised by the faculty
Second Wednesday of each month: Rozelle campus – Sydney College of the Arts
(morning only: 9-12pm – start date and location to be advised);Sydney Nursing School (afternoon only 12:30 – 3pm)
Location: student common room
Third Monday of each month: Cumberland campus – Faculty of Health Science
Location: Faculty library and Student Supports Centre
Fourth Thursday of each month: Westmead Hospital and Faculty of Oral Health
Location: To be advised by the faculty
Upcoming campus workshop:

Thursday 21 March 2013

Thursday 28 March 2013

 

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Westmead Hospital and Faculty of Oral Health

If you wish to make an appointment with SRC Legal Service during these campus visits, you can call the SRC on 9660 5222.

Ethinic Affairs Report

no report as yet

Harry is concerned about your welfare

Hi team! My name’s Harry, and together the wonderful Elly Morley and I are your Student Welfare team for 2013.

At its best, student life is a delirious combination of new friends, new experiences, and heavily subsidised alcohol. Unfortunately, not everyone’s “university experience” is as glossy as the brochure. Frankly, throughout the next however many years, lots of people in power will try to use your youth as an excuse to try and walk all over you, from the boss who underpays you, to the landlord who tries to turf you out, to the lecturer who gives you an absent fail in your lab assessment because you forgot your safety glasses. Your SRC’s job is to put the balance of power back in your favour. Whatever your problem is, we’ve got your back. Just shoot our crack team of lawyers and caseworkers an email at help@src.usyd.edu.au and we’ll help you get your student life back on track, whether by fighting for special consideration on an exam, making angry phone calls to your boss, or hooking you up with an emergency loan if your budget’s overstretched.

The other part of our job is campaigning to make student life more livable, whether it be fighting for more childcare services on campus, better mental health care or (my personal policy dream) USU-subsidised meals for lower SES students. If you are a bit skeptical about the ability of a bunch of twenty-somethings to change the world, you wouldn’t be the first. On the other hand, student activism has a terrifyingly effective record. Last year, your SRC stopped massive cuts to staff and subjects at this university, preserving the quality of your education. In fact, literally just two weeks ago, our brothers and sisters down the road at UTS won travel concession cards for EVERY domestic student in NSW, regardless of whether they’re employed.

The important thing about these victories, though, is that we can’t win them on our own. We need your help – your ideas, your commitment, and your passion. So, if there’s an issue that’s troubling you or something that makes you angry, or you’d just like to help out in the fight for a fairer student life (and against the menace of an Abbott government), shoot us an email at welfare.officers@src.usyd.edu.au or a text on 0438 141 869, or pop down to the SRC Bunker (bottom of the Wentworth building) for a chat. Depending on our collective mood there may even be cookies waiting for you.

Hope to see y’all soon!

Environment Report

Hello and welcome to Week One!

The Student Environment Action Collective (SEAC) are the environmental group on campus dedicated to learning about and taking action on a number of environmental and social justice issues.
The month ahead is definitely a busy one for enviro action, so you are sure to find an event that gets your tree-loving heart pumping.

On March 8-10, the Leard Forest Listen Up will host a weekend of inspiring music and performances opposing the destruction of the old growth Leard Forest for coal mining. Check the Facebook event for more details.

March 10 will mark two years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. With large areas of land still contaminated by radiation, we are reminded of the devastating effects of nuclear energy. From 5pm to 7pm, Face to Face with Fukushima will be held at the NSW Teachers Federation Auditorium, Surry Hills.

Interested in a sustainable and kale-giving community garden on campus? On Friday March 15, a Community Garden kick-start strategy session will be held at 11:00am in the SRC meeting room, Level 1, Wentworth Building (access from City Rd, walk down the staircase to basement level). Come and plant your ideas to help this project grow!

Already the world’s largest coal export port, Newcastle is facing plans for a massive new coal terminal which will mean even greater health, economic and environmental impacts for the community. Join us on March 16 at the Stop T4 Rally, starting at 10:00am at Customs House, Newcastle.

SEAC holds weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 12:00pm, Manning Sunken Lawns, so come and join us!

For more information, or if you want to talk about cats, call Elyse (0439 286 123).

Disabilities & Carers Officers Report

Hi everyone, I’m Sarah and I’m really excited to be one of your Disability Collective officers with another Sarah and Yaz. We have been super busy over the break thinking of amazing things to do for all the courageous students who identify as having a disability and you awesome people who don’t identify but still care about those who do. We had a really successful stall during O-Week, it was great meeting you and hearing your stories! I was, however, disappointed that our O-Week stall wasn’t accessible to all. We have plenty of goodie bags with relevant fact sheets and lollies left over in the office, so if you did miss out, just let us know and we can get them to you. Our first collective meeting will be next week on Thursday, 4-5pm. The location is TBC, so join our Facebook group for all the latest information. I had the pleasure of attending a Rare Disease Conference on transitional services and it gave my plenty of amazing ideas about how to help first year students use transition and disability services. If you have any ideas, feel free to search for the disability collective group on Facebook. Look forward to seeing you next Thursday.

Fahad Ali discusses the Significance of Mardi Gras

In 1978, gay and lesbian activists came together here, on this campus, to organise a protest against violent persecution and discrimination that would become the first Mardi Gras. A group of 500 courageous men and women marched down Oxford Street, burgeoning in size as revellers responded to the call: “out of the bars and into the streets!”

In 2013, we celebrated the 35th Sydney Mardi Gras. The queer rights movement has come so far in the years since those brave activists gathered together to fight against the cruel injustices that they faced. This year we marched together for the first time as a united Sydney University community in a float put together by the Queer Action Collective, SHADES, Queer Revue, and the USU’s Queer Coordinators. The float was a triumphant celebration of what we can achieve when we work together. On behalf of the Students’ Representative Council, myself, and my co-organizer Eleonora Kazantzis, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered or participated in the float. We are a community of passion, pride, and power, and we must never forget that.

Though much has changed for the queer community, it is shameful that we still have to stand up against queerphobia from those institutions that are sworn to protect and serve. In ’78, our community chanted: “stop police attacks on gays, women, and blacks!” This message is chillingly relevant to us today. Sexism persists both in the military and the police force. Indigenous Australians suffer police brutality every single day. And the countless cases of targeted police violence and unwarranted strip searches throughout and after the Mardi Gras is a clear indication that there is a systematic queerphobia ingrained within the police force.

I commend Cat Rose, Karl Hand, and Community Action Against Homophobia for organising the rally against police violence that was held last Friday. I would also like to extend my thanks to queer and allied students from Sydney University who attended the rally, marching behind the Queer Action Collective banner. There have been attempts to vilify and discredit the organisers. This is not a new phenomenon—every single liberation effort in history, including women’s, Aboriginal, queer, and black liberation, has been attacked in precisely the same way. We will not back down. We will not be intimidated. We will continue the struggle until we have achieved a world in which all can live in safety and freedom.

If you are interested in joining the fight for a better world, get in touch with me at queer.officers@src.usyd.edu.au. Remember, there is a diverse and exciting community at Sydney for you to explore, including the active and social Queer Action Collective, the theatrical and fun Queer Revue, and the up-beat and high-energy party group SHADES. Feel free to send me a message if you’d like any information on any of the queer groups on campus.

Education Officers Report

On Thursday the 7th of March over two hundred staff members, and several hundred students, came together to form picket lines around the university. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) led the industrial action against university management’s proposed Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA). The EBA plans to strip staff of their conditions and destroy the high quality of education that students expect, and deserve, from the prestigious University of Sydney (a university with a budgetary surplus of $93 million).

The student solidarity contingent was organised by the Education Action Group (EAG). The EAG is a collective of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) that runs all of the education campaigns that keep our university strong. Last year the EAG organised the fight back against the proposed cut of 340 academic and general staff. The campaign was a huge success with thousands rallying on Eastern Avenue and the majority of the staff jobs being saved. The EAG is calling on all students who value their staff, and their education, to once again join us in 2013. Last Thursday was just the beginning of the current campaign. The NTEU will most likely be taking rolling industrial action (i.e.: more strikes will take place over the coming weeks, and they are likely to be longer in duration than Thursday’s 24 hour stoppage.)

If you don’t want to join your fellow students and staff during these strikes, please at least skip class (and take a few days off to chill out from study!). You may wonder how missing a lecture or tutorial could ever be good for your education. These protests are needed if we are to preserve the high quality education that we receive here, if we are to stop overcrowding of classes and a decreased quality of teaching and academic support, throughout our entire degrees. We’re here for several years. A few days off to send a strong message that we won’t pay for low quality education, is worth it to get a high quality degree. If you really are concerned with missing out on your education then this is the movement to join, because if you don’t, our degrees will be devalued and we’ll miss out every day of the year. Fight for the quality working conditions our staff deserve and the quality education that we deserve.

Women’s Report

Emily Rayers reports back on women’s collective

It’s been another busy week for the Women’s Collective! We hope you have all started to settle in to your classes and timetable and are looking forward to the semester ahead.
Our first meeting took place on Wednesday, and we had so much new interest that we were practically spilling outside the door of the Women’s Room! It was fantastic to catch up with old members, meet so many new members and, hear some really great ideas for activism and social events through the coming year. Don’t let the lack of space deter you from joining us at our next meeting – there is always room for more enthusiasm around women’s issues and we have a place in our ranks for every woman on campus.

As you are likely aware, International Women’s Day occurred last Friday – an annual event which has been an international celebration for over 100 years. Much of our time last week was spent at various events celebrating the achievements of women, remembering how far we have come and remembering that we still have much further to go in women’s activism.
The Women’s Collective hosted a stall on Friday at the IWD festival hosted by the USU and had a fantastic day. The combination of sunshine, fairy floss, fabulous tunes from Eirwen Skye and the company of so many wonderful women made for a perfect way to celebrate! Huge congratulations go out to the USU Women’s Convenor and Women’s Collective member, Eve Radunz, who did an
amazing job organising everything despite lots of unexpected setbacks on the way!

Many of our members also attended the Sydney-wide International Women’s Day march on Saturday. After catching up over some yummy homemade snacks we wandered over to Town Hall and joined hundreds of other Sydney women to raise awareness for and push for action to end violence and discrimination to women. There was a huge turnout for the march and it was not only a great success but a LOT of fun to march with friends and alongside the UTS and UNSW Women’s Collectives!

The Seen&Heard festival continues this Thursday evening at The Red Rattler in Marrickville, showcasing films produced, directed or largely influenced by women. For more information see their Facebook event ‘Seen & Heard Film Festival 2013’.

As always, if you would like to join the Women’s Collective feel free to come along to our meetings at 1pm Wednesdays in the Women’s Room at Manning house. Alternatively request to join our Facebook group ‘Usyd Women’s Collective’, tweet us (@SRCwomens) or phone the SRC on 9660 5222.

Positive about the numbers

Well, that was a surprise. We actually shut down the university for a day.

It was an undeniable success. Between 300 and 400 people manned the pickets, and we turned away thousands of students and staff from entering the campus. We had an energetic rally of all the pickets at 12 (with 400 people meeting at City Rd footbridge), and then had a spontaneous student march on the Quad.

There was some debate throughout the day about the intensity of the picket lines. Some folks thought they should be symbolic, focused on persuading people to turn around, others thought they should be physical – focused on non violently physically blockading people, as well as talking to them. At various points people tried to pull me into that debate, I avoided being drawn in as best I could, and focused on providing support to the pickets rather than trying to tell them what to do, which wouldn’t have worked and would have only alienated people.
Perhaps the best bit was that after a certain time very early in the morning, not one person was able to get a car into the law car park. After traffic started banking up and affecting city road, the police had no choice but to close the entrance off. This was due to the action of a small picket outside the law school.

I’d like to make something very clear: the point of industrial action isn’t to try and gain support for the union’s cause. This is the fallacy of awareness campaigns. It’s not about convincing an apathetic student mass to view the EBA slightly more positively. That doesn’t make a difference.

The entire purpose of the strike was to shut down the university as a functioning enterprise for the day. We succeeded. I don’t apologise for making students and scabs feel uncomfortable if they decided to cross the picket line

This is the tactic via which workers have won every victory in pay, rights and conditions ever.