SRC Sexual Harrassment Officers Report – Week 7, Sem 1, 2017

JESSICA SYED, NINA DILLON BRITTON, IMAN FARRAR and ELLA (RACHEL) BICKLEY

If you’ve found this report – good work! Ella and Iman here, 2/4 of your Sexual Harassment Officers for 2017.

Before we get started we’d like to say – please feel free to get in touch with any queries or concerns, or even if you’d just like to get involved with the work we’re doing on the SRC this year! We’re available at harassment.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.
The devastating reality is that 72% of female students have reported experiencing unwanted sexual advances, harassment, stalking, assault or rape on campus, and we believe that this is unacceptable. The Human Rights Commissioner, Gillian Triggs, expressed deep concern for the statistics emerging from the survey findings thus far. Despite having support of all vice-chancellors from 39 Universities involved in the survey, we are concerned that The University of Sydney’s lack of action on the matter due to its image – further exhibited by the CCTV footage of a man attempting to sexually assault a woman in the University of Sydney carpark. Had Channel 7 news not obtained that footage through FOI, this issue would have likely been, yet again, swept under the rug.

This year we would like to campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus and also to make students more aware of their rights. As we mentioned in our first report, our main goal is to secure a Sexual Assault Lawyer for the SRC. However, what we would like students to know is that the SRC is available to them if they have any queries or need to more information about access to particular services – we are here to help and will, if needed, direct you to professional services for further assistance.

What we’ve been up to…

On O-WEEK, we joined in on the Stop Sexual Harassment on Campus campaign – and helped bring attention to the issue of sexual assault by joining MP’s, Tanya Plibersek and Jo Haylen, for a press conference on campus. We’re hoping that the involvement of both state and federal MP’s will draw attention to this issue and encourage the University to both acknowledge, and take greater action on the issue.

Please note – if you or anyone you know has been impacted by sexual assault do not hesitate to email us – all emails are confidential and we will direct you to professional resources as required.

SRC Wom*n’s Officers’ Report – Week 7, Sem 1, 2017

Imogen Grant and Katie Thorburn

There has been considerable press about AHRC report into university sexual assault not having recommendations, but rather broader ‘areas for action and reform’. If this is the case, the AHRC should have corrected universities and journalists, as survivors were mislead to believe that their submissions would create concrete recommendations to hold the universities to account. On another note, WoCo welcomes the news that all 39 universities that participated in the AHRC report, including USyd, will be publicly releasing their individual reports. Previously, it was up to each university to release its incident figures. This is a clear step forward that would not have been made if it was not for the hard work of survivors and advocates. Let’s hope it will be followed by actual policy change and greater support for survivors on campus. If you have further questions on the AHRC report, do not hesitate to contact us at usydwomenscollective@gmail.com or speak to us directly.

As you may know, Friday 31 March was Trans Day of Visibility. WoCo stands with transgender people and their struggles against gender-based discrimination, particularly those along feminine-spectrum identities. During that week, we hosted a fantastic workshop on ‘Radical Trans Politics’ – thank you Danika Dashwood – that covered the roots of trans oppression under capitalism and colonialism, as well as the development of the modern transgender rights movement.

Last Wednesday, we hosted an info session provided by the amazing counsellors from the Eastern and Central Sydney Sexual Assault Service (ECAS), located in RPA Hospital. The presentation was useful for both survivors and supporters of survivors as often it’s difficult to know what services are available. The RPA Clinic provides a range of services including 24/7 crisis counselling and medical forensic service, ongoing face-to-face counselling, court preparation, and more – all of which is survivor led and free! To make an appointment for counselling or more information, contact the RPA Clinic on 9515 9040. For urgent or after hours counselling, call NSW Rape Crisis hotline at 1800 424 017.

SRC General Secretaries Report – Week 7, Sem 1, 2017

Isabella pytka and Daniel ergas

Please read this like you are watching a YouTube vlog, and we are the YouTube vloggers.

Hey everyone! Welcome to our report. We’re just checking in with you all on what we have been doing since you last saw our names printed on these pages of Honi two weeks ago. It’s already Week 7 of Semester 1, and as every YouTuber says, isn’t time flying by!
This report is going to be our *favourites* of what has occurred over the past three weeks (yay).

The Co-Op, which you’ve read about in Honi, is definitely not a favourite. And the corporate hacks that stacked it out are, in fact, this week’s least favourites. But never fear faithful reader, we’re trying our level best to fix it. Last week, we led a cross-campus contingent of almost thirty students to the Co-op’s AGM (held accessibly, of course, in a shitty Central Coast hotel) to “Take Back Our Co-Op”. We’ve managed to focus quite a bit of media attention on the Co-op’s shady practices – paying their Board of Directors $330k (and super!) for twelve hours of work a year, while students can’t afford textbooks and the Co-op loses almost $3 million each year. We’ll keep you updated as our campaign continues!

We have mentioned in many a report about how we have been fighting for changes to the SRC’s Electoral Regulations. Both of us have been working with Samuel Chu to re-write Section 8. We ran consultation with students, we spoke to people in the know when it comes to regulations and elections, and last Wednesday, at Council, the Councillors in attendance unanimously supported these changes. Elections are now almost half the time, not nearly as expensive for candidates, with a whole host of new safeguards in place to protect voters. We are incredibly proud of these changes. They will make the SRC elections better for everyone, and that was our main aim.

The last favourite, is of course, the nominees for the Directors of the USU Board. To all those who have nominated, good luck. To the rest of the student body, get ready for election time. Signing off, B and D x

SRC President’s Report – Week 7, Sem 2 2017

Isabella Brook

Welcome back ! I hope you all enjoyed your well deserved break, we’re one week closer to the end of semester.With that in mind,  I thought this week would be a good week to update you on some of the student issues that I’ve been working on this semester.

First, you might have noticed that a number of Faculty Admin desks have closed and merged into the centralised Student Admin Services. If you have an admin issue you now need to direct it to the 1800 SYD HELP number or visit the SAS Hub in the Jane Foss Russell Building. The SRC is finding that a lot of students are having issues accessing accurate and timely information via this service. We have been advocating for Faculty admin desks on satellite campuses to stay open and for the advice given to students to be logged by the university for increased accountability.

In conjunction with this, we’ve heard stories from students who are unable to locate and access academic, faculty and degree specific advice in regards to their studies. The SRC is pushing for university wide mapping of academic advice so we can clearly locate the gaps in accessibility. Alongside this, we want to make sure that the availability and quality of this advice is consistent across faculties.

The University has also just announced plans for new student accommodation at the site of the Regiment building. The SRC wants the prices of these rooms to be affordable for students, we want places reserved for temporary and crisis accommodation, and we want to see subsidized accommodation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Finally, this year the SRC is hoping to make some serious headway on the campaign for concession travel for international students. We want to place increased pressure on the government so that international students have a fair fare. Watch this space for more information on how to get involved.

If you have any thoughts or experience with any of the issues I’ve mentioned, or if there are any other issues you think I should know about, don’t hesitate to send me an email at president@src.usyd.edu.au.

Indigenous Officer – Week 5, Sem 2, 2017

<strong>Indigenous Officer’s Report</strong>
<em>Jackson Newell</em>

This week, the Indigenous Strategy and Services Committee will meet, and it will be my first time attending the meeting as a voting member. Being the only student voice on the Committee, I do aim to represent all Indigenous students as best I can. One thing that has been a topic as of late in relation to the Koori Centre, has been the printer. I recently notified the President, and General-Secretaries that if the University will not provide the funds or provide limited funds, that the SRC, as part of the Indigenous budget will provide funds or provide additional funds for this.
Last week, an article was published in Honi by James Stratton, in relation to the University’s National Centre for Cultural Competency’s release of an online course which seeks to give students an enhanced learning of Indigenous culture and its role and place in contemporary Australia. I urge all students to take up this course when they can. Further comments on this are in last week’s article.

Any issues, shoot us an e-mail at indigenous.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.

Sexual Harassment Officer – Week 5, Sem 1, 2017

Sexual Harassment Officers’ Report
Jessica Syed, Nina Dillon Britton, Iman Farrar and Ella (Rachel) Bickley

Hi! We’re Jessica Syed and Nina Dillon Britton, two of your Sexual Harassment Officers for 2017! We’ll be working to hold the University to account in supporting survivors of sexual harassment and assault on campus, as well as ensuring they take all possible steps to stop these instances.
So, the wins so far this year:

The USyd Survivor’s Network launched in O-Week, providing for the first time an on campus support network for survivors of sexual assault. The organisation is led by survivors and aims to provide support, resources and a platform to advocate for change and eliminate stigma.
The University has unexpectedly announced they will be reviewing their stance on mandatory consent modules. A module is currently being trialled. If any such trial does fail for whatever reason, we are committed to pushing management to find and implement something that works.
We have put together information pamphlets in both English and Mandarin distributed tat O-Week. We want to make sure we are aiding those who face barriers in accessing support following instances of sexual violence. We would like to thank Xia Bonan for kindly translating the pamphlet.

There’s still a long way to go. Though the university has launched its reporting system, a hotline called 1800SYDHELP, it has done so with minimal student consultation. Both we and this year’s Wom*ns officer’s are yet to be convinced that the service does not inadvertently traumatise survivors. In light of this opacity – strengthened by the university’s lack of advertising for their own initiative – we are still reluctant to refer survivors to 1800SYDHELP.

Our main priority for 2017 is ensuring that a sexual assault specific lawyer is made available within the SRC. It was more than a year ago that SRC lawyers first expressed that this is a vital necessity within the SRC for students, and we cannot agree more. We will continue to support the Wom*n’s Officers in striving to gain funding for this goal and hope to see it realised by the end of our term.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual assault, please do not hesitate to email us at harassment.officers@src.usyd.edu.au and we will direct you to professional resources that you can access. Feel free also to attend an information session about such resources on Wednesday 5th April in Carslaw lecture Room 452 – there will be free pizza.

International Students’ Officers’ Report – Week 5, Sem 1, 2017

International Students’ Officers’ Report
Helena Ng Wai Ting, Yifan Kong, Wenxin Fang and Zhixian Wang

2017 has seen a busy start for the International Students’ Collective. The collective was established roughly one year ago and one of the major focuses for 2017 International Students’ Officers is the growth and development of the collective to better engage international students on campus.

The preparation for Oweek kicked start early in January. The collective painted a banner featuring greeting words written in several languages as we wish to embrace foreign friends. During Oweek, more than 300 people signed up to join the collective. One thing I would like to highlight here is the booklet produced by four International Students. The booklet not only explained in details the vision, structure, operation, and the plans of the collective, but also briefly illustrated the organizing structures and essential functions of student organizations and media platforms on campus, including the USU, SRC, and Honi Soit. We hope that by distributing booklets, we could inform international students of student organizations and guide them to integrate into campus life. Lastly, we would say thank you to everyone involved in the process.

The first collective meeting was held in Week 3 at the SRC office. During the meeting, we discussed our plans for 2017, including the proposal to publish International Students’ Honi edition and to add the International Students’ Revue to USU Identity Revue Season. The collective recognized that while initiating these two programs takes time, we would like to negotiate with Honi editorial team and USU representatives as we believe that issues International Students face are different from those faced by POC community and there’s a demand to showcase our own identity. The Collective also open several positions for international students to nominate including Marketing Officers, Programs Officers, and Event Coordinators.

The International Student’s Officers have been drafting the first collective constitution for the past two weeks and we hope that with the finalization of the constitution and regulation, the operation of the collective can be more standardized. The collective would like to say thank you to Wom*n’s Officers for their generous help during the procedure.

SRC Presidents Report – Week 5, Sem 1, 2017

Isabella Brook

It’s week 5 and that most likely means that you’re reading this reports section of Honi as a very desperate attempt of procrastination from assessments with looming deadlines. So, to alleviate the feeling of total doom as you pull an all nighter, I’m going to focus on two pieces of good news that have come out of the last week.

First, regular readers of this reports section (there’s probably two of you) might recall that last week I wrote about the University’s proposal to alter semester dates. This proposal was put before a meeting of the University’s Academic Board last Tuesday and was successfully voted down by a number of students and academics. This is a great result for students, especially considering the large number of you that emailed me concerned about how this proposal would affect your studies. I don’t think this is the last time we will hear about this issue and I’m sure the university will try and implement it in one way or another in the future. However, what is obviously clear is that students want to be informed of changes that will affect them, they’re unhappy with the lack of consultation, and they want their voices heard.

Second, is the incredible news that the proposed changes to 18C in the Racial Discrimination Act were defeated in the Senate. The proposed watering down of the Act would have been a serious threat to the multiculturalism and diversity that our nation prides itself on. With racism and islamophobia on the rise across the country and even on our campus, it’s up to us as community to stand in solidarity with those affected and fight back against hate speech. And let me be very clear, 18C is not a limitation on free speech. It is a limitation on hate speech that aims to deliberately and directly offend, insult and humiliate on the basis of race, colour, religion, national and ethnic origin.

As always, if you have any concerns, issues or enquiries don’t hesitate to drop me a line at president@src.usyd.edu.au and don’t forget to like our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/usydsrc to stay up to date with your SRC.