SRC Vice President’s Report – Week 5, Sem 1, 2019

<em>Dane Luo and Caitlyn Chu</em>

<strong>Upcoming events – Health Days and Picnics</strong>

We’re coming to Nursing and Midwifery students at Mallet Street on Tuesday 16 April from 11:30am to 2pm. We’re coming to Health Sciences students at Darlington/Camperdown for a Victoria Park picnic on Saturday 30 March at 12pm with HealthSoc. And at Cumberland on Tuesday 30 April from 11:30am to 2pm. Learn from our caseworkers at the SRC, University student support services, NGOs and local organisations. More events coming soon for our satellite campuses!

<strong>New Research and Policy Officer</strong>

Over the past two weeks, we have created a new Research and Policy Officer to develop a model for affordable student housing. We are incredibly proud to expand the Casework Department and join the staff to address real student issues. To apply, go to <a href=”https://www.ncoss.org.au/jobs/783″>https://www.ncoss.org.au/jobs/783</a>1.

<strong>Vice President Consultation</strong>

The Vice President consultation drop-in times are every Thursday 11am to 1pm in the SRC offices. Come and have a chat! For satellite campuses, email us at <a href=”mailto:vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au”>vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au</a>.

<strong>Regulations Review</strong>

We are currently reviewing the SRC Regulations to improve the way the SRC works. If you have any ideas or suggestions, email to vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au.

<strong>Support your Mental Health</strong>

We are concerned at the high rates of students experiencing stress, anxiety and depression. We know that it can be difficult as assessments start coming around. There’s no shame in feeling unwell.
Your friends play a very important role of supporting you and talking to them about how you feel is great. However, it does not replace the benefit of speaking to a professional counsellor. If you get a Mental Health Treatment Plan and referral from your GP to see a counsellor, you can get a rebate from Medicare (domestic students) or your OSHC (international students). Some counsellors charge more than that rebate. You can try headspace (for under 25 years) or Uplift Psychological Services to see if you can get a counsellor without paying extra.

You can also access free, confidential help online or by phone, including the Mental Health Crisis Line (1800 011 511), Headspace (headspace.org.au), Lifeline (131 114) or NSW Rape Crisis (1800 424 017).

Your Council at Work – March 6, 2019

The second Ordinary Meeting of Council was held on Wednesday 6 March 2019.

The following substantive motions were considered and carried:
R6.  Support the School strike for climate
Moved: Lily Campbell
Seconded: Alev Saracoglu
1) The USYD SRC will advertise the passing of this motion with a press release.
1)  The USYD SRC will co-host the central university contingent Facebook event and will share the event on its social media platforms.
1) The USYD SRC calls on students to leave their classes in the USYD walk off on Friday 15th March and commends the NTEU in their refusal to punish students for doing so.

Q1. We need to support Mental Health
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Nick Forbutt
1)  The President and any student representatives will use all mediums to the University (including on University committees) to advocate for:
1)  Uncapping the total number of counselling sessions it offers each student per year.
1) Bringing counselling and psychological services, or other mental health support, to all satellite campuses by having ‘travelling counsellors’, setting up new facilities or otherwise.
1)  Support mental health awareness and initiatives for all students.
1)  The Council will campaign to create mental health awareness and inform students on how to seek support.
1)  The Council endorses and supports the NUS No Mind Left Behind campaign.
1) The University of Sydney SRC commits to fighting against Government and University cuts to student support services, welfare, attempts to increase student fees and costs and calls on greater public funding to these services and affordable public housing.

Q2. End weekend exams
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Jayesh Joshi
The President and student representatives on the Academic Board and other University Committees shall urge the University to stop holding exams on the weekend and seek alternative arrangements for those exams.

Q3. Cigarette Litter Bins
Moved: Jayesh Joshi
Seconded: Georgia De Mestre
1) The SRC will investigate the cost of these bins and the specifics of where and how they should be installed
1) The SRC shall make infrastructure requests for the university to install the bins

R2.Support the SRC’s action in providing Charitable work towards the homeless
Moved: James Ardouin
Seconded: Annabel De Mestre
1)  The SRC shall create a working group, of anyone interested, that shall organise the SRC’s actions on this.
1)  This group shall contact nearby charities that work with the Homeless and investigate ways that the SRC do its part in providing a program to allow volunteers to give food to these local impoverished people.
1) This group shall create a food/donation bank and organise a campaign to the University to promote student and staff donations to this project.
1)  The groups actions shall be focused on, but not limited to, the alleviation of Student and Youth homelessness, especially that of Students of the University of Sydney.

R3. Defend democracy and free speech in the USYD SRC
Moved: Vinil Kumar
Seconded: Grace Bowskill
1) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms its commitment to democracy, freedom of speech and participation in the political process.
2) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms that all meetings of council are open meetings.
3) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of non-councilors to attend and speak in council meetings.
4) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of student media to attend and report on meeting proceedings.
5) The Sydney University SRC Facebook page will publish public Facebook events for each council meeting within 48 hours of councilors being notified of the meeting.
6) The SRC President will publish a statement on the SRC Facebook page and in Honi Soit conveying the SRC’s above commitment to democracy, free speech, transparency and inviting students to attend and participate in council meetings.
7) SRC councilors commit to encouraging a culture of discussion and debate within council meetings through their own participation and will avoid measures that restrict free speech through bureaucratic or procedural means. This includes, but is not limited to:
a) Removing speaking time by proposing speaking limits equal to zero minutes/seconds
b) Disallowing speakers for and against during discussions of SRC motions and procedural motions

R4. The SRC condemns the removal of historic stickers in the SRC OB room
Moved: Ellie Stephenson
Seconded: Swapnik Sanagavarapu
1)  The council condemns the removal of historically valuable stickers from the SRC OB room
1)  The council seriously questions the judgement and principles of the individuals who removed the stickers
1)  Mourns the loss of the stickers
1)  Commits to preserving other important relics of SRC history carefully.

<strong>The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will take place on Wednesday 3 April 2019 at 6:00pm at New Law 026.</strong>

Your Council at Work Report – Wednesday 6 March 2019

The second Ordinary Meeting of Council was held on Wednesday 6 March 2019.

The following substantive motions were considered and carried:
R6.  Support the School strike for climate
Moved: Lily Campbell
Seconded: Alev Saracoglu
1) The USYD SRC will advertise the passing of this motion with a press release.
1)  The USYD SRC will co-host the central university contingent Facebook event and will share the event on its social media platforms.
1) The USYD SRC calls on students to leave their classes in the USYD walk off on Friday 15th March and commends the NTEU in their refusal to punish students for doing so.

Q1. We need to support Mental Health
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Nick Forbutt
1)  The President and any student representatives will use all mediums to the University (including on University committees) to advocate for:
1)  Uncapping the total number of counseling sessions it offers each student per year.
1) Bringing counseling and psychological services, or other mental health support, to all satellite campuses by having ‘travelling counsellors’, setting up new facilities or otherwise.
1)  Support mental health awareness and initiatives for all students.
1)  The Council will campaign to create mental health awareness and inform students on how to seek support.
1)  The Council endorses and supports the NUS No Mind Left Behind campaign.
1) The University of Sydney SRC commits to fighting against Government and University cuts to student support services, welfare, attempts to increase student fees and costs and calls on greater public funding to these services and affordable public housing.

Q2. End weekend exams
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Jayesh Joshi
The President and student representatives on the Academic Board and other University Committees shall urge the University to stop holding exams on the weekend and seek alternative arrangements for those exams.

Q3. Cigarette Litter Bins
Moved: Jayesh Joshi
Seconded: Georgia De Mestre
1) The SRC will investigate the cost of these bins and the specifics of where and how they should be installed
1) The SRC shall make infrastructure requests for the university to install the bins

R2.Support the SRC’s action in providing Charitable work towards the homeless
Moved: James Ardouin
Seconded: Annabel De Mestre
1)  The SRC shall create a working group, of anyone interested, that shall organise the SRC’s actions on this.
1)  This group shall contact nearby charities that work with the Homeless and investigate ways that the SRC do its part in providing a program to allow volunteers to give food to these local impoverished people.
1) This group shall create a food/donation bank and organise a campaign to the University to promote student and staff donations to this project.
1)  The groups actions shall be focused on, but not limited to, the alleviation of Student and Youth homelessness, especially that of Students of the University of Sydney.

R3. Defend democracy and free speech in the USYD SRC
Moved: Vinil Kumar
Seconded: Grace Bowskill
1) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms its commitment to democracy, freedom of speech and participation in the political process.
2) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms that all meetings of council are open meetings.
3) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of non-councilors to attend and speak in council meetings.
4) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of student media to attend and report on meeting proceedings.
5) The Sydney University SRC Facebook page will publish public Facebook events for each council meeting within 48 hours of councilors being notified of the meeting.
6) The SRC President will publish a statement on the SRC Facebook page and in Honi Soit conveying the SRC’s above commitment to democracy, free speech, transparency and inviting students to attend and participate in council meetings.
7) SRC councilors commit to encouraging a culture of discussion and debate within council meetings through their own participation and will avoid measures that restrict free speech through bureaucratic or procedural means. This includes, but is not limited to:
a) Removing speaking time by proposing speaking limits equal to zero minutes/seconds
b) Disallowing speakers for and against during discussions of SRC motions and procedural motions

R4. The SRC condemns the removal of historic stickers in the SRC OB room
Moved: Ellie Stephenson
Seconded: Swapnik Sanagavarapu
1)  The council condemns the removal of historically valuable stickers from the SRC OB room
1)  The council seriously questions the judgement and principles of the individuals who removed the stickers
1)  Mourns the loss of the stickers
1)  Commits to preserving other important relics of SRC history carefully.

The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will take place on Wednesday 3 April 2019 at 6:00pm at New Law 026.

SRC Vice President’s Report – Week 3, Sem 1, 2019

<em>Dane Luo and Caitlyn Chu</em>

<strong>Hello Satellite Campuses!</strong>
Over the past two weeks, we have been very busy helping students at our satellite campuses! We joined our professional caseworkers to visit and speak to students at Camden and Westmead (Monday), Cumberland (Tuesday), Conservatorium (Wednesday), SCA and Mallett Street (Thursday). We hope to return to satellite campuses regularly and connect you to helpful services!

<strong>We love our Faculty Societies</strong>
We supported the SULS First Year Crash Course so that new Law students can learn about services and programs in their degree. Similarly, we ran the inaugural SASS x SRC Welcome Session for new Arts students. We attended a student meeting with the Dental Association to learn about issues facing Oral Health students. And we’re just getting started – this year, we are working with Faculty Societies to help you with your studies.

<strong>Tips for Regional and Rural Student</strong>s
Thank you to the many rural students who have reached out to us in the last few weeks. We know it can be difficult and expensive for you to move to Sydney. If you have moved to study and eligible for Youth Allowance, you may be eligible for two more payments:
Firstly, you can get Fares Allowance if you meet additional criteria. Centrelink will reimburse the least expensive and most available public transport trip during your study after you submit a claims form online. For more information, go to <a href=”https://bit.ly/2HtQArE”>https://bit.ly/2HtQArE</a>.
Secondly, a Relocation Scholarship is provided if you relocate from a family home in regional or remote area to study in Sydney. The payment is $4,553 in your first year, $2,278 per year in the second and third years, and $1,138 each year after that. For more information go to <a href=”https://bit.ly/2EP7U9k”>https://bit.ly/2EP7U9k</a>.

If you need any help with these payments, email <a href=”mailto:help@src.usyd.edu.au”>help@src.usyd.edu.au</a>.

<strong>Consultation Hours</strong>
Our consultation drop-in times are every Thursday 11am to 1pm in the SRC offices.

<strong>Regulations Review</strong>
We are working to review the SRC Regulations. If you have any ideas, suggestions or even just feedback, email us at <a href=”mailto:vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au”>vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au</a>.

SRC Vice President’s Report – Week 1, Sem 2, 2019

Vice President
Dane Luo and Caitlyn Chu
The SRC had a fantastic start to the year at Welcome Week! We handed out 2000 bags and spoke to thousands of students about what we do, student rights on campus and how our incredible services can help you. This week we will be giving out thousands of wall planners, showing our introductory video, and talking to more students on all of our campuses, including, Darlington/Camperdown, the Conservatorium, Camden, Mallett Street, Cumberland, Sydney College of the Arts, Westmead, and Singapore.

We know that going to University doesn’t come cheap! We know that there are so many additional costs like textbooks, Opal travel, food, rent and much more. BUT did you know that many undergraduate students in our University are eligible for Centrelink assistance but haven’t applied?

Centrelink offers several payments for University students. There is a lengthy process to apply and submit documentation, particularly if it’s your first time contacting them, but our amazing CASEWORKERS can help. Call our office (9660 5222) to make an appointment to speak to someone who can help!
The most common payment received by undergraduate students is the YOUTH ALLOWANCE. This is a fortnightly payment (up to $499.90 depending on your circumstances) to full time students who are between 18 and 24 years old and are Australian residents. Your fortnightly payment varies based on whether you are single/couple, whether you live at your parents’ home, whether you have/care for children and, you and your parents’ income and assets. Be aware that your payment may decrease if you receive an income from work and you will need to make fortnightly declarations about your wages and salaries. The SRC has a leaflet that explains how this all works at https://bit.ly/2BJpqvH. You can apply and find more information at https://bit.ly/2WaWaqe.

If you need any help with any of these payments you can email help@src.usyd.edu.au and a caseworker will be happy to give you advice. Or if you would like get involved in SRC events or campaigns, feel free to email us at vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au

We hope to see you around campus!

Dane and Caitlyn

Vice President’s Report – Welcome Week 2019

Dane Luo and Wanlin Chu

Hello and welcome to USyd! We’re your Vice Presidents for this year. We just celebrated the Lunar New Year of the Pig. And we will be running exciting events throughout the year, starting with the SRC’s Welcome Week stall (please come say hi!).

The SRC is here to help YOU! Our CASEWORKERS are professional and experienced staff who can assist you with academic issues, Centrelink, tenancy, show cause and tax help. Our LEGAL SERVICE has dedicated solicitors that can help with court appearances, fines, consumer rights, employment law, witnessing documents, visa related and migration matters. These services are FREE, independent and confidential.

We know that going to University doesn’t come cheap! The Government funds a proportion of course fees for all domestic undergraduate and some domestic postgraduate students. But students are still expected to pay a fee. You can either pay it upfront or (like most students) defer payment through HECS-HELP. HECS-HELP is an interest-free loan scheme where you don’t need to pay until your income exceeds a threshold that is adjusted to inflation.

To apply for HECS-HELP, you need to apply before the ‘census date’ (Sunday 31 March 2019 for semester 1):
FIRST, check your eligibility. HECS is available to all students with a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). All domestic undergraduate students are eligible for a CSP, and if you’re unsure that you meet these requirements, you can check your eligibility at http://bit.ly/2DiMCUc.
SECOND, apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) at https://bit.ly/1VltRCj if you don’t already have one – your enrolment will be invalid without it and your application for HECS will ask for it.
THIRD, log on to Sydney Student then go to My Finance > Your Finances > Government forms and fill out a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form.
In addition to course fees, there is the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) – a portion of which goes to the SRC. The SA-HELP program allows you to defer this amount just like the HECS-HELP program. To do this, follow the same steps and fill out a Request for SA-HELP assistance form on the same page in Sydney Student.

If you need any help with any of these payments you can email help@src.usyd.edu.au and a caseworker will be happy to give you advice. Or if you would like get involved in SRC events or campaigns, feel free to email us at vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au.
Good luck for the year ahead!

Dane and Caitlyn

Vice President – Week 4, Sem 1, 2018

<em>Adriana Malavisi</em>

With all SRC departments working hard to ensure a great welcome to Uni for first years and any new collective members, it’s been a busy time for all of us. Some of the keen readers may be aware of an initiative I’m working on tentatively titled Services Week. Breaking ground on the “Services Week” has been a rewarding struggle. Over the past few weeks I’ve been engaging the departments and getting them involved. There’s a lot to be done, but there are also many more OB’s and councillors behind the initiative. I’ve been working on this because the services at the university are subpar, and accessing them should not be as difficult as it currently is. I’m dedicated to this project, and more broadly, I’m dedicated to ensuring students are receiving the help they require, whatever it may be.

Vice Presidents’ Report – Week 4, Sem 2, 2017

James Gibson and Iman Farrar

The University of Sydney SRC Vice Presidents condemn the proposed changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) proposed by the Australian Government, and believe that removing the terms, “insult”, “offend” and “humiliate” with the ambiguous term, “harass”, is highly problematic to Australian multiculturalism and a fundamental step backwards. Many of us are opinionated – and opinions, whilst sometimes controversial are respected. However, for one to act in a way which directly offends, insults or humiliates another based on “race, colour or national or ethnic origin” is a breach of the responsibility that comes with the (implied) right of freedom of speech in Australia, it is a breach when “freedom of speech” becomes “hate speech”. Section 18C as it stands provides a framework that helps draw the line between the two, and whilst it does fall short in some areas, it is inherently aimed at protecting the most vulnerable in our society. The Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Gillian Triggs, expressed she was “especially concerned” with the removal of the term “humiliate”, and that the draft proposal in itself was a “highly unsatisfactory… circular process”, particularly in its proposal alongside a rhetoric of fear and the perpetuation of the ‘topical other’. As far as the university culture and environment goes, we will not stand for the justification of empty hatred amongst students, and the SRC would thus like to remind students of the free legal and casework support services available to them. Furthermore, as Vice Presidents of the University of Sydney SRC, we will be attending Walk for Respect on the 31 March @5:30pm at the Corner of Gillies St and Haldon St, Lakemba, speaking in favour of ensuring that these changes to Section 18C will not proceed through Parliament and so encourage anyone interested to come and show your support.

Vice President’s Report – Week 5, Sem 2, 2016

Anna Hush

If you’re one of the three people who actually read this reports section in Honi, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been harping on about Radical Education Week for a little while now. Well, time has flown by, and Week 5 – Rad Ed Week – is already here! I’m very proud of the hard work of activists in the SRC who have built this event from the ground up. We set out to share the knowledge and skills developed in collectives and activist groups with the broader student population, and promote engagement and collaboration between different groups. Although we come from different groups and backgrounds, we share a dissatisfaction with the kind of education that neoliberal universities provide us with – heavily based on theory, centred around the perspectives of old, rich white men, and bearing little relevance to our work in communities towards social justice and liberation.

We’ve created a program of events that we hope will engage the student community, and be accessible to people who haven’t necessarily been involved in activism before. Our events span the spectrum from how to run a successful campaign, the legal knowledge you need to participate in direct actions, and how to work in solidarity with Indigenous communities, to how to file a Freedom of Information request and facilitate a meeting.
Throughout the process of developing Radical Education Week, I have been continually overwhelmed by the strength of SRC collectives like the Environment Collective, the Indigenous Collective, the Autonomous Collective Against Racism, the Education Action Group, the Queer Collective and the Wom*n’s Collective (although perhaps I’m a bit biased about that one). These are all great examples of the power non-hierarchical, collective organising amongst passionate students. In the face of a corporatised university, a conservative government and a regressive social climate, collaboration between activists are more necessary than ever – and our collectives are thriving.
Join us on Eastern Avenue from Tuesday to Thursday to learn about how you can get involved, and come along to our workshops to participate in an exciting, innovatory week of learning.

Vice President’s Report – Week 2, Sem 2, 2016

Anna Hush

As I write this, news has just broken that the so-called ‘merger’ of SCA with the UNSW Arts and Design school. This is a milestone victory for the Let SCA Stay campaign, and shows that coordinated action from staff, students and community can successfully challenge top-down management decisions. However, the fight is nowhere near over: the University still wants to squeeze SCA into smaller facilities on main campus. Sustained action is necessary to keep SCA where it belongs at Callan Park, and to reinstate the Bachelor of Visual Arts as its own degree, rather than collapsing visual arts into the BA. I urge everyone to get involved in the campaign: follow ‘Let SCA Stay’ on Facebook and Twitter, or email letscastay@gmail.com to get in touch with the organisers.

At a university that seems bent on sacrificing the quality of our education for corporate profits, there is a more pressing need than ever to build a strong student movement and create our own platforms for education and resistance that don’t depend on academic structures. As much as we need to fight against further neoliberalisation of the academy, this needs to be complemented by autonomous student spaces and genuine engagement with non-academic community struggles. The SRC will be hosting the inaugural Radical Education Week in Week 5 to promote the sharing of knowledge and skills between collectives and the broader student population. Activists, officebearers and collective members from the SRC are are hard at work organising an amazing program of workshops, talks, skillshares and film screenings that will all be free for everyone to attend. Keep an eye out for the full program – follow us at facebook.com/radedweek, or drop us an email at radeducationweek2016@gmail.com.