The start of the year is always a busy time for the SRC and 2016 has been no exception. Planning for O-Week has dominated a lot of time, including writing, editing, and finally approving handbooks, organising stalls for SRC collectives and departments, and packing showbags for new students. Keep an eye out for the SRC stall at O-Week and come say hi – our team will be happy to answer any questions and we’d love you to get involved in the Education Action Group or Wom*n’s Collective!
The SRC also had a presence at Info Day, talking to prospective students about the university’s restructure, which will see huge changes to degrees and faculties. A highlight was rolling out the Education Department’s ‘Insipid’ campaign, satirizing the university’s ‘Inspired’ campaign featuring USyd alumni while the university Senate moves to cut alumni representation.
As President, I’ve also been familiarizing myself with the committees the President sits on, including some of the highest decision-making bodies like Academic Board. Some issues I’ve raised with university management on behalf of undergraduate students include the simple extension policy, changes to opal cards affecting international students, safety on campus, academic honesty, the shift of SCA to main campus, and plans for student housing. I will continue to engage with the university over these issues throughout the year and report back to you. For more enquiries you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also currently in the process of SSAF negotiations – deciding how much money from the Student Services and Amenities Fee will go to the SRC to improve our student services and resource collectives and departments to run campaigns around student issues. Every student pays the SSAF to support student programs, from clubs and societies to psychological support services and careers advice. It’s an incredibly important fee to make sure every student gets the most out of their time at university, especially those who face more barriers to higher education than others. The SRC will always advocate for a return to universal student unionism, but in the meantime we support the SSAF because we support our students.