President’s Report – Week 12, Sem 1, 2016

Chloe Smith

We’re almost at the end of Semester One: another one down and another six months passed in the life of the university. As things heat up with final assessments and exams, your SRC is continuing to represent and advocate for students interests, as we’ve done all year. As this year’s team reaches the six-month mark of our terms, it’s worth reflecting on what the SRC has already done so far.

Back in December we were able to secure the continuation of Simple Extensions after the university moved to scrap them entirely. Although this came with a reduction from five to two days, we also ensured that it was expanded to cover all faculties as opposed to just Arts. We worked hard to ensure that students and staff were properly notified and informed of the changes and that students wouldn’t be disadvantaged by the new system.

We also ran a fantastic O-Week which saw us talk to a huge number of new and returning students about the advocacy and services we provide, and the work we do on campus running campaigns and lobbying for improvements.
Some of this work has included things like being on the safety on campus working group, ensuring that the university genuinely looks at ways to improve its reporting and safety procedures and educates students and staff about sexual assault and harassment. We’ve also advocated for better academic dishonesty protocols, pushed for action on Islamophobia on campus, and ensured that students will continue to have a voice on faculty boards and on some of the highest decision-making bodies student representatives sit on. Of course, individual departments and collectives have also done amazing work around a variety of issues this year, too many to mention but all important to the experience of students on campus.

None of this work is possible without the hard work of student representatives, the support of the SRC’s staff, and the participation of students. Despite the challenges of running a student union in today’s Australia, with the loss of compulsory student unionism, massive cuts to funding, and obstacles to student engagement, your SRC has continued to make a difference and serve you as we’ve done for the past 88 years. We’re very much looking forward to continuing that work in Semester Two.

If you want to get involved and find out more, visit our website or drop by our offices. Remember – it’s your SRC.

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