Although the SRC has been in full election season mode for the past two weeks (thankfully culminating in voting on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week – go vote!) our work hasn’t stopped in the slightest.
This time of year is one of the busiest for our casework staff, as they deal with discontinue not fail and census dates, show cause, special consideration applications, and various academic appeals. This work is particularly valuable and useful for students who are more vulnerable or disadvantaged when navigating the complex bureaucratic systems that make up our university, such as international students or students with disabilities. They can literally make the difference between students dropping out of uni or graduating with their degree.
At Academic Board last week, the SRC raised the issue of how the university can be more supportive of students with disabilities or carers roles – Carers Australia estimates that university students caring for sick or disabled relatives have an average 97% drop out rate across Australia. This is a shocking and totally unacceptable statistic and one which must be addressed if we are to achieve the vision that Sydney Uni was founded on, of providing quality education for all. The university must commit to providing safeguards and support structures to ensure that students with disabilities and caring responsibilities have the same chance of completing their degrees as their peers.
Meanwhile, our legal service has been busy continuing to prosecute the case for SCA students regarding the closure of the campus and the move to main campus, and working hard on a range of other issues including sexual assault and safety on campus, tenancy and migration rights, and many more. One of the big projects of the SRC in 2017 will be to secure a solicitor for the SRC who has experience dealing specifically with sexual assault cases, to continue to draw light to this important issue and ensure our reporting systems and support structures are fair, accessible, and just.
Your SRC is always here for you and we never stop working. If you need advice and support, give us a visit. It’s your SRC. Enjoy week nine!