Priya Gupta and Anne Zhao
Week 13, Semester 1, 2021
We hope the semester is wrapping up well for everyone!
Lately, we have been working on applications for Contestable Funding projects for the SRC! In particular, we would love to get casework resources translated into other languages so that more students are able to read these in their first languages. We are also requesting funding for the Radical Sex and Consent Week organised by the Women’s Collective for Week 2 Semester 2. This will be a wonderful opportunity for all to get involved in on-campus organising, and participate in wonderful workshops, including on transformative justice, drag, and queer sex and relationships. In addition to these two, the SRC is requesting funding for a casual staff member to organise the Food Hub project, and the provision of a Disabilities Space and a Conservatorium Study Space.
Ahead of upcoming exams and the holidays, we wanted to remind everyone that the SRC website has useful resources on a range of topics, including Special Consideration, Tenancy and Accomodation, and Centrelink. Check them out if you run into any issues, and contact the SRC Caseworkers if you need any additional support.
The Education Action Group is also holding a rally this Wednesday against the cuts to the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. The University is proposing to dissolve the School of Literature, Arts, and Media (SLAM) and departments of Theatre and Performance Studies, and Studies in Religion. This is a continuation of attacks on Arts last year, and to fight it, we need students from across all disciplines to come together to defend our right to an education.
Until next time,
Priya and Anne
Week 11, Semester 1, 2021
For the past few weeks we have been doing a range of things! We completed and submitted the SRC’s SSAF Acquittal to the University, and are so glad to be done with that and moving onto bigger and better things! As we mentioned in our last report, the 12-week Semester Vote happened in the Academic Board at the start of May. We contacted staff and student members of the Board and made the case against the change from the point of view of undergraduate students. Now this is old news but we won! The vote didn’t pass, with 7x as many staff and students voting against the proposal!! This is wonderful news for undergrads, and it seems that for at least the next few years we are once again safe.
We are now working on applications for Contestable SSAF Funding. This is exciting because it is the first time since the beginning of COVID-19 that this pool of funding has been made available to us, and we hope to fund some important and necessary projects, including translating SRC resources into languages other than English so they can be used by the widest range of students.
If you want a break from studying or want to get more involved in uni life, we highly recommend joining the Education Action Group (EAG). Members of the SRC recently uncovered that Uni Management knowingly allowed undercover police on to campus last year to suppress the protests against course cuts by the EAG, and were aware of the police’s use of AI to monitor staff involved in this sustained fight. The EAG is organising a student fightback against the university’s blatant disregard for the free speech and safety of its students and staff, and more student power is always welcome!
We are also beginning to organise Radical Education Week for early next semester. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn things we aren’t taught in our degrees, and sessions will be led both by external speakers and fellow students! If there is a topic you would like to hear about, feel free to let us know by emailing us (email@example.com) or messaging the Radical Education Week Facebook page.
Until next time,
Priya and Anne
Week 9, Semester 1, 2021
We hope you had a good mid-sem break and are settling back in easily.
The past week has been a big one for the SRC and it’s collectives; the Enviro Collective successfully hosted the first Student General Meeting in over a decade at USyd, where almost 300 students unanimously voted to support the May 21st Climate Strike and called upon the university to waive any penalty for staff and students for missing class. The Disabilities Collective and Women’s Collective held speak-outs against the blatant ableist, transphobic and anti-abortion rhetoric of the Catholic Society during their so-called ‘Life Week’, and the Education Action Group held a rally against the shortening of Semester lengths in the lead-up to the vote on the proposal at the University’s Academic Board meeting on 4th May. There will be a simultaneous rally outside the Administration Building (F23) during the time of this vote, so make sure to show up and voice your opposition. If you want to be involved in any of these collectives, search them up on Facebook or check out the Get Involved page on the SRC website to get their details.
Personally, we have been working on the SRC Acquittal and Audit for our activities and spending in 2020, which we will release at this coming council meeting. Feel free to check it out! We have also been attending a variety of committee meetings, and are doing our part to ensure a vote against the 12-week semester proposal.
Until next time!
Priya and Anne
Week 5, Semester 1, 2021
We hope the first few weeks of Semester 1 have been going swimmingly for everyone, particularly those who are new to USyd!
Massive reminder that Census Date is coming up fast – Wednesday 31st March! If you haven’t already, have a serious think about if you want to drop any subjects. The time to pick subjects up has passed, but if you want to decrease your study load now is the last chance to without having to pay for the subject or have it appear on your transcript as a fail. Go to the cursed section of Sydney Student where you pick subjects to delete one.
There are a few important events coming up! The SRC collectives are putting on a series of events leading up to the BLM rally on 10th April for 30 years since the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC). Both in week 5 – on Tuesday there is an abolitionist panel on imagining a world without prisons, and on Wednesday a film screening of In My Blood It Runs. Check out the SRC FB page for more info and to join the contingent to the rally.
Also, a save-the-date for the SRC’s first forum of the year – Wednesday 22nd April! This will be on the University’s (awful) proposal to move to a 12-week semester model from our current 13 week one. This would mean the same amount of content for the same fees, but with less teaching time. We expect the outcomes to be similar to other universities – more work for staff, more stress for students, and higher fail rates.
Reminder that there is a great opportunity to volunteer for the Food Hub (done by the SRC in collaboration with the USU and Student Life) – a program which provides free essential groceries to students. It is on-campus, regular, and offers the chance to meet and help some fellow students – what more could you ask for in volunteering! Any student is also welcome to a grocery pack, all you need to do is register a time to pick it up from the Wentworth Building. Register or sign-up to volunteer via the SRC website.
Priya and Anne
Week 3, Semester 1, 2021
The start of Sem 1 2021 has been a busy one for your GenSecs!
Since Welcome Week was pushed back from the week before uni starting to the first week of semester, we had a hectic (in all senses of the word) time at the stall all week, letting students know about existence and role of the SRC, publicising the SRC’s services and collectives, and handing out our totes.
Maybe even more so than talking to students and getting great feedback, seeing our bags on the shoulders of many walking around campus has been particularly sweet. If you missed out on getting one during Welcome Week and are keen to get the goodies inside, we still have a few left over which you can have, with SRC masks, pens, stickers, and heaps of useful info! Shoot us an email and we can arrange getting one to you.
A massive thank you to everyone who helped out with packing our 1750 tote bags or handing them out! We absolutely would not have survived the week without our lovely volunteers who chatted to students and did countless treks across Eastern Av to replenish our bag supply.
If you are a new student and for some unknown reason reading this section of Honi, welcome! To find out about the SRC, head to our website or check out the Orientation Handbook online. We highly recommend getting involved in the many collectives and their activist work, and by volunteering with us to help students.
During the first two weeks of uni, we also attended the Women’s Collective’s protest against sexual violence on campus, and the Welfare Action Group’s speakout against the slashing of JobSeeker + JobKeeper. If you are interested in attending similar events, check out the collectives’ facebook pages. We hope to see you at the Women’s Collective’s Snap Rally for Justice for Survivors, and Welfare Action Group’s forum on public and student housing, both Wednesday of Week 3, and the Education Action Group’s staff and student protest against job and fee hikes on Wednesday of Week 4.
Week 1, Semester 1, 2021
We are your General Secretaries. We deal with the SRC budget, organise the SRC’s O-week stall, and help put together our application to the uni (begging) for funds, as well as sitting on committees, publicising the SRC, and helping student reps.
Entering USyd can be difficult. Administration is infamously centralised, course requirements notoriously difficult to pin down, and the website curiously free of any and all useful information. At the same time, things seem to be worsening with a rapid velocity.
Last year the government passed a bill which fucks over struggling students and increases the cost of many degrees. Student housing is only becoming less affordable, Uni Management continues to slash both costs and the quality of our education, and International students stuck overseas are still forced to pay outrageous fees at 3x the rate of domestic students. Navigating all of this on top of your studying, working and the rest of your life can be mind-numbingly frustrating and demoralising.
This is where the SRC comes in. We are composed of student representatives who fight for your interests. Come along to the rally against sexual assault held by the Women’s Collective (3rd March, midday, Eastern Av), or the forum on housing access held by the Welfare Collective (17th March, 4pm, Forest Lodge hotel) to learn about some of the issues we are working to address. We also have caseworkers and solicitors who can help you for free with issues like dealing with centrelink, tenancy issues, and police or court matters.
To talk to some of these lovely people, check out our Welcome Week Stall (in front of the Quad), where you can also pick up a tote bag, some goodies, and the Orientation Handbook we have made for you to help figure out what exactly this place you have committed 3+ years to actually is.
University looks different for everyone. We recommend physically coming into uni if you can, and joining a collective to get involved in the struggles happening around you. Whatever you do in your time here, the SRC is here to help you.