President’s Report – Week 4, Sem 1, 2016

Welcome to week four and almost Easter break! Whilst assignments are probably starting to pile up, the break should also be a time for relaxation and reflection on the semester so far. Last Wednesday saw the first student-led rally for the year to protest the university restructure. Whilst well-attended and enthusiastic, student activists are concerned about the level of involvement of the broader university community – especially the students most affected by the changes, including those from the faculties of Arts, Education and Social Work, and SCA.

On April 13th, the second week back, the National Union of Students (the peak representative body for tertiary students) has called a National Day of Action for universities around Australia, calling on the Federal Government to fully fund higher education and scrap fee deregulation as policy. This second rally for the year will be an opportunity for more students to get involved in the movement for a fair, funded, quality higher education system. SRC activists will be leafleting, postering, and speaking at lectures to get all students involved in the campaign so keep an eye out for us and feel free to ask any questions.

I’ll also use this time of reflection to step outside the university parameters for a moment and talk more broadly about the future of our country. It’s a federal election year and whilst many of us may not exactly be enamoured with the state of politics at the moment, it’s incredibly important that we are aware of the issues, the policies, and what’s at stake when we go to the ballot box. Particularly as students and young people, we need to think about issues that affect us like the funding of our education, the cost of living and rent, access to quality and affordable healthcare, Centrelink and welfare support, penalty rates for working on weekends, and social justice issues that affect many of our peers. I urge everyone to find out where political parties and representatives stand on these issues and, more importantly, what they can actually do to implement change and support people. We are incredibly lucky to have the privilege of a free vote in this country – so make it count. Enjoy the break!

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