Mikaela Pappou & Emily Story – Vice Presidents, 94th SRC


Week 11, Semester 1, 2022

Hello all, it’s your friendly neighbourhood Vice Presidents here to tell you to drop everything and stand in solidarity with staff in the NTEU staff strikes this week on Wednesday and Thursday. Don’t be a scab, don’t go to class, stand on the pickets, and let the Uni know that staff working conditions are student learning conditions. There’s a special place in hell for scabs.

We’ll be back next fortnight with our regular announcements. (If this in any way offends you, you may kindly fuck off)


Week 9, Semester 1, 2022

The last couple weeks have been an interesting time for your Vice Presidents. We have again met with faculty society presidents to keep in touch with updates across university faculties. We also attended the monthly SRC council meeting where your President Lauren announced our interest in hosting the National Union of Students (NUS) Education Conference (EdCon) at the university this year. Your Vice Presidents have been working on the application for tender in our bid to host the event.

As you may have heard the NTEU USyd branch has met and voted in favour of industrial action, via strike, to occur in week 11 and week 13. We highly encourage all students to attend these strikes in solidarity with university staff. It is important now more than ever to remember that staff working conditions are student learning conditions. So make sure you’re not a scab and don’t cross the picket line. We’ll see you there.

Otherwise hoping you all have had a relaxing mid sem break!!


Week 7, Semester 1, 2022

Good morning Sydney Siders, this is your Vice Presidents here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of the USU and SRC operators (or not) of FoodHub.

Last report we put the USU on blast for their subpar response times and lacking in the area of communication. We have finally heard back from them, and while we hate being the bearers of bad news we regret to inform you that the USU have claimed that they simply did not realise they had to put in a SSAF application in order to fund FoodHub for 2022. It did in fact take multiple weeks for the USU to inform us of what can only be an incredibly large lapse in oversight over the programme of FoodHub. We have since looked into alternate methods of tackling the issue of FoodHub and how we will be able to return this vital service to the student body. We are still hoping to be able to collaborate with the USU on the project despite this disappointing update, and will update you all as soon as progress has been made.

In better and brighter news, we met with your Welfare Officers and were able to discuss the plans for welfare organising out of the SRC this year. Projects we hope to collaborate on include a campaign surrounding CAPS, the key mental health service on campus, Special Considerations, which is an SRC wide campaign, and the National Union of Students (NUS) welfare campaign which focuses upon lowering the age of independence.


Week 5, Semester 1, 2022

It’s week five, the weather is slowly drying and cooling, and semester is well and truly underway. The last two weeks have been an interesting time for your Vice Presidents, mostly in the way of being afflicted by illness and plague (thanks, covid). With cases on the rise we definitely recommend being cautious of the loud coughing noises you’ll undoubtedly be hearing on the train, in your tutes, and walking down Eastern Ave. A reminder to diligently wear your masks, as is our wont, and it is.

As we’ve previously mentioned in these fortnightly reports, we are (and we mean it) trying our very best to get FoodHub up and running for 2022. Unfortunately we’ve still yet to receive adequate response from our partners, the USU, whose cooperation is necessary in the SRC being able to provide the student body this essential service. A quick reminder for the USU that you can contact the Vice Presidents at vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au.

We’d also like to put out a reminder that the Global Climate Strike will be happening this Friday the 25th, be there at 10:15am at Fisher Library to join the USyd contingent. You will not receive penalties for missed classes, and if you find any issues with this please contact the SRC’s casework service.

If you want to get in contact with us, as we hope the USU will be doing very soon, please email us at vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au.


Week 3, Semester 1, 2022

Hello again fellow USydians, it was fantastic to meet some of you at our SRC Welcome to Uni party this past Friday! With University life officially back in the swing of things we your Vice Presidents are here to keep you up to date with our work and all things student life at USyd.

In 2022 your Vice Presidents are committed to action on the improvement of student welfare services at the University. In keeping with the work of previous councils, we are getting ready to recommence our Food Hub programme. Food Hub became an essential service provided by the SRC during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, we are excited to be continuing this programme to ensure that students are able to access food and other such essentials. Updates will be provided regarding the details of Food Hub and we encourage anyone who is interested in supporting the SRC in being able to provide this service to get in contact with us.

This semester will also be vastly important for staff of the Uni, including our tutors and lecturers with the NTEU (National Tertiary Education Union) in the midst of bargaining for a new Enterprise Agreement with the University. This EBA period follows years of staff cuts that have resulted in vastly increased workloads for remaining staff, wage theft, rampant casualisation, and worsening conditions, explained away under the guise of Covid-19. It is vital that as students of the University that we show our support and solidarity with any and all actions that the NTEU decide to undertake during their negotiations with the Uni, and remember staff working conditions are student learning conditions.

Keeping in mind the weather that has passed and is to come, we hope you’re all keeping safe and as dry as possible as you move around campus. If you find yourself running into any trouble with your courses as a result of weather based disruption we recommend you contact the SRC’s casework service who will be able to support you through any issues you face at Uni.

If you have any further questions about our work, want to get involved, or just want to have a chat, please feel free to contact us at vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au.


Week 1, Semester 1, 2022

Hello, we’re Mikaela and Emily, and we’re your 2022 Vice Presidents. Our work this year will largely consist of advocating for you and your interests both internally, within the university, and externally, as we continue to navigate an increasingly hostile environment for students and the tertiary education sector. We know that 2022 is gearing up to be an extremely interesting year considering that for many of us, the vast majority, if not all, of our studies have been conducted online. With this in mind, the importance and value of your student union has never been more apparent. From course, funding and staff cuts facing each and every university faculty, to lectures moving permanently online, and, the looming question that hangs over what student life will look like in a post-lockdown world. A strong, activist, and dedicated student union is a necessity now more than ever.

While all of this may sound quite grim, to say the least, we your Vice Presidents can confidently say that not all hope is lost, because in 2022 your student union is here to work for you. The SRC embodies the balance between service provision and activism that results in real change that can be felt by all students at USyd. Through our office, we have begun our work in preparation for the looming Federal election, where we aim to spearhead the campaign to kick out Scott Morrison and his Coalition out of government. The Coalition have spent the last nine years attacking students and educators all throughout the tertiary education sector, the same government that is responsible for giving us the Job-ready Graduates Package the SRC in 2020. It’s important that students put Scott Morrison and the Coalition where they put us, last.

Another defining feature of 2022 will be the face of student life at the University of Sydney, which is why a key aim of us, the Vice Presidents, is running a student life campaign, in conjunction with clubs and societies on campus, to bring back the heart and soul of uni life. Our university years are defining and a key aspect of this is a vibrant and dynamic campus. Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the university has made sustained efforts at quashing student life under the guise of creating a safe campus. We have begun regular meetings with faculty society presidents across the university to ensure that we understand the needs of students from all faculties at USyd, and this will be an essential part of building our student life campaign.


Roisin Murphy and Maria Ge – Vice Presidents, 93rd SRC


Week 12, Semester 2, 2021

For our last report of the year, it makes us proud to reflect on the work we’ve been able to do. Whether it was the fight to stop 12 week sems or the day-to-day admin, like organising for the SRC to reopen, it’s been a greatly rewarding year, despite the challenges.

The last report is a nice opportunity to reflect on the importance of having leftwing people on the Executive of our union. Oftentimes, it can seem like these non-campaigning roles should be the lowest priority for activists. But, the day-to-day decision making of where money goes and who goes to which meetings have huge, if unseen, unseen impacts. Most of the work you do as a Vice President or General Secretary is not particularly visible, but we’re both extremely grateful to have been a part of running our organisation.

We look forward to wrapping up our terms and wish the incoming executive a powerful year.

In Solidarity,
Maria and Roisin


Week 6, Semester 2, 2021

This week, we’ve been fighting for international students to have equal access to vaccines and working on the special considerations working group.

At the moment, the University Health Service is offering the Pfizer vaccine to anyone who is a staff or student, as long as they have a Medicare card. This poses obvious major health and equity issues for international students. It also puts the communities surrounding the University at great risk: there are almost 100 active cases in Redfern. It is pathetic of the Government to not consider it crucial that all students be able to get vaccinated on campus. We wrote to the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, expressing these concerns. The Herald have also been covering the issue, including a mention of our letter by the esteemed Swapnik Sanagavarapu. We will keep everyone posted with further developments.

We’ve also been working on the Special Considerations Working Group, and will be attending daily standups with the University commencing next week. If anyone has any issues regarding special cons they’d like raised, we’d love for you to get in contact with us at vice.president@src.usyd.edu.au to let us know. We’re particularly needing the voices of more First Nations people, survivors and those who are the first in their family to attend University.


Week 4, Semester 2, 2021

In the past two weeks, my work focuses on the sudden issue of VPN, some promotion work of SRC, the promotion of the election, and some regular meetings and committees.

Sudden issue – VPN: Though the VPN has improved due to previous work, it broke down again on the night of Friday on 20 August. I collected the problems and raised them to Matthew, Philippa, Antoinette, and Susana. I got their replies the next afternoon and was happy to find that they worked through the morning and fixed the problems. Then, after one day, most of the students were able to get connected to the VPN. Since some students still do not have stable access to VPN, I will keep tracking this issue.

Election: To increase the election’s fairness by informing as many students as possible, I work with Rikki and the Publication Managers to do the translation work of the election notice, and we posted it on multiple platforms.

Promotion: I created a working group and led them to promote different officers of SRC to the international students. In our first three days’ project of promoting Wom*n Collective, we finally got 1324 views, 137 likes, 69 sharing, and eight volunteers who want to contribute to the women’s affairs. Besides, we promoted the survey provided by the Migrant Workers Centre to the international students related to their Migration Reform Campaign.

Roisin got vaccinated and did not feel well. However she still cares about the students and is currently working with previous projects and the new ones especially related to the rent issues. She will give a fully report next time.

We hope every one of you takes care and gets vaccinated. If you have any problems, feel free to contact us.

Maria


Week 2, Semester 2, 2021

Roisin‘s Report

Over the holidays, we’ve mainly focused on the relationship between international students and the SRC. Early on in the holidays I covered for Swapnik as acting President, when he took leave. Since then, we’ve been workshopping an efficient way to gain student input on the SRC’s services. We’ve also spent time promoting the SRC’s informative sessions about navigating uni admin and your legal rights as a student. I’ve also been attending the Standing Legal Committee meetings, where we’ve focused on the changes to the SRC’s constitution and regulations. I’m really glad that we’ve met a reasonable outcome which will ensure an efficient election. Other than that, I’ve also been working on Women’s Honi as an editor and continuing our work on the SRC exec to keep the organisation functioning through lockdown. I wish we were all back on campus, but I look forward to this sem and fighting alongside staff through the EBA period.

Maria’s Report

In the past one month, I have been attending Standing Legal Council meetings related to some proposed changes and we are happy to make some reasonable changes. Apart from it, Roisin and I worked on promotion and advertising. To separate the task, Roisin is responsible for the local students, and I am responsible for the international students.

Promotion of the election to international students

I am currently working with Riki and the Publications Managers in regards to the translation of the materials for the advertising of the election.

Promotion of special consideration survey

During the exam period, we have received many complaints related to the application of special consideration. Hence, we promoted the survey on multiple platforms and translated it to share with the international students. We hope this can help.

Promotion of O-week seminar

We created working groups with Anne to promote SRC and the seminars with first year students. We have done the translation and designing work to promote it and will edit the recording to share with more students.

Promotion of the the international student survey

I have done the translation work related to the international student survey created by Migration Workers Centre and promoted it.

Special students affairs

In the past one month, I have helped many students with their special unprecedented cases by tracking it, and raised it in the fortnight meetings with the uni when needed.

Thank you for your work. Take care during lockdown.

Kind regards,
Maria and Roisin


Week 11, Semester 1, 2021

In recent weeks it has come to light that a number of departments and schools at our University, including Theatre and Performance Studies, Studies of Religion, the School of Literature, Art and Media, the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, are at incredible risk of being axed or restructured. There is, of course, a theme here. None of these are areas of study that our Government or VC would consider “Job Ready”.

The SRC are going to fight tooth and nail to save these departments, and prevent our Uni from further descent into a corporate degree factory.

We highly encourage you to get involved by attending the rally against these cuts on June 2 at 1pm, on Eastern Avenue. If you can’t make the protest but still want to support the cause, a great way to do so is by enrolling in a course in any of the aforementioned schools for next semester. We won the battle against 12 week sems, and we can win this one too.


Week 1, Semester 1, 2021

Hello! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Roisin – one of the Vice Presidents for 2021.
It’s undoubtedly a very weird time to be a student – between COVID-19, the course cuts and the fee hikes, it might feel like you’re getting none of the university experience you signed up for.

Rest assured, there’s still a lot to be gained. There are lots of ways to engage in campus culture and kick start some activism. Getting involved in the fight against the course cuts is one of those, so make sure you’re at the rally on March 24.

Sometimes going to Sydney Uni can feel like you’re expected to live up to a million things. The best way to combat that is to not worry about what you’re not doing, and focus instead on what you are. My advice is to find a few solid mates, figure out your favourite spot to grab a beer/non alcoholic bev on campus (I’d say a beer tower at Hermann’s, but that comes from a place of bias), do subjects you enjoy, and get involved with an SRC collective that fights for issues you’re passionate about. There is nothing more fulfilling than making a difference alongside like-minded people.

If you’re fresh faced or old and crusty, I sincerely hope to meet you at some point during what will no doubt be quite the year for activism.

In Solidarity,
Roisin

Maria Ge

Hi this is Maria Ge, I am the Vice President of SRC for this year. It is my fourth semester to get involved in SRC related activities. This summer break, I am working on getting familiar with my new position and working with my new colleagues. We have already done many preparation works so far and we are making a general plan for the coming new semester. We have also arranged a fixed time for both of us to meet and work together every week in the next year in order to achieve our plan. Here is what I (Maria) am doing during this summer break.

[Advertising Caseworkers]

-SRC official website: Raised the issue that SRC website should do more advertising of caseworkers on executive meeting and got the change happen. I will continue to pay attention to this, collect students’ feedback and improve the way it serve students.

-Working with caseworkers to to do some multi-language versions of the leaflets, articles and social media posts, and some multi-language versions of some videos as well.

[Remote learning support]

-Discussed VPN issue in Meeting with Uni on Remote Learning, working with Grace and Haomin to make a survey. Now we have got more than 200 replies and done the report. We are going to submit it to the Uni in Academic Board Committee as soon as possible.

-Working on testing the feasibility to make a voting page integrated to SRC official website in order to help handling academic appealing.

Raised the issue that it is important to make videos for remote learning students to learn how to make full use of university’s resources like canvas, library, CareerHub and so on.

[Mental Health Training]

-Get help from Student Service Liaison Officer to prepare for a training for officers.

[Volunteer project]

-Working with President on creating a volunteer page on SRC website, so that the students can register and get newest events informations from it.

Also I am working with another Vice President. Our focus is on building different volunteer groups among different social media platforms.

[Liaise with International Student Officer] for organising O-week activities and working on financial aid for remote learning students.

[Other Day to day operation]

-Cleaned the OB room

-Completed the Publications Training and Media Law training.

-Worked with General Secretary related to O-Week

-Take part in all 6 executive meetings and one council meeting during the holiday.

-Had a meeting with Julia to make our plan achievable for the next year.

[Committee]

-Meeting with Uni on Remote Learning

Raising the issue that for first year international students, it is important to teach them how to use university’s resources, such as canvas, library, CareerHub.

-Student Life Committee

Now we have more videos for first year students even the mandarin version for international students.