The teaching break is almost among us! I hope you’re having a good semester so far.
In this months Clubs Committee we discussed the new COVID Marshall requirements and how they apply to club activities in South Australia. If you’re in a position where you are running an event having a COVID Marshall present is a must. Training is quick and free from SA Health.
Unfortunately I was ill and had clashes with University for a decent chunk of the usual tasks I’d attend for the month. I look forward to the next month!
Activities for the month:
Discussion about possible agenda items for Welfare and Wellbeing Committee
Consultation with Uni about Gender Neutral Bathrooms
R U OK? Did you attend the R U OK? Day which happened recently? Also, do you know that September is National Suicide Prevention Month in Australia. We not only here to raise the awareness, but we are also here to support and empower you during your study journey.
Please remember that you all are amazing. It took courage and determination to make the decision to study abroad. It took hard work to get to your current position. Thus self-care is how you take your power back!!! You can also reach out to me if you want someone to talk to 😀
International Students’ Pilot Program
As you know from news, there is hopes of starting the pilot program of bringing returning international students back to Adelaide soon. I met with StudyAdelaide (organiser), and Student Engagement Staff and International Student Reps across three universities, UniSA, Adelaide Uni and Flinders Uni, on Monday 24th August 2020. We have flagged the concern around negative sentiment towards international students, as well as supports for international students, such as language support, transition support, social support and so on.
Prayer Room Feedback
Many international students have the concern on the restrictive opening time and the cleaning schedule of the prayer room. The issues and students’ feedback have been raised to Facility Management Unit during the meeting with FMU, Magill Rep Emily and ML Rep Joshua in August.
City East Snack Stand
Jenny, Tim and I had organised a pop-up snack stand at City East Campus. We were here to connect with our beloved students and to promote USASA’s awesome services. We are so glad that we attracted around 200 City East based students attending our event.
If you have any further question or any idea for supporting international students, please feel free to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How has your uni been going? We are getting through our important weeks now when many of us are having tests and assignments. It is very important that we all can keep on top of our studies. Covid situation is getting a bit better now for Adelaide and I hope we can go back to our normal days soon.
Here are some quick updates from my site:
The Club Committee Meeting in August was held on Wednesday 26/8 at 3-4pm. In the meeting, we discussed about the Covid Marshalls and how the Covid Marshalls need to be present at all USASA Clubs’ events during SP5 this year. The Club Committee Meeting will be held online via zoom on the last Wednesday of each month from 3-4:30pm. If you are a club committee member and you would like to join us for the discussion, please do not hesitate to let me know via my email email@example.com or you can contact directly to Joshua Steele, the Club Committee Convenor, via firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to see you there.
The Diversity Equity Access (DEA) Committee Meeting was held on Thursday 27/8 at 12-1pm. In the meeting, we discussed about the Unmet Needs Survey, gender neutral bathrooms, queer spaces and prayer rooms, general actions regarding ENTEXT, general actions regarding Campus Connector.
On Tuesday 8/9 at 10am-1pm, Jenny, Melinda and I were at the city east plaza, giving out free snacks and talked to city east students. Apparently, many students were excited about the free foods and they would like to see it again more regularly. I know this year has been a boring year for many of us due to less activities being held on campus so we will try to have another free snacks event next month to have more chance to meet you in person.
Key dates for July/August/September:
18/8 – USASA Board Meeting
26/8 – Club Committee Meeting
27/8 – DEA Committee Meeting
15/9 – USASA Board Meeting
24/9 – DEA Committee Meeting
30/9 – Club Committee Meeting
20/10 – USASA Board Meeting
All the best for your tests and assignments! If you have any questions, just flick me a message.
Hope you’ve all settled into another semester of studies and are submitting those assignments on time 😊
August was a relatively quiet month for my USASA responsibilities outside of Formal Inquiries and following up ENTEXT.
Lex and I met with Brendan Hughes, Director of SEU, to discussion the removal of the ENTEXT provision. During this meeting, Lex shared the perspectives and concerns of Non-English-Speaking Background (NESB) students while I shared and voiced the concerns of Aboriginal students with an emphasis on the Aboriginal student club.
Brendan was able to provide us with more information, explaining that the decision to remove entext was to ensure that all students are to be given an equal and fair amount of time to complete their examinations, noting that students with an access plan will still have access to extra-time if their plan permits.
Brendan has arranged a meeting with the Provost and PVC:SEE. Noah, Lex and I will be meeting them early in September.
USASA Club Strategic Plan Workshop August Welfare and Wellbeing Committee
ENTEXT Review and Discussion with Aboriginal Student Club Executive
Formal Inquiries – UniSA Business ENTEXT Review and Discussion with PVC:ALS
USASA August Board Meeting
ENTEXT Review and Discussion with Brendan Hughes, Director of SEU
My Birthday 😀
Formal Inquiries – UniSA Business
Indigenous Students Success Program (ISSP) Governance Group August Clubs Committee
August DEA Committee
September Planned Activities
September Welfare and Wellbeing Committee
Formal Inquiries – UniSA Business UniSA College Review (COVID-19)
2020 NAIDOC Week Discussions
September Governance Committee USASA September Board Meeting
Yaitya Warra-Itya Governance Group
DEA Committee Meeting
That’s all from me for August.
As always, if you have anything you wish to discuss, do not hesitate to send me an email at: email@example.com
August was a pretty crazy month with lots of meetings to discuss support and events for students on our campus.
Meeting with Regional Manager: I spoke with Ian regarding the events that could be either held on campus or externally from campus. He is looking forward to seeing more happening on our campus this semester. We discussed options for a movie night, wine tour and end of year dinner. Ian also mentioned that the new student engagement leaders also had similar ideas.
Meeting with Tracy Wellen from USASA: Tracy explained that USASA made an executive decision to transfer Unitopia SP5 to online across all campuses. Whilst, this is not what I was hoping for, from a regional perspective, I know that it will ensure the health and safety of our students. I am speaking with students to see who would like to be involved in sharing some self-care tips (regional perspective) with our uni students.
Meeting with Student Engagement Leaders: I met with Jemma and Diana (Student Engagement Leaders) and Ian McKay (Regional Manager) to discuss ideas for events that we could have on campus for our students to be involved in. There are three events that we are working on having this semester (Movie night, UniTopia/Career week and End of year dinner) with dates and times to be announced. More information on these events to come soon.
Meeting with Arts and Crafts Club: During the meeting, we elected members to the positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer. We also discussed potential activities that the club would like to do when they meet on campus each week.
Meeting with finance committee: Attended the meeting.
During the month of August I spoke to Michelle from the SEU Access and Inclusion in regards to student concerns about the campus connector being discontinued, and the affects this has on students. If this has affected you, please reach out to me or any of the board reps as we are advocating this issue with the university.
Mawson Lakes Rep Josh and International Rep Melinda and I met with facilities project manager Joanne Carmen and PTC Gender Equity Coordinator Alison Harris for a consultation on gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. We highlighted that some of the unisex toilets are not clearly marked on campus maps, and additional amenities available within the bathrooms.
Melinda and I have also started addressing the prayer rooms and cleansing facilities, advocating for increased cleaning of the rooms, and bidets. We are going to discuss things further with FMU.
The DEA committee has also been asked to consult on the university’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Framework. This will be occurring within early September, and can update at the September board meeting.
Another month down and yet again, difficult to remember everything that happened!
I will as usual take committees as a given, and just move on, but I do now have a job taking minutes for another board so it’s good to see my skills getting recognised.
Early in the month I went to the Clubs Strategic Plan consultation. It was a very productive discussion about how we evolve the previous plan, rather than reinventing the wheel. I think the themes and adjustments that came out of that discussion were extremely productive and lead towards a great plan. As usual, the clubs staff have done a great job, and deserve many plaudits.
I also had three formal inquiries with UniSA Business towards the end of the month. It always gets me down a bit but at the end of the day, it’s gotta be done.
August just fast tracked, but was indeed productive. I will try to keep it short this time. If you would like to learn more about any activities, please feel free to flick me a message or email.
‘Respectful and Safer Community’ Project
I worked with Sharon Lockwood to design and delivery of the webinar series titled as “Respect. Now. Always”. The first webinar is on Women’s Safety. We liaised with Fiona Mort, Director the Office for Women and Maria Hagias, CEO WSS SA. The first webinar will be delivered on 11th of September via zoom, and featuring Minister for Human Services Hon Michelle Lensink MLC. The Outline purpose of the webinar is to raise the visibility and awareness of safety issues facing women and to learn more about services and resources available in South Australia, including the DV & SASH resources available to students within UniSA.
This webinar forms part of the Respectful and Safer Communities webinar series, where you will hear from leading South Australian service providers;
The Hon. Michelle Lensink MLC, Minister for Human Services
Fiona Mort, Director, Office for Women
Maria Hagias, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Safety Services South Australia
Sharon Lockwood, Counsellor and Training Coordinator (Sexual Assault and Harassment), UniSA
Discuss the following issues;
What constitutes sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic abuse
Things to be aware of and signs to look out for
Your rights and options if you’ve been subjected to any of these forms of harassment, assault or abuse
The support services available in South Australia and at UniSA
This is a diverse sexual orientation friendly event for female, non-binary and female identifying students. Join us for the Women’s Safety webinar, part of the Respectful and Safer Communities webinar series:
Sharon and I are working on the specifics of upcoming webinars and will be finalized by the end of second week of September.
Removal of ENTEXT
Rhys and I met with Brenden Hughes to discuss the reasons behind the removal of ENTEXT provision and to understand the provisions that will be in place to support students who are from NESB and Aboriginal students.
I presented the feedback and concerns from the international students. The rationale behind the removal of ENTEXT was that more emphasis will be given to assessment instruments than exams and to ensure that all students were awarded a reasonable amount of time to complete the examination components. If the student needs additional time based on their personal circumstances, they are allowed to seek an accommodation through an Access Plan as appropriate.
Brenden also arranged a meeting with Prof Carol, Prof. Allan Evans and Prof. Sheridan to discuss this matter further. Rhys, Noah and I will be meeting them in the first week of September.
Matters like need of translation by NESB students, credibility of English Proficiency tests like IELTS and PTE, student consultation in decision-making process, promoting academic services to students etc. were also discussed.
Internship and Job-Search Support Program
Jay and I met with Demi Kastanos and Mat Purdy to discuss the possibilities of boosting support to students in searching for internship and jobs. Demi walked us through the procedures and processes of Job-search support program. UniSA Career Service team successfully pooled 35 opportunities in the first week of program launch. I have reached out to my LinkedIn and industry connections to create awareness about this initiative. Many recruiters were ready to support the initiatives.
I have also been promoting some other opportunities on USASA run social media pages and SEU run Your Culture My Culture pages, if there is a tight deadline.
I’ve also proposed the idea of designing and delivering a career-readiness program to support students, especially international students. The objective is to offer courses such as RSA, Barista Training, Food-handling, First Aid etc. that will help the students secure a part-time job at a discounted fee. This will also address issues like wage theft, international student exploitation etc. We discussed the feasibility and logistical requirements of the program. Demi expressed Career Service Team’s interest in supporting this initiative. Noah will be discussing the budget related matters with Prof. Carol.
Furthermore, we discussed a few modifications to the UniSA Career Hub website to make it more user-friendly.
I connected with more STEM students to collect more information and feedback on the Academic practices by UniSA STEM. Scheduled a meeting for 8th of September with Prof. Abelardo and Prof. Amie to discuss these issues. Jay and I have also invited Joshua and UniSA STEM ABU Rep Shubangi Chauhan to attend the meeting as it covers a broader spectrum.
The matters of discussion are:
Assessment criteria and feedback mechanism
Fostering Lecture-student interaction
Standardization of evaluation process
After a series of discussion with UniSA Business Internship team and Program Director of Supply Chain Management, we decided to build a student-led community on campus. The best way to do is by starting a USASA club. I am assisting the student representatives from Supply chain and Engineering Management students to build the club. The next phase would be connect these students with UniSA Clubs Support team.
Meeting with Demi Kastanos and Mat Purdy to discuss UniSA Career Services
USASA Club Strategic Plan 2021-23: Strategy Framework Workshop
Meeting with Jim Hazel
ENTEXT review and Discussion
Meeting with David Lloyd
Meeting with Prof. Carol to discuss the UniSA session for female students
Webinar planning with Sharon Lockwood: Respect. Now. Always
Webinar on Wage Theft in SA: discussion on international student exploitation
Discussion on Women’s Collective on campus with Tania Lobo and Eloise
Respectful and Safer Community Steering Group
USASA Board Meeting
Webinar planning with Sharon Lockwood: Respect. Now. Always
Meeting with Brenden Hughes: ENTEXT Removal
Meeting with UniSA Business Internship team, SCM and Engineering management students
Clubs Committee Meeting
2020 UniSA Three Minutes Thesis Competition (HDR students)
Meeting with Fiona, Maria, Prof. Carol, Julie and Sharon to discuss the “Women Safety Services: webinar
Webinar planning with Sharon Lockwood: Respect. Now. Always
I’m not sure if I’m going to jinx myself by saying this, but things appear to be cooling off. I’m not sure if that’s truly what’s happening, or if I’m just getting used to the constant chaos now. Either way, there’s plenty to do still.
Presentation to the University Council
After advocating for expanded student supports in the June University Council meeting, the Deputy Chancellor John Hill suggested that I create a presentation for the Council on the Student Impact of COVID19. This presentation was based off the one that was delivered to the Academic Board and was co presented by Vanessa Matthews from SAS and Brendan Hughes from SEU.
This presentation focused more on the direct impact of hardship and the policy adjustments that were made to assist students. The presentation concluded with some rather frank discussion about the state that students currently find themselves in and what we as an institution will do about this.
This month noted an increase in National Union of Students action against the job ready graduates bill. I attended 2 rallies this month. One was conducted outside the office of Rebekah Sharkie – Member for Mayo. Despite a request to meet from myself, the President of the Flinders University Students Association and the National Welfare Officer of the NUS, we have still not been consulted on this bill.
The 28th also marked the National Day of Action against the job ready graduates bill. Approximately 50 people showed up to the rally held at the University of Adelaide, where speakers from the NTEU, Labor, and staff within the university spoke against the bill.
The food drive that was mentioned last month occurred on the 19th and 20th of August. The University raised over 2000 meals for students in need. We are now working with Foodbank on the most efficient way to get this back to students in need.
The student hardship fund is also back open again, with over $9 million distributed to students in need. What we are seeing now is an increase in students who need a second wave of support, as the original payment has now been exhausted. I have approached both the PVC SEE, the VC and the Council about this issue, and I should have an answer in the coming month.
Welfare & Wellbeing Committee
Meeting w VC
Meeting w PVC SEE Meeting re UniSA Food Drive
Grant Assessment Panel CEO/Presidents Meeting
University Council Meeting Meeting w CASO, PVC SEE, Directors of SAS and UI
Events Officer Shortlisting CEO/Presidents Meeting Respectful and Safer Communities Meeting
SASH Steering Group Meeting w Manager Student Support and Retention and CEO USASA Board Meeting
Clubs Strategic Plan Meeting SAPAG
NUS Snap Action at Member for Mayo Office
CEO/President Meeting Student Hardship Fund Steering Group
APPM Chapter 7 Review Group Student Hardship Presentation Recording University Student Appeals Committee
Food Drive Debrief Meeting Clubs Committee
Events Officer Interview Panel Adelaide University Protest re Sexual Assault and Harassment on Campus
Good news, the snack stand has been approved and will be held tomorrow on the 8th of September at City East Plaza from 11am-2pm. This is a free snack event for students where we provide packaged snack food and will also provide pamphlets containing information about USASA services. Feel free to come by and say hello to your friendly USASA representatives!
The August education committee meeting was a little different than usual as the meeting was not quorate, however it was still an open discussion space for students and representatives to explore their concerns and ideas. We covered a variety of topics, including standardising submission times nad penalties for late submission, federal government HECS changes, and flexibility of online learning. These were all great discussion topics that will be explored further in the next education committee.
Once again, if you would like to make any recommendations about issues or concerns relating to your studies, don’t hesitate to contact us through the education committee suggestion box! The link is https://usasa.sa.edu.au/forms/education