Kayla Dickeson – Magill Student Rep – March, April & May Report

Month of March

March was a great month! Through the USASA Women’s Committee we were able to commemorate International Women’s Day and start building the Women’s Collective. I met with staff in order to roll out initiatives to raise awareness around sexual assault. In particular we discussed the roll out of the Respect Now Always campaign that aims to highlight the issues around sexual assault and domestic violence. We also discussed the screening of the Hunting Ground, an American documentary based around sexual assault on residential campus’; in which the company has paired with Universities Australia and the National Union of Students to bring it to an Australian context and audience. Along with fellow representative Christopher Ghan, I am connecting with experts to establish a domestic violence workshop to be run at UniSA. Currently we are organising meetings and hoping to discuss logistics and content.

 

We began building for the National Day of Action, the annual student protest that demonstrates against fee deregulation and cuts to courses. ClubsFest was an amazing day to participate in, where many students found the clubs they fit into! Through the Education and Welfare committee, we are building policy around the cost of textbooks.

March meetings/activities

07/03/2016 – Met with university staff to discuss sexual assault awareness initiatives

08/03/2016 – International Women’s Day stall with Brekky Bar at Magill campus to commemorate the day

09/03/2016 – ClubsFest

10/03/2016 – Education and Welfare Committee meeting

15/03/2016 – Education Action Network meeting (National Day of Action preparation); Election Regulations and Constitution Committee meeting; USASA board meeting

17/03/2016 – USASA Women’s Committee meeting

18/03/2016 – Academic Board meeting

29/03/2016 – Skype meeting with NUS and campus Women’s Officers

Planned meetings/activities for April

06/04/2016 – National Day of Action protest

07/04/2016 – Education and Welfare Committee Meeting; Meeting with Nadia to discuss sexual assault policies at UniSA

11/04/2016 – Magill Academic Review meeting

 

Month of April – Kayla Dickeson

April has been a busy month, as always! I have been engaging in numerous campaigns, reviewing policies and building workshops.

I helped to promote the National Day of Action (NDA) through postering, flyering and talking to students. It was a great turn out on the day and it really showed that students oppose the proposed 20% in funding cuts to universities and fee deregulation to courses. Next month we will hold the May 11 post-budget rally, so we will continue to engage with students throughout the rest of April in fighting for our education, particularly by petitioning students.

I have been meeting with university staff and students to discuss the sexual assault and harassment policies. Across the month of May the university is rolling out the Respect. Now. Always. campaign delivered by Universities Australia which aims to raise awareness about incidences on campus, promote a zero-tolerance for all cases and forms, and encourages universities to engage in reviewing policies, procedures and reporting around incidences. I am working with the Women’s Collective and other student clubs and societies to help promote the campaign. On the 25th of May, the university will be screening The Hunting Ground, a film that centres on a group of student activists in their quest to hold their universities to account in their policies surrounding sexual assault and harassment. I have been investigating the policies and procedures at UniSA and drafting recommendations.

I met with Justene Knight, the coordinator of the gender parity program at UniSA. We discussed what kinds of training are offered to female staff at UniSA, and how that might be tailored to students. I plan to engage with the Student Engagement Unit on establishing a workshop for female students around workplace relations in a post-graduation context. There is ample evidence that, whilst women are continually obtaining higher education outcomes, they are not being translated to the workforce and towards leadership positions. Even in female dominated industries, it is mostly men in leadership positions.

The questionnaire created by the USASA Women’s Committee was rolled out online and promoted across social media. We aim to investigate the issues faced and services wanted by female students at UniSA. We are further promoting it through postering and stalls at different campuses throughout April and May.

Fellow Magill representative Christopher Ghan and I have been working with Yarrow Place and the counselling services at UniSA to establish a domestic violence workshop at UniSA, which will be expected to happen in either late July or early August. It aims to address signs, myths, statistics, how to respond, and referral pathways.

The USASA Women’s committee have also been lobbying for a Women’s Officer and autonomous women’s spaces through letter-writing.

 

 

 

Activities

05/04/2016 – NDA postering and flyering

06/04/2016 – National Day of Action

07/04/2016 – Education and Welfare Committee Meeting; Meeting with Well-being Officer to discuss sexual assault and harassment policies

08/04/2016 – Meeting with Justene Knight to discuss gender parity policies for staff and students

11/04/2016 – Board meeting

12/04/2016 – Meeting with Kristy Langdon to discuss Respect. Now. Always. campaign and The Hunting Ground screening

26/04/2016 – Meeting with Angela from Yarrow Place to discuss domestic violence workshop; Women’s Committee meeting

27/04/2016 – Meeting with Student Ombud to discuss policies and procedures/complaints process for sexual assault and harassment

Planned activities for May

02/05/2016 – Postering for Women’s Questionnaire

04/05/2016 – Education and Welfare Committee meeting

06/06/2016 – Women’s Committee meeting

Ongoing/to be arranged

  • Stalls to promote:
  1. May 11 post-budget protest
  2. Now. Always. campaign and The Hunting Ground film
  3. Women’s Questionnaire
  • Now. Always. and The Hunting Ground campaigning; NUS campaign around sexual assault

 

Month of May

Summary of activity

May was a busy month! The earlier weeks were spent preparing for the post-budget National Day of Action on May 11, as part of the National Union of Students education campaign. At UniSA we were busy promoting the day through banner-painting, running a stall, leafleting and petitioning students up until the protest. On the day we had a good turnout, marching down the mall calling for free and fully-funded education. We had a multitude of speakers: student representatives from all three campuses and national office bearers from the NUS, along with the NTEU and a representative from The Greens.

I dedicated the latter half of the month to promoting the Respect. Now. Always. campaign alongside the university. The USASA Women’s Committee ran stalls and leafleted students about the campaign and The Hunting Ground screening, distributed flyers through USASA counters, and promoted the campaign and screening through social media and other networks. The campaign works to ensure that we have a safe and inclusive campus at UniSA, whilst having a zero-tolerance stance to all incidences of sexual assault, harassment and violence in the university experience. It also works to ensure that the university recognises the need for clear and accessible reporting processes, clear repercussions for perpetrators and adequate training for all staff and students in response. On the 25th of May the screening of The Hunting Ground occurred, followed by a panel discussion of which I was one of the speakers. It was a good turnout by the student cohort; and there was a productive discussion in which panellists spoke about changing the culture of victim-blaming, ensuring that we have a safe and inclusive campus, and making sure that there are practical measures coming out of the campaign to ensure we have strong and accessible policies and procedures.

In the Education and Welfare Committee we have also started an initiative to investigate student wants for food on-campus and the viability of food trucks at Magill and Mawson Lakes. We are planning to roll-out a survey to gain feedback from students and are hoping to run trials of food trucks at both campuses. I also attended the launch of the Student Food Hub project led by UniSA Enactus. It is a student-led project in which volunteers plan to run a student kitchen and hub at the City West bar. They will be trialling this once a week in SP5 in the evenings, and are also looking at food delivery services.

 

Activity

04/05/16

  • Education and Welfare committee meeting
  • Education stall

05/05/16

  • Education Action Network meeting

 

 

06/05/16

  • Student Food Hub/UniSA Enactus presentation

09/05/16

  • Board meeting

10/05/16

  • Student well-being focus group

11/05/16

  • National Day of Action

12/05/16

  • Now. Always. stall at City West

13/05/16

  • Postering and flyering for RNA

19/05/16

  • Now. Always. stall at City West

23/05/16

  • Leafleting for RNA

25/05/16

  • The Hunting Ground screening and panel discussion

30/05/16

  • Education and Welfare Committee meeting
  • Women’s Committee meeting

 

Next month’s planned activities

01/06/2016

  • UniTopia at Magill

06/06/2016

  • Promoting Women’s Questionnaire at Magill

07/06/2016

  • Promoting Women’s Questionnaire at Mawson Lakes

08/07/2016

  • Promoting Women’s Questionnaire at City West

09/07/2016

  • Promoting Women’s Questionnaire at City East

27/07/2016

  • Education and Welfare Committee meeting
  • Women’s Committee meeting

Ongoing plans

  • NUS Women’s campaign – student safety on-campus
  • Food and nutrition survey/food trucks
  • Student engagement at Magill campus with reps
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