August was hectic!
Blue Stocking Week ran mid-August, across the 15-19th this year.
As part of this, the Women’s Committee and the Women’s Collective started rolling out the National Union of Students’ “Support Student Safety, Stop The War on Women” campaign. It follows the 2015 Talk About It survey that found that 72% of students had experienced some form of sexual harassment, assault or violence while undertaking their university studies, with incredibly low rates of reporting and a lack of support from universities.
The national campaign is calling for:
- Adequate lighting, 24/7 security, and safe spaces for women
- Stand-alone zero tolerance policies on sexual harassment, assault and violence, with clear repercussions for perpetrators
- Accessible and clear reporting processes, with effective remedies for survivors
- Sexual assault counsellors on every campus
- Mandatory consent training for all staff and students
You can read more about the campaign in an article I wrote for Verse magazine here: http://versemag.com.au/web-exclusives/support-student-safety-stop-the-war-on-women/
You can also sign the national petition here: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/support-studet-safety-stop-the-war-on-women
From a UniSA perspective, USASA has been working hard this year to investigate the processes and procedures here and trying to work with university management to review policies and procedures, and this is on-going.
If you have any feedback about any of these matters, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org We are also always looking for more people who are interested in getting involved in any of these campaigns, feel free to contact me if you want to get involved in the USASA Women’s Committee.
The Women’s Collective also held two stalls in Blue Stocking Week to raise more awareness around the gender pay gap. You can follow that here on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unisawc/?fref=ts
Fellow Magill Rep and I also held a Domestic Violence Support seminar at Magill to increase more awareness around the issues facing those who experience domestic violence.
I have also been putting into motion plans for an Education Collective and a Welfare Collective, as sub-committees of the USASA board. Goals for an Education Collective include engaging Academic Representatives and Course Representatives with USASA so we can work together to make sure students concerns are heard and listened to, increasing more transparency in UniSA. We are also hoping to get more students involved and engaged with university processes and course changes, so students have a bigger voice. Goals for the Welfare Collective involve including students working with the Student Engagement Unit, relevant student clubs to take more action on welfare issues in the university. This could include doing such things as advocating for Brekky Bar as a free service, which the Education and Welfare Committee has done this year.
- Meeting with Arts Honours and Academic Board members and lecturers to discuss changes in the Arts Honours program
- Outcome: Appointment to DAPEG
- Meeting with Sophie Murray, ATSI rep, to discuss autonomous spaces in the university for ATSI students and women-identifying students
- Outcome: Submission to the board for women-identifying autonomous space
- Meeting with USASA staff to discuss Brekky Bar
- Outcome: Submission to the university to make Brekky Bar a free service for students
- Meeting with Claire Colebeck, Project Officer of Student Engagement, to discuss the Academic Reps program
- Outcome: presentation planned for next board meeting; setting in motion plans for Education Collective to engage Academic + Course Reps with USASA
- Governance Committee Meeting
- Board Meeting
- Event: Free BBQ + drinks for students to promote the upcoming National Day of Action
15-19th 2016 – Blue Stocking Week
- 15th: City West campus, Hoj Plaza, NUS Women’s campaign petition and stall
- 16th: Mawson Lakes campus, The Hive, cupcake sale raising awareness about the gender pay gap
- 17th: Magill campus, Domestic Violence support workshop
- 18th: Magill campus, The Caf, cupcake sale raising awareness about the gender pay gap
- 19th: City East, East Plaza, NUS Women’s campaign petition and stall
- National Day of Action