Nick Li – Postgraduate student Rep – October & November Report

Soon it comes to the last quarter of 2016, which means summer is here (or not!) and Christmas is just around the corner, I hope you all had a great year and done well in your study.

I guess it is always stressful by the end of the year for university students as that means the final exam for the year (at least for normal entry students). During the exam period USASA has hosted its Examin-aid counter once again, to assist and support students who attended to their examination in Adelaide Showground by loaning out calculators and rulers to whose in need, giving out freebies such as pen, pencils and jellybeans, or by a simple ‘good luck with your exam!’. The counter was so popular that we ran out of jelly beans! I hope our warm wishes and efforts can give you that final push on top of your hardworking to be successful in your exam.

Through participation in multiple formal inquiries regarding suspected breach in academic integrity cases, it becomes my interest in discussion with this area, and therefore I have been worked closely with our advocate officers. Though I was not personally invited to participate in the meeting, our advocate has joined a meeting held by the University in mid-October to discuss some new implementation in the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM). There were certain amendments approved by the panel in the meeting that both our advocate and I were concerned, which does not seem fair to student in terms of assignment assessment procedures, particularly in the case of suspected breach of academic integrity, but we are glad at least an overseer will be implemented as well along with the amendment, such the amended procedures does not lead to concentration of power/authorization to one certain person/body. The advocate officers and I will continue in discussion and negotiation with the university to make sure the policies are fair to students while practically functional.

I was also invited to sit in two different orientation planning groups that oversee and organise 2017 orientation. It appears the university recognise the importance of orientation in a student life cycle and want to improve how such event is organised in order to deliver the best experience to new student. It is not hard to imagine it is hard work to organise events that span across different metro and remote campuses while accommodating the needs for different cohorts including undergraduate, postgraduate, international, mature, remote students, …etc. It is my role to provide feedbacks from a student perspective, such as how the vast amount of information should be delivered to students and what students really want to get from orientation. Valerie is also on one of these group and we have worked closely with student support unit on the presentation slides as well.

Since it comes to the end of the year, it means my appointment to the USASA board also comes to an end. The 2017 board has already been elected and my successor will be Louise Kyriaki – a PhD student in neuroscience. In mid-November, we have a meeting along with the present and coming USASA president – Carey and Kayla, for a proper introduction of Kayla and Louise to Penny Moore from the UniSA Chancellery. We had some great discussions and chat, and both Carey and I are sure our successor will certainly do well in the coming year.

I wish all of you have a great summer break and enjoy the festive season after all the hard work of you this year!

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