I hope you’ve all been keeping up with university after the study break, and I wish everyone the best of luck over this hectic exam period. This month has been particularly busy for me, with study commitments of my own, however I have still endeavoured to work my hardest for the students of Mawson Lakes. It’s been great speaking to so many of you this month, and I look forward to continuing to hear all of your ideas to make our campus a better place. Some great news from this month is that our very own Verse Magazine won the “Best Student Publication” at the 2017 TAG Campuslink awards in Canberra, congratulations to the Verse team, what a great achievement!
Now on to what I’ve been up to this month:
USASA Board Meeting
We had a very productive USASA Board Meeting on the 1st of May, and I was particularly pleased that the position of ATSI Representative has finally been filled. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jordan-Leigh Graeber, who I look forward to working with for the remainder of the year. I also also pleased that the board voted to established a Welfare Committee, which I look forward to being a part of, alongside the Convener Han Nguyen, and her City East counterpart Natansh Modi, where we will work to improve on-campus support for UniSA students. It was also great to see the board support my motion, and reaffirm its commitment to the National Union of Students, and particularly the work it has been doing around student welfare, I’d also like to extend a special thank you to USASA President Kayla Dickeson for her enthusiasm, and support in writing the motion.
Unitopia Mawson Lakes
From the smiles on everyones faces, I trust everybody enjoyed Unitopia, which was a great opportunity to relax, and de-stress before the exam period. There was so much on offer including free food and coffee, a Puppy Cafe, a free GP Clinic, UniSA Counsellors, as well as the Headspace Zen Zone. Thank you to everyone who helped volunteer for making the day a great success!
National Day of Action
On the night of Tuesday 9th of May, the Federal Government handed down its 2017-18 budget. Unsurprisingly, this government has continued its attack on students, with university fees set to rise. Students will have to pay an extra $2,000 to $3,600 for a four-year course, which is a fee increase of 1.8 per cent next year, and 7.5 per cent by 2022. The income level at which you will have to start repaying your HECS debt will also be reduced. Currently, you only have to repay your debt when you earn over $55,000. From July next year, you’ll have to repay it once you hit $42,000, which is only slightly above minimum wage. Universities are also facing a 2.5% cut to the Commonwealth Grants Scheme (CGS).
As well as the attacks on university students, this government has continued its relentless attacks on the most vulnerable in our society, with welfare payments being consolidated, and new welfare recipients subject to ‘random’ drug testing. Instead of wasting taxpayer money demonising already vulnerable people in favour of ideological and misleading stereotypes, it is about time the government focused on improving social mobility to help these people out of the system. I was pleased to see that the federal opposition, as well as the Greens, and independent senator Jacqui Lambie indicate that they will not support these out of touch measures.
It is for the above reasons that I joined over 200 students in attending a rally held by the National Union of Students on May 17th to take a stand against these cuts, which will hurt students. If you’d like to show your support for the NUS campaign against these cuts, you can do so here.
On Monday 15th May I attended a KPI meeting with USASA President – Kayla Dickeson, and Student Representative Support Officer – Bridget Laffy to discuss my personal performance as well as how I’m tracking with my goals for 2017. It was great to be recognised for my engagement with Mawson Lakes Students, and attendance of USASA events, as well as Formal Inquiry and Academic Review meetings. During the meeting we also discussed my continued commitment to making sure USASA remains focused on student welfare, my goal to ensure Brekky Bar is a free service, bringing USASA in line with the services offered by FUSA at Flinders University, and the SRC at Adelaide University, as well as discussing the idea of a low-SES officer in the proposed SRC, which will be discussed in the upcoming Governance Committee meeting.
Other things I’ve been up to:
- Clubs Committee Meeting – 26/04/17
- USASA AGM – 01/05/17
- USASA Board Meeting – 01/05/17
- May Day Rally – 06/05/17
- KPI Meeting with Bridget Laffy and Kayla Dickeson – 15/05/17
- Unitopia Mawson Lakes – 16/05/17
- NUS National Day of Action – 17/05/17
- Clubs Committee Meeting – 24/05/17
- Student Catch-ups – 31/05/17
- Welfare Committee Meeting – 31/05/17
What I’ve got planned for next month:
SSAF Stall (Mawson Lakes) – 06/06/17
On Tuesday the 6th of June, I will be on campus with the other Mawson Lakes Representative Izik Nehow, as well as Student President Kayla Dickeson to begin discussion and consultation for SSAF funding allocation. We will be discussing what SSAF is, and taking feedback from students. The 2016 SSAF report shows that just 12% of students completed the SSAF survey. The SSAF survey is the main vehicle for you to give feedback on support services you’d like to see. In order for students to have greater feedback into student support and meaningful contribution to what the university does with the SSAF money students spend, students should have greater awareness about what SSAF is, how it is spent, and how they’d like it to be spent. I look forward to speaking to as many of you as possible for this important discussion.
Other Things I have planned:
- USASA Board Meeting – 05/06/17
- Halloween Party Committee Meeting – 08/06/17
- Sea & Vines Festival – 11/06/17
- Formal Inquiry & Academic Review Refresher Meeting 13/06/17
- Welfare Committee Meeting – TBA
- Student Catch-Ups – TBA
That’s all for now, if you see me on campus then come and say hey! In the meantime if you have any issues or concerns feel free to send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org