It’s been a crazy busy month! For those of you who had exams, I hope that they went well, and that you’re enjoying your much-deserved break. For the PhD students, I hope you get a bit of a break as well even though we didn’t have exams! I’ve been up to a lot of different things this month, and many of the committees I attend are busily preparing for the upcoming release of the human rights commissions survey about sexual assault and harassment at Australian universities. The women’s committee, university policy review working group, and the women’s social action group are particularly focusing on this. We are planning ways to support students and also on how to respond to the data when it is released. What I’ve been up to this month is below…
June 1st –
Womens Social Action meeting with UniSA staff and students
We planned some events for this year, and discussed the upcoming release of the Human Rights Commission survey on university sexual assault and harassment that will be released in August.
June 5th –
Womens committee meeting
We are planning to run our Consent Stall at the SP5 UniTopia, and we are also planning events for Bluestocking week, which is a celebration of women in higher education. The first generations of women university students were called “Bluestockings” with the stereotype of a bookish spinster but it’s not an affectionate term to identify with being scholary and clever.
USASA board meeting
I was appointed as the interim convenor of the governance committee which is a great responsibility that I’m honoured to hold. I’m very excited to organise the next governance committee meeting as one hasn’t been held in the last two months
President and Vice President’s meeting
Kayla and I met after the board meeting for our monthly meeting.
June 7th –
Discussions with FUSA’s postgraduate officer
I talked with Flinders University Student Union (FUSA) postgraduate officer about the upcoming Education Conference and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA). UniSA and Flinders are not currently affiliated with CAPA and have not been for many years. When university associations/unions affiliate to a larger, national union/association, this involves paying affiliation fees. Affiliation fees are used by the national associations for many things such as holding events. As part of my term at USASA, I am evaluating whether I think USASA should affiliate with CAPA, and what benefits this would have for the postgraduate students at our university. This process is taking a long time, but next month I plan to present a document to the USASA board with my recommendations. I will also update this information on the blog next month!
June 7th –
Review of governance committee plans
As the interim convenor of the governance committee I reviewed the schedule for the year and the planned discussion topics for all future meetings. This needed to be changed, as the committee had not had a meeting for two months. I discussed these plans with Arthur (our legal advisor) and Daniel (general manager of USASA).
June 15th –
I attended University Council. If you want more information about what University Council is, see http://www.unisa.edu.au/About-UniSA/Governance-and-management-structure/University-Council/University-Council/
June 19th –
Policy review working group
This is the group of the university that is currently reviewing the sexual assault and harassment policies of the university. The group just held a number of focus groups/meetings with staff, students, and more, to get feedback on the current policies. We are now planning the actions to undertake.
June 20th –
Gave feedback on the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) survey
The university will be opening this survey for responses soon. The purpose of this survey is to see what students would like their SSAF to be spent on. Essentially all university student unions/associations run with the partial support of SSAF from the university. Every year USASA applies for a grant, for a portion of the SSAF, to support the running costs of USASA (e.g. paying staff members, running events, etc). For 2016, USASA was awarded 30% of UniSA’s SSAF. For more info on USASA and SSAF see https://usasa.sa.edu.au/SSAF
June 27th –
Attended a focus group regarding the university’s Campus Retain Master Plans
The university was looking for student feedback around improving the current food and beverage offerings across all metropolitan campus and creating more inviting student social spaces.
Notes. 5th June Governance committee meeting was not held, 29th June Womens social action meeting was not held
Planned activities for next month
4th July – Meeting with President of CAPA to discuss what CAPA can do for USASA
Pre-meeting with Bridget (student rep support officer) to prepare for this meeting
6th July – Formal inquiry
10th July – Governance committee meeting
Women’s committee meeting
USASA board meeting
13th July – Policy review working group
Women’s social action group
19th – Visit Whyalla campus for SP5 O-week – I’m so excited for this!
27th July – Women’s social action group
Unscheduled – president and vice-presidents meeting
Have a great month postgrads!