I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable O-Week, and I wish you all the best for your studies this year. O-Week is a very busy time of the year for USASA, we’ve been out and about on campus handing out freebies, and letting you know about all of the great services we provide for students. If you haven’t picked up one of our 2018 goodie bags, then make sure you pick one up from your nearest USASA Campus Counter!
While we’ve all been busy getting ready for all that 2018 brings, the federal Liberal government have been planning further cuts to higher education and student welfare. At the end of last year when the federal government handed down its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), they announced a two-year freeze to the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS). This is an effective cap on funding for student places, equating to a cut of approximately $2.2 billion to the Higher Education Sector. This was coupled with a plan to massively reduce the HECS repayment threshold – meaning you’ll have to pay back your degree sooner. Along with the attack on wages of many students, through the cuts to penalty rates, it is clear that this Federal Government sees students and workers as an easy target. USASA will continue to ensure your voices are heard on a national scale by working with the National Union of Students (NUS) to stand up to the Liberal government. If you’d like to get involved in the NUS Education Campaign, you can join me, and others for the National Day of Action on March 21.
At the end of last month, I attended the NUS Presidents Summit in Victoria, along with the NUS National Office Bearing team, as well as campus presidents and secretaries from across the country. The summit provided a fantastic up-skilling opportunity for campus presidents. On the first day we received comprehensive training on the role and duty of Board Directors from Maurice Blackburn lawyers, as well as a presentation from the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA), where we discussed the role of TEQSA, and their plans to collaborate more effectively with the NUS in 2018. Attendees also received training on communications by the Media and Communications Officer of the NTEU, training on effective petitions by the VTHC data team, training on parliamentary submissions by former Senator Trish Crossin, as well as many other workshops and training opportunities. I will be submitting a more comprehensive report-back on the NUS Presidents Summit to the USASA Board at our next Board Meeting, and will make this available online for anyone who is interested.
On the 6th of February, we had our first Board Meeting of the year, where I discussed with the Board my plans for moving forward with constitutional reform, and improving the governance of USASA. It was great to hear the plans of the all of the other Board members and what they hoped to achieve in 2018. We also appointed Committee Conveners, and I am very happy with how the Committees, and hope that we will have a very productive year. I also submitted my report to the board on the 2017 NUS National Conference, and opened to questions from the rest of the board. The minutes of the Board Meeting will be available online soon for those who are interested in reading them.
Mount Gambier Visit
It was great to visit the Mount Gambier campus towards the end of the month to speak with new students about the services that USASA provides, and to discuss the upcoming election for the USASA Mount Gambier Representative position. I understand how important our regional campuses are, and one of my goals for this year is to work more with our regional campuses to improve the student experience, and make sure students on our regional campuses do not feel left out. I can’t wait to visit both Whyalla and Mount Gambier next month.
Other things I’ve Been up to:
- 05/02/18 – Meeting with USASA GM Daniel Randell
- 05/02/18 – Meeting with USASA GM Daniel Randell and PVC: Student Equity and Equity Dr Laura-Anne Bull
- 05/02/18 – Shortlisting meeting for UniSA Counsellors
- 05/02/18 – Meeting with Adelaide University SRC President Matt Boughey, and FUSA President Ashley Sutherland
- 06/02/18 – Club Assistant Interviews
- 06/02/18 – Meeting with Peter Andrinopoulos and Ryan Colsey to discuss ASR Program and USASA Education Committee
- 06/02/18 – Meeting with USASA GM Daniel Randell
- 06/02/18 – USASA Board Meeting
- 07/02/18 – Club Assistant Interviews
- 08/02/18 – UniSA Counsellor Interviews
- 09/02/18 – Club Assistant Interviews
- 12/02/18 – UniSA Counsellor Interviews
- 13/02/18 – Presentation to ASR’s about USASA Education Committee with Ryan Colsey
- 13/02/18 – NUS Education Planning Day
- 14/02/18 – University Council Meeting
- 15/02/18 – UniPrep Presentation
- 19/02/18 – O-Week Activities at Mount Gambier Campus
- 20/02/18 – Meeting with Bridget Laffy, Daniel Randell, and Ian McKay (Regional Manager Mount Gambier)
- 22/02/18 – O-Week Activities at City West Campus
- 23/02/18 – Academic Board Pre-Meeting
- 23/02/18 – Academic Board Meeting
- 27/02/18 – Student Appeals Committee Meeting
- 27/02/18 – Clubs Committee Meeting
- 27/02/18 – Education Committee Meeting
- 27/02/18 – Finance Committee Meeting
- 28/02/18 – Welfare Committee Meeting
What I’m up to next month:
The Campus Fair events will be hitting all metro campuses next month, and I can’t wait to meet you all at them. Each day will feature stacks of USASA Clubs, UniSA Sports Clubs, UniSA Services, furry friends, free food, and heaps more! If you’d like more information about Campus Fair you can find that here.
Other things I’m up to next month:
- 01/03/18 – Visit to Mount Gambier Campus to discuss USASA Election
- 01/03/18 – Club Welcome Back BBQ at City West Campus
- 02/03/18 – UniSA Crisis Line Briefing
- 05/03/18 – Governance Committee Meeting
- 06/03/18 – Campus Fair – Magill Campus
- 07/03/18 – Policy Review Project Meeting with Shweta Mariwala
- 08/03/18 – Campus Fair – City West Campus
- 13/03/18 – Campus Fair – Mawson Lakes Campus
- 15/03/18 – Campus Fair – City East Campus
- 20/03/18 – Meeting with Daniel Randell and Dr Laura-Anne Bull
- 20/03/18 – USASA Board Meeting
- 21/03/18 – National Day of Action at Parliament House
- 23/03/18 – Whyalla Campus Visit
- 24/03/18 – Whyalla Family Fun Beach Picnic
- TBA – Committee Meetings
That’s all for now, if in the meantime you’d like to get in contact for any reason, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com.