Welcome back ! I hope you all enjoyed your well deserved break, we’re one week closer to the end of semester.With that in mind,
I thought this week would be a good week to update you on some of the student issues that I’ve been working on this semester.
First, you might have noticed that a number of Faculty Admin desks have closed and merged into the centralised Student Admin Services. If you have an admin issue you now need to direct it to the 1800 SYD HELP number or visit the SAS Hub in the Jane Foss Russell Building. The SRC is finding that a lot of students are having issues accessing accurate and timely information via this service. We have been advocating for Faculty admin desks on satellite campuses to stay open and for the advice given to students to be logged by the university for increased accountability.
In conjunction with this, we’ve heard stories from students who are unable to locate and access academic, faculty and degree specific advice in regards to their studies. The SRC is pushing for university wide mapping of academic advice so we can clearly locate the gaps in accessibility. Alongside this, we want to make sure that the availability and quality of this advice is consistent across faculties.
The University has also just announced plans for new student accommodation at the site of the Regiment building. The SRC wants the prices of these rooms to be affordable for students, we want places reserved for temporary and crisis accommodation, and we want to see subsidized accommodation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Finally, this year the SRC is hoping to make some serious headway on the campaign for concession travel for international students. We want to place increased pressure on the government so that international students have a fair fare. Watch this space for more information on how to get involved.
If you have any thoughts or experience with any of the issues I’ve mentioned, or if there are any other issues you think I should know about, don’t hesitate to send me an email at
General Secretaries’ Report
Isabella Pytka and Daniel ergas
Please read this like you are watching a YouTube vlog, and we are the YouTube vloggers.
Hey everyone! Welcome to our report. We’re just checking in with you all on what we have been doing since you last saw our names printed on these pages of Honi two weeks ago. It’s already Week 7 of Semester 1, and as every YouTuber says, isn’t time flying by!
This report is going to be our *favourites* of what has occurred over the past three weeks (yay).
The Co-Op, which you’ve read about in Honi, is definitely not a favourite. And the corporate hacks that stacked it out are, in fact, this week’s least favourites. But never fear faithful reader, we’re trying our level best to fix it. Last week, we led a cross-campus contingent of almost thirty students to the Co-op’s AGM (held accessibly, of course, in a shitty Central Coast hotel) to “Take Back Our Co-Op”. We’ve managed to focus quite a bit of media attention on the Co-op’s shady practices – paying their Board of Directors $330k (and super!) for twelve hours of work a year, while students can’t afford textbooks and the Co-op loses almost $3 million each year. We’ll keep you updated as our campaign continues!
We have mentioned in many a report about how we have been fighting for changes to the SRC’s Electoral Regulations. Both of us have been working with Samuel Chu to re-write Section 8. We ran consultation with students, we spoke to people in the know when it comes to regulations and elections, and last Wednesday, at Council, the Councillors in attendance unanimously supported these changes. Elections are now almost half the time, not nearly as expensive for candidates, with a whole host of new safeguards in place to protect voters. We are incredibly proud of these changes. They will make the SRC elections better for everyone, and that was our main aim.
The last favourite, is of course, the nominees for the Directors of the USU Board. To all those who have nominated, good luck. To the rest of the student body, get ready for election time. Signing off, B and D x
Wom*n’s Officers’ Report
Imogen Grant and Katie Thorburn
There has been considerable press about AHRC report into university sexual assault not having recommendations, but rather broader ‘areas for action and reform’. If this is the case, the AHRC should have corrected universities and journalists, as survivors were mislead to believe that their submissions would create concrete recommendations to hold the universities to account. On another note, WoCo welcomes the news that all 39 universities that participated in the AHRC report, including USyd, will be publicly releasing their individual reports. Previously, it was up to each university to release its incident figures. This is a clear step forward that would not have been made if it was not for the hard work of survivors and advocates. Let’s hope it will be followed by actual policy change and greater support for survivors on campus. If you have further questions on the AHRC report, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or speak to us directly.
As you may know, Friday 31 March was Trans Day of Visibility. WoCo stands with transgender people and their struggles against gender-based discrimination, particularly those along feminine-spectrum identities. During that week, we hosted a fantastic workshop on ‘Radical Trans Politics’ – thank you Danika Dashwood – that covered the roots of trans oppression under capitalism and colonialism, as well as the development of the modern transgender rights movement.
Last Wednesday, we hosted an info session provided by the amazing counsellors from the Eastern and Central Sydney Sexual Assault Service (ECAS), located in RPA Hospital. The presentation was useful for both survivors and supporters of survivors as often it’s difficult to know what services are available. The RPA Clinic provides a range of services including 24/7 crisis counselling and medical forensic service, ongoing face-to-face counselling, court preparation, and more – all of which is survivor led and free! To make an appointment for counselling or more information, contact the RPA Clinic on 9515 9040. For urgent or after hours counselling, call NSW Rape Crisis hotline at 1800 424 017.
Sexual Harassment Officers’ Report
JESSICA SYED, NINA DILLON BRITTON, IMAN FARRAR and ELLA (RACHEL) BICKLEY
If you’ve found this report – good work! Ella and Iman here, 2/4 of your Sexual Harassment Officers for 2017.
Before we get started we’d like to say – please feel free to get in touch with any queries or concerns, or even if you’d just like to get involved with the work we’re doing on the SRC this year! We’re available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The devastating reality is that 72% of female students have reported experiencing unwanted sexual advances, harassment, stalking, assault or rape on campus, and we believe that this is unacceptable. The Human Rights Commissioner, Gillian Triggs, expressed deep concern for the statistics emerging from the survey findings thus far. Despite having support of all vice-chancellors from 39 Universities involved in the survey, we are concerned that The University of Sydney’s lack of action on the matter due to its image – further exhibited by the CCTV footage of a man attempting to sexually assault a woman in the University of Sydney carpark. Had Channel 7 news not obtained that footage through FOI, this issue would have likely been, yet again, swept under the rug.
This year we would like to campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus and also to make students more aware of their rights. As we mentioned in our first report, our main goal is to secure a Sexual Assault Lawyer for the SRC. However, what we would like students to know is that the SRC is available to them if they have any queries or need to more information about access to particular services – we are here to help and will, if needed, direct you to professional services for further assistance.
What we’ve been up to…
On O-WEEK, we joined in on the Stop Sexual Harassment on Campus campaign – and helped bring attention to the issue of sexual assault by joining MP’s, Tanya Plibersek and Jo Haylen, for a press conference on campus. We’re hoping that the involvement of both state and federal MP’s will draw attention to this issue and encourage the University to both acknowledge, and take greater action on the issue.
Please note – if you or anyone you know has been impacted by sexual assault do not hesitate to email us – all emails are confidential and we will direct you to professional resources as required.