On Wednesday March 21, your SRC will be protesting with students across the state and the country in the National Day of Action. This NDA, called by your National Union of Students, has a demand to ‘Fund Books not Bombs’. This is because the Liberals are intent on cutting $2.2 billion from universities whilst, at the same time, providing a $3.8 billion handout to weapons manufacturers.
These changes constitute a significant attack on students who are already struggling to make ends meet and pay back their debts. Australian students already pay amongst the highest fees in the OECD to attend a public university where we have the second lowest level of public investment in the tertiary system.
With funding increases from 2020 being in accordance to performance indicators, such as retention, we will see the standards and viability of regional and remote universities eroding. No longer would a degree from any member our public university system have standing locally and internationally.
The interests of the university are also shifting towards working for private and corporate interests – not only in the form of research partnerships, but also by abandoning the civic role of universities and focusing solely on accrediting graduates for work in the private sector. Despite the turn towards ‘industry relevant’ degrees, we still see thousands of graduates struggling to find work or working in dead-end jobs.
The violence of the contemporary university is also seen in a radical change in the experience of those at university: precarious employment for casual staff, the measure of workload, a competitive and performance based experience, student stress and anxiety, enormous class sizes and so on.
In today’s higher education sector, Vice-Chancellors are re-cast as CEOs with salaries over one million dollars. These VCs are accountable to university senates, which far from being places of student and staff democratic governance are more akin to corporate boards of management overseeing the operation of large enterprises. We see military, pharmaceutical, biotech and fossil fuel industries wdriving commercial research and learning agendas. At the de facto privatised university, degrees and research are products for sale; students are consumers; and academics are entrepreneurs and service providers.
So fight back against cuts to higher education sector and the sordid state of universities. Come out and protest at 1pm on the New Law Lawns on March 21! Follow the link here for the Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/108878696574470/
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns or wish to get involved with the SRC. If you are experiencing any academic, personal or legal issues and wish to seek the advice of an SRC caseworker or solicitor, contact us at 9660 5222 or email@example.com.
As our way of welcoming you to the new year, we’ve put together a list of all the things you need to know to get through the year, and a bit of info about how to get involved with us!
Nina Dillon-Britton and Yuxuan Yang
1. Your safety net: SRC Casework and Legal Service
If you get in trouble with the law, or with the University, our dedicated professional lawyers and caseworkers are here to help. To set up an appointment call 9660 5222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see a caseworker or email@example.com to see a lawyer. If you’re having trouble finding our offices visit: srcusyd.net.au,
2. Your guide to uni life: Counter-Course
For students, by students, Counter-Course is your insider’s guide to University. It has everything from the best place to take a shit on campus, to how to access free health services, save money and navigate your faculty and the University administration more generally.
If you Google “Counter-Course Usyd 2018 ” you’ll find both our English and Chinese versions.
3. Staying in touch: Our Facebook Page
Our Facebook page is a great way to get involved with the SRC and keep in the loop with what we’re working on. If you like it before the end of Week 2 you’ll go into the running to win a prize of movie tickets, theatre tickets, dinner vouchers and more!
4.Keep in the loop: Check out our reports in Honi Soit and subscribe to our monthly newsletter
Our reports in Honi Soit are one of the most important ways of staying in the loop with the important work the SRC has been doing. They’ll let you know things like we gave 1500 bags full of SRC information and other goodies away, and that we had Counter-Course has been translated into Chinese for the first time.
Another great way of keeping in the loop is to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, which will let you know the specific upcoming events and the thigns we’ve been working on. You can do that here: https://ninadillonbritton.typeform.com/to/eDJibx.
Student Housing Officers
Brandon Hale, Jacky He, Shanshan Guo and Mieko Wang
Welcome students of 2018! This year’s student housing team aims to have a productive year to make student housing affordable and accessible for all students. We aim to achieve this goal through a wide range of events for students to learn about their housing options and interact with other students who are in or are looking for student housing, to foster a sense of community in the on-campus community. With a far more extensive budget to be created to fund such events, we promise that student money is put to good use in the benefit of students who can feel more welcome living on campus.
Being a diverse team of four housing officers with two of us being international students, we understand the importance of having a welcoming university experience. We also understand the financial difficulties of being able to live in student housing and because of this we believe the university administration needs to make student housing more affordable. We will fight for the student housing to be more affordable and we encourage students, even those not living in student housing to join us in this fight.
As a team that believes very strongly in getting things done we have a created a list of events and initiatives. Without further ado here below is our plans for this year:
28th of March 5 pm
Seminar on how to find affordable student housing
Speakers: NSW Police Force, Housing expert with over 15 years’ experience
Venue: To be announced
23rd or the 30th of May 6 pm
Student Housing Social Drinks
Venue: Hermann’s bar
Petition Signing – Held at Various Times throughout the Year
Main Times: 12th/26th March Union Day, 21st March National Day of Action, July/August O-Week, and various other major times during the year
Jackson Newell, Holly Kovac and Akala Newman
G’day mob! Welcome back for another semester.
Over he last few weeks our Indigenous freshers have taken part in the amazing pre-uni prep Cadigan Program setting up all new undergraduate ATSI students to succeed in the first semester of uni. The hardest for all undergraduate student, but incredibly so for ATSI students who statistically are prone to unfortunately drop out across the following months. To all the mob, if you are experiencing doubts about uni, or are finding it challenging, get in touch with us or the Mana Yura team who will be able to help.
It’s great to see our fellow Indigenous students are up positions as mentors to new student, commonly the program is known as MOBS, and is another step the Mana Yura team has taken to ensure Indigenous undergraduate retention and success.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be planning for the year ahead. We’re hoping for more social and community activities and can’t wait to meet and see you all!