The student movement is experience an exciting revival across the world, particularly in the UK where over twenty campuses are striking in solidarity with the UCU strike. We’ve seen a reinvigoration of the trade union movement in the education sector, as UCU branches voted overwhelmingly in favour of continuing industrial action to save their pensions, under the slogan #NoCapitulation. More and more Vice-Chancellors have been forced to change their position on pension cuts due to the pressure effective student-staff solidarity has exerted on them.
This is what we should be inspired by as we experience severe attacks on students THIS WEEK with the introduction of the Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Bill 2018 in the Senate. The proposed legislation would introduce a new minimum repayment threshold of $45,000 (before tax). A yearly income of $45,000
is just over half the average full-time wage of an adult in Australia, and is only marginally higher than the national full-time minimum wage. I think it is shocking that the amendment targets the most vulnerable graduates.The Liberal Government is also introducing a cap on the HECS-HELP debt you can accrue over your lifetime. So when a student reaches their loan limit, they must pay their fees upfront. This will especially hurt students studying a combination of Commonwealth supported and full-fee paying degrees, which typically occurs under a “Melbourne model” style of education. This restricts students’ ability to access certain higher status degrees, such as postgraduate law, unless they can cough up tens of thousands of dollars (or more) upfront.
The Liberals have just cut $2.2 billion from universities, and now they are seeking to further rip money from students who are barely earning above the minimum wage. We had an incredible National Day of Action last week, but we must continue that anger, bury the bill and fight for better quality education. Join the Education Action Group and urge these Senators to not vote through the bill:
Stirling Griff (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Rex Patrick (email@example.com),
Peter Georgiou (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Derryn Hinch (email@example.com),
Fraser Anning (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Steve Martin (email@example.com), and
Timothy Storer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Feel free to email me at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina Dillon Britton and Yuxuan Yang
It’s been one month since university started . Do you think you are still on holiday? But we don’t think so, because we did a lot in the past 4 weeks. We achieved amazing goals during O-week!
- Got 1500 SRC bags into the hands of students which is the largest ever amount the SRC has done. This will hopefully get more students than ever before
- Counter-Course was into Chinese for the first time in the SRC’s history thanks to all translator ,thanks to Imogen and publication managers’ support, thanks to Nina and Yuxuan ,which will help us reach out to more international students than ever before. We also contacted lots of society and other organization publication and asked them to forward, let more student know us and help them.
- We signed up more than 400 students to our new newsletter in order to get a back which will help us reach out more consistently to students than we have in the past.
- We’ve put up a prize to follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop with the SRC’s activities. We advertised this through O-Week and will also do again so with our newsletter.
- The SRC Caseworkers had their own stall at O-Week which allowed them to reach out to more students and make them aware of our services.
- We have held and will hold more off-line event
- Set stall on Eastern avenue on 3.13, to come deep into the student community , took the initiative to let student know SRC and what SRC relative to them(personally and collectively).
- In addition, we listened their ideas to uni and some specific motions and collected it(do some investigate to truly represent student) .We plan to do it regularly ,twice a month ,and you will discover us outside ABS and eastern avenue, you are welcome to come and say “hi” to us.
- We also co-held a lecture talking about finding caseworker and legal solicitor for help with some society on 3.8, to let more student know SRC help and help student personally.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped out at the stall /event and/or handed out our bags and other materials as well as everyone who helped pack the bags .We also held a meeting with USU and SUPRA ,with student representatives from UNSW and western Sydney university to talk about student issue ,like campus safety ,education issue,international student opal concession card and so on. Once again ,we have united all the forces to protect students’ own right ,and you could see specific implementation scheme soon in their report.
Jessica Syed and Madeline Ward
This past week we have held our counter protest to the pro life “Day Of The Unborn Child” event. It was important for us to non-platform rhetoric such as this which is violent towards people accessing abortion: pro life groups are demeaning, shame people and their tradition stems from a misogynistic and patriarchal idealisation of the nuclear family. We notified police of our intent to protest but our peaceful and legal assembly was thwarted by the riot squad and mounted police nonetheless. Some resisted and were arrested; protestors were pushed, shoved and, as video footage has shown, assaulted. WOCO officially hates cops and we wonder why they have such huge ego complexes when the majority of them look lie jumbo white Lego bricks. Sad.Our system of ushering patients into the Surry Hills abortion clinic is continuing and the pro-life protestors are not happy. They continue to send bulky cop-like male reinforcement rosary wielders to stand in front of us and intimidate us into not reappearing and providing the ushering service. Maddy has been christened the “principal deathscort of the abortion mill”. We have responded to this weird crusade-like behaviour by loudly discussing Marxist ideology and our respective sex lives. It is heartwarming to see them flinch and grip their rosary beads just that little bit harder.
We are trying to organise an internal roster to help the Martin Street Kitchen. Homelessness affects women in a profound way, particularly women who have been marginalised most by class, white supremacy, a disability, or by domestic violence.
We find it interesting that Liz Broderick would apologise for the nature of her review into college culture yet still not disclose the contents of a secret report. Spence and Liz, we’ll be on you shortly, manipulating FOIs to get the dirt. Beware.
Speaking of Spence, we will be meeting with him just as this edition rolls onto stands. Should be an interesting chat. Promise we won’t be too mean.
Mengwei Yuan, Yi Man, Zimiao Gao and Zhuonan Li
Welcome the new students to our big university family! The international department will focus on the international students’ experience at university this year. To achieve the better interaction both among international students themselves and with local students, we will continue to work on the development and growth of our International Students Collective. On the O-week, many international students have shown their interest about the university community. The increase of the involvement of university community and the participation in campus activities among international students will be the trend for 2018.
We are also running an opal concession campaign currently, which aims to provide international students right to use the concession opal card. On the orientation week, we have gathered more than 300 signatures for petition. We will continue to gather the signature through the semester. The petition could be signed in the SRC stall which will be set in front of the Carslaw building weekly.
We are planning for the activities this year and they will come soon! Wish you have a wonderful semester!
With all SRC departments working hard to ensure a great welcome to Uni for first years and any new collective members, it’s been a busy time for all of us. Some of the keen readers may be aware of an initiative I’m working on tentatively titled Services Week. Breaking ground on the “Services Week” has been a rewarding struggle. Over the past few weeks I’ve been engaging the departments and getting them involved. There’s a lot to be done, but there are also many more OB’s and councillors behind the initiative. I’ve been working on this because the services at the university are subpar, and accessing them should not be as difficult as it currently is. I’m dedicated to this project, and more broadly, I’m dedicated to ensuring students are receiving the help they require, whatever it may be.