Stop (1) Right Now Thank-you Very Much

25 February 2016

In the most notable shake­-up to frontline student services in a generation, the University of Melbourne has opened Stop 1, the new student centre. Stop 1 now handles everything from enrolments to student support to administrative services.

In a website run by the university, Stop 1 will aim to be “the new face of student services online, on the phone and in person”.

“With our staff working side­by­side, you will be able to access the right service when you need it.”

The new student centre replaces all previous centres as part of the university’s aim to create a ‘one stop shop’ for services. Staff will continue to specialise in different faculties but they will operate out of the same building.

Stop 1 is located at 757 Swanston Street, on the corner of Grattan and Swanston Streets, in the new student precinct. The building also houses the Book Co-­op, which has shed most of its bookshelves in favour of light merchandise and electronic goods.

The university eventually aims to move other organisations into the precinct, including the student union and the Graduate Student Association.

At the Victorian College of the Arts, Stop 1 has replaced the previous student centre. This latest change follows a major realignment of student services as part of the Business Improvement Program.

Like other aspects of the program, Stop 1 initially faced heavy opposition and scepticism from both staff and student unions.

“One of the more well-­known and concerning BIP changes is the merging of all student centres, and an end to faculty­ based student centres,” said 2015 UMSU President Rachel Withers.

Stop 1 follows years of student centre readjustment. Now, many are predicting it won’t last.

“The word on the floor is that Stop 1 will only last a year until the university changes it back,” said one Stop 1 staff member, who did not wish to be named.

Others argue that the university needs to do more to address issues with student services.

“Amalgamating the student centres at a single ‘stop’ makes no material difference to the ongoing deficiencies of the university’s student advisory system,” said UMSU Education Officer Tom Crowley.

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