Office Bearer Reports (Edition 2, 2016)

21 March 2016


Hi! Hopefully all of you had an enjoyable time with your Orientation Week! UMSU sure had a huge one. Now, if you were not able to show up to the plethora of events throughout O Week, there is no need to fret, for there will be bountiful opportunities for you to join those clubs you so desire or participate in that workshop activity throughout the year. If you simply turn over to the calendar page of Farrago (p5), you will be able to see a multitude of events hosted by the different departments of UMSU which allow for all people to have an amazing time whilst they study. As always, please feel free to come to my office on the first floor of Union House for a chat or email me.

Greatest regards,

James Baker.



Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first few weeks of semester! Make sure you also have time to get involved in UMSU. See our website, Facebook, pick up a Nice to Meet You guide, visit our offices or send any of us an email to find out more. One major event coming up next month is the student protest on Wednesday 13 April. UMSU is committed to fighting for free education. While the Liberal Government wants to cut funding, we’re building a campaign to see it increased instead. Come along to the protest and help put higher education funding at the top of the political agenda. Aside from that I’ve also started convening various working groups, including looking at establishing a Disabilities Action Plan for UMSU as well as an ethical sponsorship policy. If you’re interested in more information or participating, get in touch!



Well we’ve been having quite the time at the Activities Department. We managed to round out the general debauchery of O Week with some clean fun at Luna Park. It was a joint event with Monash but obviously we sold out first. Photos are coming soon. We only almost shat ourselves on the rides like twice. New record.

Our free weekly Tuesday BBQs and Bands are going nicely. You should come. Pierce Brothers were a blast and upcoming names like The Beards and John Citizen should be molto fun. We’ve been very excited about our new event, ZedTown, which will see Parkville Campus transformed into a giant zombie nerf war during the Easter break. Nerds and non-nerds alike are encouraged to participate.

Otherwise look forward to our upcoming events before the break, such as our Cocktail Party (18 April). As always, like and subscribe at to keep up with the cool kids (like Zac Power).


2016 is underway and Burnley has had its own Orientation events for both undergrads and postgrads over the last two weeks. We have also had successful inductions into our many secret lairs and tree houses (laboratories and nurseries) and held some light-hearted BBQs under the canopies for the new crops to meet the currants. In news from other grapevines, Burnley Staff and the BSA will be working closely with UMSU top dogs to see how we can improve student services for our students on campus and remotely to ensure the same quality of education is provided regardless of location. So keep your eyes open for upcoming events over the month at Burnley such as terrarium workshops, Easter egg hunts and all things plants. And make sure you get your roots into the club ‘Horticultured’ for other Burnley related events (if you sign up they might give you a free seedling!).


Clubs were a big hit at this year’s O Week! Clubs Guides flew into the hands of eager students whilst clubs happily sold memberships and showed off their best sides. Thanks to the help of our brilliant volunteers and our amazing clubs committee, we were able to have a very successful O Week, bar one OB getting heatstroke (hint: it was the OB that was there). Thanks to wonderful, positive feedback, we are continuing our camp welfare training. This helps committee members and leaders of camps to facilitate a fun, safe and inclusive environment for all campers to enjoy! C&S are very excited to receive new club applications and look forward to a flourishing clubs culture here at UMSU in 2016! Also, how great is clubs online? But actually, it’s the best.




Hey you! Welcome to 2016 and a year chock-full of artsy opportunities.

FREE LIFE DRAWING is happening twice a month – a great opportunity to try something new. The CREATIVE ARTS COLLECTIVE meets every week. It’s an opportunity for artists of all disciplines and experience to come together and support each other, discuss ideas, share practices and find potential collaborators. There’ll be cake. We might even make a work or two together. Our major event for Semester 1 is POP! WAIT A MINUTE, a program of art taking place outdoors all over campus. We are looking for lots of exciting proposals that foster student-to-student connection and are open to all of your ideas. All of them! Applications are open until the end of March. Other fun options: Talking Out of Your Arts, a Radio Fodder Arts program, arts grants and more.




We spent our O Week handing out heaps of free USBs with tonnes of helpful information and putting on our first speaker event of the year: a panel discussion featuring four disabled university students. Among those four were a journalist and radio producer, an AFL umpire, an autism youth worker, and a theatre maker and jiu-jitsu practitioner. At the moment, our regular Disabilities Collective and Anxiety Support Group meetings are set to start in Week Three. There is also a secret (or now not-so-secret) Facebook group open to students with all kinds of disabilities looking for support and solidarity. We now have our brand new Radio Fodder show, Network Disabled, airing on Tuesdays at 10am. Hosted by your very own Office Bearers, Christian and Jess. It is wide open to any keen guest hosts, contributors and interviewees from any spheres that interact with the disability world (all of them!).




Hey hey! We had our Education Academic stall at O Week which was an excellent way to interact with new students and gauge their concerns and awareness of issues related to their education. At these stalls we handed out our brand-spanking new copies of the CounterCourse Handbook, which gives students an alternate method of determining whether or not a subject is the right fit for them. We’re looking forward to engaging with students further at stalls throughout the semester. This month we’ve got a Student Representative Committee (SRN) meeting scheduled, where we’ll discuss the Flexible Academic Programming plan and other pressing issues that arose from the first round of meetings of University Committees. We’ve also caught a whiff of changes to the Bachelor of Environments course which will surely be a point of discussion. Drop us a line if you’ve got an queries or concerns.




We’ve had a super exciting time in the Education Public Department over the last few weeks. O Week was a huge success. We ran the National Union of Student’s petition – “Fund our future, fight for our future!” calling on fully funded education and opposing fee deregulation, staff and course cuts. In O Week alone, we collected over 300 signatures! There was also promotion for the EAG (Education Action Group) and a signup sheet. We have also been running regular stalls on campus to ensure we are talking to as many students about their university experience. The issue of Stop 1 has seemed to pop up frequently, especially with existing students who remember the good ol’ days before the amalgamation of student services.

We always need more creative minds to think of new and exciting ideas for campaigns and graphics.



The UMSU Environment Department exists for all students with an interest in climate change, sustainability and environmental issues. We have had a busy O Week talking to lots of fantastic students about exactly this!

Our main O Week event, ‘Lets get EnvirontmenTEA’, kicked off the semester with fun, tea and great discussions at the Melbourne University Community Garden. We are planning to work closely with the community garden this year to hold and promote a number of different events centred around the garden.

Our environment collective meetings have also begun and we invite all students to come along and find out about what’s going on on campus and participate in important discussions. We also have a whole semester of documentary screenings planned so come along for pizza and good discussions.

Please feel to get in touch about all things climate and environment!




This year has gotten off to a great start with our first social event, the first few episodes of our radio show/podcast (tune in 3 til 4 on Mondays!) and the completion of our first ever Transition In Camp. Moving forward we are very excited about supporting our athletes and sports teams, building towards National Indigenous Tertiary Education Games, preparing for Under Bunjil, expanding our presence online and getting our semester-long social calendar underway. Also make sure to drop into Murrup Barak or come up to the office to see the social calendar, otherwise you can wait to see it online. As busy as we are with various projects and events we are still pumped as ever for the semester and year ahead.

Instagram: UMSU_Indigenous




It was so awesome to meet so many beautiful queers and LGBTQ+ folks during O Week and we had a fantastic picnic! We’re excited to start running our regular events such as queer lunch on Wednesdays at 1pm and our collectives. Thursday 10 April we’ll be holding a speed-friending event so we hope to meet even more of you there. We’re also running a little competition at the moment and you could win two tickets to see any film in the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (starting March 31st!). Just let us know what you would like to see from the Queer Department this year. It can be a suggestion about anything from a particular event, a campaign you would like us to run or items for the queer room. Check out our FB page or join our newsletter to keep updated with all of our events and info!


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VCASA and enthusiastic VCA Film and TV students of 2016 posed together for a #LetThemStay photo in support of the 267 refugees against the government’s plan to send them back to Nauru. This was a great way to start the year at VCA. On O Day (Wednesday 24 Feb), VCASA unfortunately was barred by the VCA-MCM faculty from speaking to students at their information sessions at Parkville and Southbank campuses. This is a move by University management to stop us telling students the truth about University of Melbourne’s plans to cut more jobs, casualise staff and increase class sizes. We will continue to build the fight against neoliberal attacks on education this year with protest events, music, spoken word, art exhibitions and seminars. We have also started our free yoga sessions every Tuesday evening at the VCA.


We hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to the new semester! The Welfare Department is off to a busy start this year but there’s still time to get involved. We love meeting new students so please feel free to pop by one of our many events or help out as a volunteer! We hold free breakfasts every Thursday morning on South Court, and we’ve introduced the Monday Mingle series and the Conversation Partners Exchange program to help you meet new people. We’re also excited to announce that the Welfare Handbook has been printed – this is a wonderful resource and we encourage you to grab one and have a look.

Importantly, we’re here to help you out with any wellbeing issues you might face. We have a wide range of resources available and you are welcome to shoot us an email or swing by our office on Level 1, Union House.




The Wom*n’s Department had a particularly exciting O Week – thank you to everyone who came by and said hello at our stall and picnic. Our regular weekly events for this semester are underway. Feminism 101 is coming up in Week Three where we will be discussing intersectional feminism, safe spaces and hosting a panel on ‘Does Feminism speak for all Wom*n?’. Week Three will also be the launch of our first Wom*n’s Mentoring Network Night, where we invite women from professional fields to talk about their experiences. Respect Week is coming up in Week Four which is a university-wide week to talk about respect and safety on campus. The Wom*n’s Department, along with GSA Wom*n’s, will be hosting a screening of the US documentary The Hunting Ground, as well as having a panel discussion afterwards to talk about safety and respect on our own campus. See you there!

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