OB Reports16 May 2016
I swear my face is all over the place these days. You can read about my plans for President in Parkville Station, how it all went down in this Farrago and online and the specifics of day to day on the President’s Blog on the UMSU website. We have a huge rest of the year ahead of us that includes a Federal election, planning for the Student Precinct and the constant growth of the Union. Speaking of, keep an eye out for the new People of Colour Department coming later this year, championed by a group of exceptional students. Between now and then I want to wish you luck in your upcoming assessments and exams and want to remind you that the Education Academic Department and UMSU’s Advocacy services are here for you if it all hits the fan. If you ever need anything, UMSU can help.
“There is no such thing as being nonpolitical. Just by making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change it, you simply entrench it.” ― Joan Kirner.An election is weeks away, yet hundreds of thousands of young Australians aren’t enrolled to vote. We can all gripe about the uninspiring nature of politics, but if we don’t even bother to engage, it will never change. The Liberal Government’s policies are disastrous for young people in Australia. $100,000 uni degrees, a $500 million divisive plebiscite on marriage equality and half of them still don’t believe in climate change. So please, enrol to vote, and whoever you vote for, put the Liberals last.
We’ve had some BBQs and a comedy competition and stuff, but we’re fairly sure that no one reads these so the rest of this report is just going to be shit jokes. Did you know that if you put male ants in water they float? It’s because they’re boy ants. Why do birds fly south for winter? It’s too far to walk. Why was the broom late for work? She swept in. I just found out the guy who stole my diary passed away. My thoughts are with his family. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the ugly guy’s house. Knock knock. Who’s there? The chicken! I have an EpiPen. My friend gave it to me as he was dying. It seemed very important to him that I have it. Did you know that if you got your small intestines and stretched them out end to end, you would die?
The leaves are browning as the semester grows to an end and Burnley just celebrated a historical moment education. If you missed it, we just had our 125th Birthday, celebrating the longest running continuous horticultural education in the world! We had our festival day on 30 April with food trucks, music, tours, soil speed dating, plant and pest ID sessions and garden health clinics, just to name a few! With BSA reps and student volunteers helping out all in all branches. On 6 May those keen beans from UMSU Activities came down to our campus to run a BBQ and the Wom*n’s Department has kindly donated a wide range of sexual & sanitary health products so we have set up a little booth on campus. You wont beleaf what end of semester events are growing in the (potting) mix so keep your ears to the grapevines.
CLUBS & SOCIETIES
Oh hey there! We didn’t see you under the MASSIVE PILE OF WORK WE’VE BEEN DOING! Besides from the usual grants, payments, lockers and gunter – we’ve started a policy working group, slowly finishing up the executive handbook, and started planning general welfare training again! General welfare training will be run by your friendly OBs and will cover all things about running a club successfully, from tasteful advertising to intraclub disputes. Committee have also been working exceptionally hard every fortnight to go through HUNDREDS of grants clubs have put forward. Committee have passed a whopping 368 motions to date. We are also very excited to start seeing the inaugural general meetings for new clubs, a total of 18 clubs are pending affiliation! Lastly, we thank YOU reader for going to club events and supporting our amazing campus culture. This week YOU are Gunter’s Choice! In Clubs Online we trust.
If you’ve ever wanted to have something you made in two hours exhibited in public for free, CREATIVE ARTS COLLECTIVE (Fridays, 13pm, Food Coop) is working towards an exhibition in the experimental gallery spaces on Level 2, Union House. Drop in any time for as long as you want! Free LIFE DRAWING continues every other Tuesday alternating between 12pm and 6pm, so make it to at least one a month depending on your schedule. It’s a good time. ABOVE WATER is now open for business! Get your creative writing published by us and the Media Office (and judged by COOL PROFESSIONAL JUDGES), or your artwork immortalised in an incredibly high quality annual anthology. TASTINGS applications open soon for performance-works — get a professional mentor working with you to develop your works for presentation! It’ll be fun. ALSO ARTS GRANTS. Apply to us. Art is expensive; we got you.
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Auslan classes have been very popular and we will be running the next level class in Semester Two. Anxiety Support Group and the film screenings are also going well. We sent a student to the consultation about food outlets on campus and Christian and I attended a similar consultation about transport and mobility both to and from, as well as around the university. We are yet to debrief with the student who attended the food outlets consultation, but can briefly report back that the transport and mobility one was underwhelming in terms of bringing student issues to the attention of representatives from the university. We will be having one or two guests on our radio show Network Disabled next week to coincide with Rad Sex and Consent Week at Melbourne Uni and the release of the Federal budget.
Since we last spoke, our Department has been busy dealing with the implications of Cadmus, the new software being developed by the University to get on top of plagiarism. We’ve been meeting and discussing with the University the possible ramifications of the program and the best way to work together going forward. We’ve also been engaging in the University-wide debate on the role of lecture in the future of the University’s pedagogical framework. We both spoke at a forum, attended by staff and students, about the merits and vices of the lecture; this forum reached no broad consensus, but it certainly laid the groundwork for a constructive debate to ensue. We’ll keep you updated on all matters FlexAp related, and we’ll soon be rolling out out FlexAp survey to hear your thoughts on all the relevant issues.
We’ve been super busy over the last few weeks in the Education Public department! The government has released its budget that is determined to attack students, including their persistence to deregulate university fees. This will result in eroding the accessibility, affordability and quality of our tertiary education system. We held a budget speak out the day after the budget, to spread the word to students about what measures were included. On 11 May, we held an ‘UMSU Breaks Down the Budget’ event where all departments explained how these budged measures would affect different groups of students. Followed by that, we attended the National Day of Action in the city, which was a great way for students to congregate together and show our disappointment with the Liberals continuing attack on students!
The Environment Office is very busy! The amazing protest in Week Seven by Fossil Free Melbourne University showed the power of civil disobedience when all other formal channels have been tried and the group is now getting ready for its meeting with the decision makers coming up at the end of May. The Sustainability Plan consultation is underway and Anisa is working hard to get strong student working groups together to codesign the different parts with the Sustainability Executive, next meeting: Thursday 12 May. Students are getting very excited as a permanent space for the bike coop is looking likely to open in May, so planning for it has begun. Play With Your Food is drawing bigger crowds and the Doco Nights are going very well. We are also planning an event for World Environment Day (5 June) so stay tuned!
The Indigenous Department has changed a fair bit since we last spoke, Emily is temporarily riding solo as Tyson has moved on to conquering all of UMSU, the office is going to feel empty but Emily’s sure Tyson will still have his say. The UMSU Indigenous Committee will instate a new cooffice bearer within the fortnight and are looking forward to seeing all the bigger and better things we’ll be doing in the near future! Nominations are open to fill Indigenous Office Bearer positions. We’ve been busy in the last few weeks with training sessions for the National Indigenous Tertiary Games, which take place in June. Under Bunjil our biannual publication is well underway and we’re excited to be publishing a new and improved creative edition of Under Bunjil for Volume Three. Getting very excited for our next social event Koorioke happening in Week 9, its sure to great fun.
Hello all! We hope you’ve all had time to attend some workshops during Rad Sex and Consent Week. Now that Semester One is drawing to a close, we’re gonna focus on running our weekly events consistently; our collectives, the Queer Lunch on Wednesdays and Thursday fun times. We are also working hard to communicate with the university and ensure gender neutral toilets for the new proposed student centre complex. To keep update on what we’re doing, check out our facebook page at UMSU Queer or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The NUS National Day of Action on 11 May against the Turnbull Government’s attacks on higher education would have already passed at the time of the printing of this report. Hopefully it was an angry and defiant protest after the release of the May budget. No doubt more student protests will come, as fee deregulation is still high on the Liberal’s agenda. Also, keep a look out for solidarity campaigns and actions for refugees in response to the #BringThemHere campaign.At the VCA we’ll have events coming up such as a seminar in late May during Indigenous Reconciliation Week featuring an Indigenous activist talking about Indigenous struggle in Australia and Palestine. We also have coming up in early June, the popular VCA Spoken Word event featuring some of Melbourne’s and the VCA’s punchiest poets. All students are welcome!
We hope everyone enjoyed Rad Sex and Consent Week, which we ran with UMSU Women’s, Queer and Disabilities Departments; and Stress Less Week! Stress Less Week was a success and our Stress Less Carnival and dance classes were the highlight of the week. It was great to see so many students engaging with UMSU, so thank you all who stopped by! Our regular events have also been running well and are a great way of getting involved. Our Monday Mingle and Conversation Partners Programs run alternatingly every week and are a fantastic way to meet new friends and have some fun. As always, we’re holding free breakfasts every Thursday 8:30-10:30am, so come grab some food! Most importantly, we’re here to help you with any wellbeing issues you may have. We have a wide range of resources available and are always happy to talk, so shoot us an email or drop by our office on Level 1, Union House.
The Wom*n’s Department has been extremely busy this semester – with our regular events being held each week in the Women’s Room. We have also been working on some constitutional changes which we hope will be brought to the next UMSU SGM, to better reflect the department in its current state. We have also been working on Rad Sex and Consent week, which is in Week Nine of semester one which is a collaboration between Women’s, Queer, Disabilities and Welfare this year. Looking ahead we are looking at subsidising people to go to NOWSA, taking place in July this year as well as getting submissions of Judy’s Punch – our annual Wom*n’s Department publication.
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