Office Bearer Reports (Edition 6, 2016)

8 August 2016


I’m coming to you from a time where Pokémon Go has taken over our lives. I literally chased two Dragonair through the University on my scooter at 10:30pm the other night. I am pretty sure Glyn plays too, I could see him with a team of luxurious Persians Giovanni style. All that aside I’d draw your attention to the election going on around us all and encourage you to vote for the student that best represents you. Additionally take to the internet and check out the UMSU website, we will be developing a new page for Student Precinct updates and information about the ambitious project. While many of you will not be students when it is completed it is still important that you have a say and help inform what will become the heart of student life at Melbourne.


Because of Farrago’s deadlines I actually had to write and submit this report a month before it’s even being published. In fact, I’m writing this before the report before this one has even been published. So, inevitably, it’s going to be pretty drastically out of date. For more up to date info about what’s happening in the Union, the best source is always Students’ Council. Council meets every fortnight during semester and all Office Bearers are required to report to each meeting. Every student is welcome to attend and you can also ask questions and make suggestions directly to OBs at the meetings. You can find out when meetings are by visiting the Students’ Council section of the UMSU website and even subscribe to emails to let you know when meetings have been called and what the agenda is. The website also has the minutes for previous meetings.


If you are reading this then that means that the Activities Union House House Party has already been. Sorry if you missed it, photos will be up soon. But don’t worry we still have More Activities for you! This Semester we have some amazing bands coming to North Court such as British India, The Smith Street Band and Arts Vs Science! We also have swell trivia nights, weekly pub nights and comedy gigs and everyone’s favourite Oktoberfest! We’re pretty excited for this semester and hope you’re all ready for the volume of Activities coming for you! As always keep updated on our Facebook page or you can also pick up one of our rad Semester 2 guides from the stands around Union house (they’ll be the ones with an elephant on them). Lots of love, Megan and Itsi. P.S for all those worried Megan finally got her wisdom teeth out.


If you didn’t get a chance to have a getaway in the mid year break, rug up and come down for a walk through our gardens to get your slice of serene green anytime during semester. While there will be events coming over the first few weeks, its also great to just enjoy the gardens, have a warm cuppa and indulge in the new mini magazine library we have. That’s right! Thanks to the great folk at the Rowdy, our campus now has our own little collection of various non-study related periodicals. That is on top of the huge array of plant books, journals and magazines available in the Burnley library. This editions plant tips: Did you know the only difference between green and red capsicums and green and black olives is the stage of ripening? So don’t freak out if your produce hasn’t reached its desired colour yet!


Look, we’re not going to Raichu the best report, actually this one might be a bit Oddish, but we were asked Furret so here we go! We tried Seaking out a new way to show the Exeggcute Handbook, but it’s going really Slowbro.  We think it’s going to be a Wiki! How Farfetch’d is that? Awards night is coming along, where some clubs will be crowned the Machamp of the Clubs world. All our clubs will have the Chansey  to participate in Clubs Carnival too, which should be a real Hoothoot. Club welfare trainings Arbok this semester, it’s Onyx-ceptable to not go, so Wynaut get on it?  We took a Pikachu-r grant and can’t Bayleef that we have processed so many! We can’t wait to Diglett the new events you’re throwing! Wobuffet.


We’re gearing up for our biggest events of 2016! Next month, keep an eye out for MUFFEST, the inaugural Melbourne Uni Film Festival, and TASTINGS, a performance season of original short works in the Guild Theatre. September will be an explosion of artwork for students, by students!

Until then, we’ve got your back with weekly CREATIVE ARTS COLLECTIVE meetings, fortnightly LIFE DRAWING and BOTANIC DRAWING sessions, and 2 more rounds of GRANTS. And let us not forget the launch of ABOVE WATER, the annual publication of student creative writing.

There is so much to make and do this semester. Fear not. Love your mistakes. Get creative! Check our website for all the details!


We are going to hold a stall at mid-year O-Week. We will be doing much the same thing at this as at the one in first semester. We have confirmed most of the things in preparation for our Disability and Journalism workshop. We are seeking people who may want to speak at our Disability Feminism panel, and are keen to hear ideas of things that students with disabilities would like to see run. In response to concerns raised that we were not adequately representing students with mental health conditions, we will be running Neurodiversity Collective, as well as Disabilities Collective in semester two and our Open Your Mind posters will go up in week one. We are seeking ideas for speakers for a Disability and Education panel to be held later on in the semester. Finally, we are looking into screening one or more of the X-Men movies and having a listening party as some fun events throughout the semester.



As usual, our recent days here at Ed Ac (in between solid sessions of Pokémon Go) have been jam-packed. Having encountered Cadmus and calculators in Semester One, we’re now trying to burst a thought bubble from University Services about moving to a preference system for timetabling. At the same time, we’re pushing for a large-scale review into the impact of academic programming on student wellbeing. We’re also involved in discussions on breadth, assessment feedback, digital technology, semester structure and exam scheduling, with the people who will actually determine how these things change into the future. The stakes are high, and the consequences will be felt by us all. So, as always, we want to be shaped by your thoughts! If you have ideas/gripes about any of this stuff, hit us up!, or our office on level one.



In the Education Public department, we had a busy week at the NUS Education Conference 2016. At the University of Sydney over three days there was a variety of discussion regarding the future of Higher Education in Australia. Over the conference we attended workshops, talks and panels that covered an array of topics. Also meeting with other Education Officers from around the country which was a valuable experience, sharing ideas.

In the lead up to the election we helped out on the NUS ‘Put the Liberals Last’ campaign, both door knocking and handing out flyers. This was due to the Liberals atrocious record on Higher Education which included their proposal for full University deregulation and cuts to University funding. We continue to see a lack of direction for Higher Education. With the formation of a new Coalition Government we must remain vigilant and prepare for more attacks.


We enjoyed O-Week and starting semester two here at the Environment Office!  The sustainability plan continues to be a topic of much discussion, and we’re looking to hear from as many students as possible about what the university should be doing in the sustainability space. There will many more opportunities to contribute to this conversation, so please get in touch if you would like to find out more about sustainability on campus. The weekly Bike Co-op and Play with your Food programs are set to start back in week one of semester two, so come along and check them out. Environment Week will take place from the 15th – 19th of August, and we’re planning some fantastic workshop, forums and activities – so look out for all things Enviro Week!  


We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening at the Indigenous Department this semester. Our fortnightly social events are going to be bigger and better than ever. We’ve got a joint movie night with the Environment Department which you can find details for on our Facebook page. We’ve also got exciting events such as a trip to the comedy lounge for a laugh and Trivia in the Union House bar. Under Bunjil Volume Four is in its early planning stages and we’re still looking for submissions. We love reading the diverse range of poetry, art and commentary that Unimelbs Indigenous students come up with. We have lots of exciting things happening on our social media platforms as well. You can find us at @umsu_Indigenous on Instagram and UMSU Indigenous on Facebook.


We’re hoping you all have had a great start to semester two! Queer Department has been enjoying seeing you all at our Queer Lunch (run every Wednesday, 1pm, in our Queer Space on level three of Union House), as well as our regular collectives. Our tickets are out for our Queer Ball in September so make sure to get in quick so you don’t miss out on the gayest night on your social calendar. We also have some exciting talks happening on topics such as Racism in the LGBT+ community. For exact dates make sure to check out our Facebook at UMSU Queer and to sign up for our newsletter to get queer updates straight to your email. As always make sure to drop into our Queer Space to grab everything from a cup of tea to safe sex supplies and enjoy our comfy couches to chill out on.


Van didn’t submit a report for this edition.


Which Pokémon would Van have on his team?


  1. _____________________ 4. _____________________


  1. _____________________ 5. _____________________


  1. _____________________ 6. _____________________


We hope that everyone has had a great first week back! If you’re new to the university and are still finding your feet, we’re here to help. Pick up a copy of our Welfare Handbook to find out about all the services offered by the University, or drop by our office to learn about how you can use our vacuum hire or pick up some free household goods.We are also teaming up with UMSU International to host the Big Bazaar on Thursday and Friday of Week 3 this semester, where students will be able to sell off their old clothes, books, homeware, and more! Stay tuned for more information.

Above all, the Welfare Department exists to help students with any wellbeing issues they may have and we are always happy to chat. Feel free to shoot us an email or drop by our office on Level One, Union House.




At the moment we are running our Women in Higher Education events for the next two weeks! The weeks involve things like panel discussions, a trivia night and networking opportunities. We are also working on Judy’s Punch, the annual Women’s Department publication and heading towards our week 10 release date. Applications have now closed and the editors are extremely excited about the level of interest in being a part of Judy’s Punch. We hope this next edition will be our best yet! We are still working on our ‘Safety on Campus’ campaign and sexual assault guide. There is also a new survey run by the Australian Human Rights Commission looking at safety and experience on campus which will be released this semester, which we hope people will participate in. If you want to get into contact with the Women’s department, our details are listed below:



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