New VCA Campus Coordinator

14 August 2018

Since early July, Lily Ekins has worked as the new University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) VCA campus coordinator. Farrago talked to her about her plans for the new semester, as well as updates on the Southbank campus after the restructure of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a third-year Bachelor of Music student. That’s historically been a Parkville degree, but with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music moving to Southbank and with lots of our classes at the Southbank campus, I feel very passionate about … lots of issues we have that are specific to students over there.

What are your responsibilities as the campus coordinator?
I want to represent students both academically and on a student-engagement and -welfare level, making sure their views and their issues are addressed with the academic board, but also making sure that we have sufficient resources, such as counselling and career development facilities, to support students at the Southbank campus. I think that’s my role: to hold the University accountable for the wellbeing of the students and to represent them.

What is the current state of the Southbank campus?
The Conservatorium building will be up and functioning for 2019. That’s exciting and terrifying, because it has involved shutting down a lot of services, such as the library and the main hub building. It’s also negatively impacted a lot of students, especially those who are graduating this year and won’t benefit from the new facilities.

The plans for the new building look exciting—there are lots of new performance facilities that we should be excited about—but there’s just not enough communication as to how smooth the transition can be. I’m currently working to get more involved with the discussion on the transition at Southbank campus.

What are your plans for semester two?
I want to increase UMSU’s visibility and hope that each department at the Parkville campus would be running at least one event per semester. I also want to make sure that UMSU is heard on the VCA newsletter—and to make sure that students are constantly up-to-date with UMSU’s initiatives and services, so that they can be accessed from Parkville if necessary.

[For] new students, what I would like to communicate is if you need to come all the way to Parkville to access some services, in the short term, please do. In the long term, talk to me, and I will try to make them as accessible at the Southbank campus as possible.

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