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Are you ready to test your knowledge 📔 and show off your trivia skills? Become the best and win prizes up to 100 dollars! 🎉

 

We are calling for all of you to come and join us in Get Trivial with UMSU International where you will encounter the most challenging and thought-provoking questions in a variety of categories : 

🎨Arts & Literature📖,  🎬Entertainment🎢, 🏔Geography🌋, 🏛General knowledge🌍 and a ❓Mystery❓ category. 

Take part in various trivia games as teams and use your brains and teamwork skills to win it all! 

 

Get Trivial with UMSU International will occur in the span of 3 days, sign up for one day for a chance to be crowned as the champion of the ultimate trivia night! 👑

 

Important note: 

Individual and group sign-ups are available! If you and your friend want to sign up as a team, please register for the same event day, and then send an email to boheng.d@union.unimelb.edu.au with your team name, team members’ names and student ID.

 

Dates: 8th – 10th of October 2020 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) 

Time: 5:30 – 7:30pm AEST 

Venue: Zoom (Link will be provided upon registering for the event) 

Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/122005803643/

 

Keep Calm and Trivia On! 🤩

 

Hannah Buchan, President
Jack Buksh, General Secretary

 

In Semester 1, over 13,600 students signed UMSU’s petition for a no disadvantage WAM system at the University. As a direct result of this, the University changed its position and we won a system that was fairer for students.

We need your help again. Despite the declaration of a State of Disaster the University has still not made a decision about extending the WAM amnesty into Semester 2, and for winter subjects and year-long subjects, completely ignoring the situation that students are in.  As the COVID-19 situation worsens in Australia around the globe, the University needs to understand that this is not business as usual. Students are under immense amounts of pressure, as well as learning in less than ideal conditions online.   The University needs to act – and it needs to act now.

We need to show the University that our voices are important. Sign the petition, and join the fight.

https://www.megaphone.org.au/p/wam2

Hannah Buchan, President
Jack Buksh, General Secretary

 

 

With the latest restrictions in Victoria, and COVID-19 continuing to worsen around the globe, the University needs to stop acting like it is business as usual and like it is a state of disaster.

This semester is going to be really difficult for students, but the University has the ability to make things easier. We have continued to raise issues around WAM and financial support for students, but we have seen inadequate responses from the University.

We have a meeting with the Vice Chancellor and the Deputy Vice Chancellor this afternoon where we will be taking your voices and raising these issues as a matter of urgency.

Hannah Buchan, President
Jack Buksh, General Secretary

 

 

Students are in really stressful, uncertain times and the University is making this more difficult.

Making international students pay fees well before census date is very concerning, and we are continually pushing this with the University. The University also needs to make a decision about what its plans are with WAM in the winter term and Semester 2 as this is just adding to the stresses faced by our student community.

With the new lockdown restrictions in Victoria, students will again in Semester 2 face challenges which will have significant impacts on their studies. That’s why UMSU is calling on the University to keep the WAM amnesty in place for the Winter Term and Semester 2. Students simply will not be able to perform to the best of their ability next semester – many are in difficult financial positions, in difficult study environments or simply not able to learn as effectively online as they did in person. We have written to the President of the Academic Board with this request, and we will keep you posted on any response.

Any students who need assistance should get in contact with UMSU – we’re here to assist everyone to get through this difficult time.

Following the events of Friday in Christchurch, UMSU would like to reaffirm its commitment to opposing all forms of Islamophobia and white supremacy in the university community and society as a whole.

UMSU stands with the Islamic community of the University of Melbourne in this time of grief. You are always welcome in our union, and we encourage you to reach out if you are in need of support or have experienced forms of discrimination on campus.

UMSU also condemns the Senator for Queensland for his comments about the Christchurch attack. White supremacy and Islamophobia have no place in our parliament, our university campuses, or our society.

The only way to stop Islamophobia, white supremacy, and bigotry is to come together as a university community and fight for a welcoming and safe campus for all. As such, at a Monday meeting of UMSU Students Council, student representatives endorsed the Stand Against Racism & Islamophobia: Fraser Anning Resign! rally organised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism. We encourage all students to attend – the event link can be found here.

Immediately preceding this, the UMSU People of Colour Department will be hosting a vigil to commemorate the victims of Christchurch, and show solidarity to the wider Muslim community. The event can be found here.

If anyone is in the university community is in need of support, is feeling unsafe, or has experienced discrimination on campus, we encourage you to seek help at;
https://services.unimelb.edu.au/counsel
https://safercommunity.unimelb.edu.au/

You can also report personal experiences of discrimination via the form here

It is everyone’s responsibility to take a stand against Islamophobia, only together can we create the safe and welcoming campus all students deserve.

Molly Willmott
UMSU President

The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) is seeking expressions of interest for the appointment of a Returning Officer for the conduct of its Annual Election, with polling to commence on Monday September 3 2018.

A by-election is also required for a number of positions, and is to be held concurrently with the UMSU Annual Election.

The Annual Elections are regulated by the UMSU Constitution and Election Regulations both of which are available at https://umsu.unimelb.edu.au/elections. The Electoral Regulations are subject to change.

UMSU has established the capacity for the electoral roll to be managed electronically, and at multiple polling sites.

Expressions of interest are sought for the conduct of the Annual Election. Please submit documents, including itemisation of proposed costs, via email to Justin Baré, Chief Executive Officer, UMSU, (gm@union.unimelb.edu.au), no later than 5pm Wednesday June 7 2018.

What’s going on with University staff?

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), the union for all staff at the University, is currently holding a ballot asking its members on our campus whether to go on strike.

At the moment, all staff are covered by an “enterprise bargaining agreement”, or EBA – a big document that details pay, breaks and other conditions. It has to be re-negotiated every few years and the University has been in enterprise bargaining for the past 13 months.

What are the issues?

The NTEU is calling for industrial action as negotiations have now stalled on a few pivotal points of difference. University staff are fighting to:

  • Keep a single Enterprise Agreement, so that the Uni will continue to treat the staff who teach you and the staff who manage your degree in the same way.
  • Keep protections to academic freedom of staff in the Enterprise Agreement
  • Oppose proposed changes to limit incremental progression for Uni staff at the level of HEW 6 and above.
  • Maintain the existing commitment to staff/student ratios, so workloads do not increase. Currently across Australia, university staff work sometimes up to 50 hours per week.
  • Keep a commitment to reach targets of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in the agreement

However, a vote of NTEU members, known as a Protected Action Ballot, must be taken before staff can strike. In this ballot, staff must vote on the types of industrial action they may take. This may range from staff refusing to work overtime, not transmitting results to the University, to simply refusing to work at all. Staff of the University of Melbourne who are members of the NTEU will be able to vote on this online ballot, which is open until 12 noon on Friday, April 27.

Why UMSU’s role is important

It is important that all unions, including student unions, support one another. UMSU stands in solidarity with trade unions and we support the right of unions to take action in order to improve the conditions of people at work.

Just as there exists a wide network of student unions that exist at different universities to advocate for students, trade unions are organisations that exist at workplaces so workers can come together to achieve common goals at work. Many of the work rights we take for granted including the 8 hour day, weekends and penalty rates for overtime and weekend work were all won by workers standing together in the union movement.

When negotiations reach a standstill, often employees and employers will look for other ways to move forward. A tool that many unions have used to put pressure on employers to gain better working conditions and settle workplace disputes is industrial action: where workers strike, ban or limit the amount of work they do.

We support the NTEU in their fight to maintain the working conditions of staff at this university. Staff working conditions are student learning conditions, and UMSU stands in solidarity with the staff of this university as they seek to improve their workplace rights.

Desiree Cai
UMSU President

How to cast your vote before April 27:

Join your trade union:

 

UMSU Stands with CAPA and NUS in Bury the Bill Campaign

The National Union of Students (NUS) and the Council of Postgraduate Students (CAPA) recently launched their Bury the Bill campaign to fight proposed changes to student loan legislation.

The Bury the Bill campaign encourages students, graduates and future students to contact their Senators and highlight the consequences of this legislation, which will compromise access to higher education in Australia. UMSU supports this campaign wholeheartedly and encourages all to get involved.

The proposed Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Bill 2018 would see the HECS/HELP repayment threshold for student debt lowered from the current $54,000 to $45,000. This disproportionately impacts low income earners, especially women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates. The legislation also includes the creation of a lifetime student loan cap of $104k.

The lifetime loan cap particularly affects University of Melbourne students, as the Melbourne Model presumes that students do a broad undergraduate degree with the expectation to continue their studies in postgrad. In many cases, the cost of a postgraduate degree, in addition to a previously completed undergrad would exceed the proposed loan cap. This opens up the door for students having to pay up front or take out a separate personal loan to complete their university degrees, severely limiting accessibility for students wanting to gain further qualifications.

NUS and CAPA have spoken out against the bill.

Natasha Abrahams, CAPA National President says:

“We need to fight to retain the HECS-HELP system that enables more Australians to access a university education and the opportunities that come from this. Under the proposed changes, highly regarded degrees which lead to lucrative careers will only be accessible to those who can afford colossal upfront payments.”

Mark Pace, NUS National President says:

“Simon Birmingham, the Scrooge of Australian Parliament, gifted universities with $2.2 Bn in cuts last December. Now he’s seeking further budget repairs from those barely earning above minimum wage.”

“The number of graduates earning below the current repayment threshold reflects a failure of this government in providing a quality education. The solution is to adequately fund universities, not burden low income Australians with this Governments failures in higher education”.

It is unacceptable that these proposed changes unfairly target those who are most disadvantaged and already have the hardest time accessing university education. I urge all students to get involved in the campaign, sign the #BuryTheBill petition and contact a crossbench Senator.

Desiree Cai
UMSU President

What can I do?

Making your place at university contingent on whether you can pay thousands of dollars in university fees upfront is inaccessible and unfair. That is why UMSU is standing against the $2.2 billion cuts that the Government has made to higher education funding. This will disproportionately affect the accessibility of university for students from disadvantaged backgrounds including people from low socio-economic backgrounds, Indigenous students, and regional communities. The cuts have taken place in the form of a funding freeze, which will result in the defunding of 10,000 university places.

These cuts also open the door to a two-tiered higher education sector in Australia, similar to what currently exists in the United States. This is because smaller and regional universities who cannot attract full fee paying students to the same capacity as a bigger university like the University of Melbourne will also be most affected by the cuts.

At the same time, the proposed loan limit which caps the debt of individual students from tuition fees to $104,000, or $150,000 for science and medicine courses will disproportionately affect students at the University of Melbourne, as the Melbourne Model requires students to be able to enter graduate degrees after completing a broad undergraduate degree. For many, this loan limit would make postgraduate studies less accessible as more students may be forced to pay some of their degree upfront, or seek private loans to cover the gap.

The Government is also intent on lowering the HECS/HELP debt threshold from $55,000 to $45,000. This change signals the Government’s blatant disregard for young people and graduates, who are already struggling to find adequate employment and finding it harder to move out of home and buy a property than ever before.

UMSU opposes any cuts to higher education. When education funding is cut, students end up bearing the brunt of the burden. As such, we encourage all students to come join us at the National Student Day of Action, a protest organised by the National Union of Students, on March 21, 2pm at the State Library. When our education is under attack, we can take action together and let the government know that these cuts are the last thing that students need.

The UMSU contingent to the protest will start at the campus speak out at South Court at 12:30pm, and then we will head to the State Library together.

More protest details here:

Melbourne Uni speak out before protest: https://www.facebook.com/events/116061875839355/

Protest at State Library: https://www.facebook.com/events/540247649681517/

If you want to get involved in other education campaigns, feel free to get involved in the UMSU Education Department. Join the weekly Education collectives or Education Action Group.

Desiree Cai
UMSU President

Conor Clements
UMSU Education Public Department