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Pitch in

I know a lot of people are not into politics. Some people are apathetic to the bickering, and the hypocrisy. We see everyday the government let us down. Whether it is on marriage equality, asylum seekers or our crappy internet there is a lot we want to change.

At UMSU we try and champion change and progressive values. Our autonomous and political departments are incredibly important to us, I should know having been the Indigenous Officer. That being said some students don’t want to engage with that side of UMSU and that is fine. It is just important that people know what they are missing out on.

Cast your memory back to the beginning of 2014, we saw the Abbott government deliver its first budget to national outcry. Unfair and unbalanced across the board it was deeply disappointing, especially for students. We saw university fee deregulation coming and our own Vice Chancellor championing it. It was dark times but Tony Abbott and bad education policy fell by the wayside and Malcolm Turnbull saw the window of opportunity.

It wasn’t by accident that Abbott bit the dust, people across Australia made themselves heard in polls and rallies, all demanding change. It was made clear that the whole of Australia would not stand for the Abbott government and their policies, and that students deserved a better deal. UMSU did it’s fair share in 2014 and 2015 and our actions helped secure our futures, but just for the time being.

Now in 2016 these changes and more are rearing their head but are hiding behind dates after the election. The Government learned its lesson and will not risk making the same mistakes as Tony Abbott but our futures are still under threat. On the 11th of May people from around Victoria launched a rally in the CBD of Melbourne to challenge the Government’s budget and made their voices heard. While UMSU does its best to inform people and help organise, it is your voice and your vote that is most important. At the end of the day your future as a student is tied up in federal politics but you can do something about it. You can march, you can speak out and you can pitch in.

I know not everyone wants to or can do those things but you can still contribute. Whether it is making sure you are informed, or helping spread the message you can pitch in.

I know not everyone wants to or can do those things but you can still contribute. What you can do, something that no one can take from you, is cast you vote. Voting is the number one most important thing you can do to help yourself and your fellow students secure a better future. Update your information, vote for what is right for you and your community.

Tyson Holloway-Clarke

UMSU President

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