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Week 4 Wrap Up

Well, we are one third of the way through semester! (See, Arts students can do maths)

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve crammed enough work/new friends/beers to last me a WHOLE semester.

The first three days of this week were spent trying to be in two places at once: the UMSU offices and a conference that I was invited to attend with university in order to try to find some more innovative solutions to the planning of the new Student Precinct that’s slowly but surely coming to this campus. The Equity Innovation Conference was all about adapting effectively to the scary, super technological future, and thinking innovatively about challenges. The Swinburne Vice-Chancellor, Linda Kristjanson, was on one panel and talked about the future of universities, and the fact that many more people are opting to learn online (Lindsay Tanner was also on this panel, leading to slight fan girl moment for myself and uni’s Head of Waste Management, Judith Alcorn, but that’s another story).

I rushed back from the conference on Monday to make (firstly) the University Selection Procedures Committee and (secondly) the Building and Estates Committee. Long discussion was held around the university’s Accommodation Plan, with a goal to add 2000 extra beds to the University’s accommodation offering, so that students new to Melbourne can always find somewhere quality to live with ease.

Tuesday started again with conference fun times, but I couldn’t stay long because I needed to make Students’ Council (aka the funnest event of the fortnight). I managed to grab a sneaky snag and a sneaky laugh at the UMSU Tuesday BBQ (with stand up comedy!) before heading to the Student Reference Group, where UMSU Education Officer Nellie, UMSU General-Secretary Hana and I raised some of the most pressing issues facing students within the university. If you ever have any issues with your studies, we have semi-regular forums in which to raise these with people very high up in the university—don’t hesitate to email the Education Officers at educationacademic@union.unimelb.edu.au. They want to know what’s affecting you!

We had a great crafternoon up in the UMSU offices, painting banners and making signs. I was tempted to stop this banner at “<3 STUD” but decided against it and eventually added the “-ENTS”. 11080927_10152602121506899_7838758732532238560_n

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That evening was UMSU Activities Cocktail Party. Cocktails, dancing, meeting friends… ‘nuf said. I have to say, I wasn’t feeling so fresh Wednesday morning….

Wednesday was the long awaited National Union of Students’ National Day of Action: students from universities across Victoria assembled in Melbourne (as did students in other capitals) to make their dissent against all the attempted (and failed) changes to higher education known. We marched down from uni with our UMSU contingent and met with students from Monash, Swinburne, La Trobe, RMIT, Victoria University and other people passionate about higher education in Australia outside the state library.

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From whistles to trumpets to hilarious impromptu chants, it was a very student-y feeling protest.

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(If you look closely, you can see my banner on the right!)

Thursday was entirely taken up for me by CLUBS CARNIVAL! There were about 40 clubs out on Union Lawns cooking BBQs, tasting beer, playing games, facepainting, plus the UMSU stall giving out free popcorn! The Fodder (UMSU student radio) was also live broadcasting (we had a good sing along to Blank Space at the end of the carnival).
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Here is a picture of me eating frozen yoghurt straight out of the machine hired by UMSU club Marketing Intelligence (AFTER they’d stopped serving to the public)

UMSU President Rachel Withers eating frozen yoghurt and looking up at a bottle of chocolate sauce.

On Friday, I attended an UMSU International Central Committee Meeting and heard a bit more about the organisation of some of their events over the last 8 months and some of their events coming up! Get very excited for Night Market, coming soon!

UMSU International will be holding elections in May for their new committee; keep an eye on the UMSU International website section for more details if you’re interested in running!

And that was my ridiculous week. This weekend I’m going to get some desperately needed sleep… hope you have a good one!