President’s Perspective on Student Precinct

While it feels like the year is well underway, we still have a huge second half of the year ahead of us. UMSU, the University and the City of Melbourne are all changing and we need to be adaptable. We will be finding a new home somewhere on campus. We will be restructuring our student organisation to better serve you. We will be negotiating with the University for more resources and better representation.

Some of these projects are still in development and it would be premature to discuss them now, but the projects we can detail include the Student Precinct. Securing a permanent, fit-for-purpose home for UMSU in a more accessible location is at the top of the agenda. It is going to take months and perhaps years to secure but we are excited by the prospect of a better home for UMSU. While there are many moving parts in the entire process there are some certainties.

We will fight for the future of:

  • Adequate office space that both UMSU representatives and services can operate out of to better serve students
  • Arts and cultural facilities, including high quality theatres (read two or more) and rehearsal spaces
  • Autonomous spaces, informal lounges and 24 hour access spaces managed by UMSU
  • A growing Rowden White Library
  • More functional space for Clubs & Societies for meetings, training and events
  • Both indoor and outdoor venues for events and entertainment
  • A student run bar and adjacent venue

The delivery of all of these aspects are underpinned by commitments to accessibility, safety and sustainability. All that being said the spatial requirements of new premises are just part of the equation, ensuring the future of UMSU as a destination is the other half.

We need the Student Precinct to be a focal point for student leadership and activity. With UMSU at the heart of the student experience it is imperative that our facilities represent that. It means we need to be more accessible to students south of Grattan Street. It means we need to provide the means to maintain the vibrant cultural fabric of our community. It means we need space to keep growing, unfortunately Union House does not let that happen.

Our move south will be a key project in the future of this student organisation and we are approaching it very seriously. This needs to be done right, and done right the first time and our commitment to you is that we will not settle for options that hurt UMSU, both in the short term and in the long term. Our campus is changing, and we will change with it but we will not accept changes that damage the student experience. This is a great opportunity and in my view the future of Union depends on it.

Tyson Holloway-Clarke
UMSU President

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