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Remember when in year nine your Insta was so on point? You were the first to post an artsy photo of The Hunger Games movie tix, the first to rock sepia-toned photos of St Kilda beach because nature and beauty and the first to post a three-part photo series showing people’s hands on their laps riding on public transport?

So deep.

And then what’s-their-name in your year started to copy everything you posted…even the retrospective of hands on public transport. Such a copycat. You felt angry that someone was stealing your brilliance and originality. How dare they. And some stupid adult said something about imitation being the highest form of flattery. Stupid adults with clichéd words of advice.

Well, to labour the point ad nauseam, the same does not apply in academia.

In these hallowed halls of knowledge, if you intentionally or unintentionally copy another student’s work, or stuff off the interwebs or from some know-it-all expert bloke or lady in a journal article or book, you will very probably be found out by either Turnitin or the actual tutor correcting your work. The University takes this as seriously as you did you Insta back then.

So, in this crazy world of footnotes and acknowledging your sources, what to do? Well, first off, familiarise yourself with the rules. Second, make sure you reference the crap out of everything in text via footnotes or endnotes AND in your reference list/bibliography at the end. Don’t know where to begin? Ask a friendly librarian what referencing style is used in your faculty.  Thirdly, if you do get into trouble, seek help from the Advocacy Service. Pronto.


This post was brought to you by the UMSU Advocacy Service.

They have a combined educational experience of approximately 500 years. Their collective HECS debt is zero per cent of your business. They call themselves ‘the justice league of UMSU’ (they have a poster on their wall to prove it). They are: the most interesting advocates in the world*.

*They are very likely not the most interesting advocates in the world.

Special C is similar to Special K* in that it isn’t.

One is an application for special consideration that you make online when (clears throat) “exceptional or extenuating circumstances outside of your control” have had a “demonstrated impact on your ability to complete academic requirements” while the other is an artificial squishing of one of humanity’s oldest crops into the unsatisfying palatability of cardboard.

Much like Special K progressing through your digestive system, Special C should go through the University’s administrative system easily enough. Sometimes, a (ahem) blockage occurs either at SEDS, the faculty or review stage. The Advocacy Service may be the Metamucil that gets you going again.

We can advise you on how the system works, what the policy says on the issue and what results common practice have yielded. Even if we can’t get the blockage removed, you can at least have peace of mind knowing that you got a third party to have look at the, um, situation.

Also, if it’s more of a long term thing, then you might want to consider registering for Special C. But that’s another fandango.

Wanna know more? Click here.

*We know you’re thinking about the other other Special K. Yeah, no.


This post was brought to you by the UMSU Advocacy Service.

They have a combined educational experience of approximately 500 years. Their collective HECS debt is zero per cent of your business. They call themselves ‘the justice league of UMSU’ (they have a poster on their wall to prove it). They are: the most interesting advocates in the world*.

*They are very likely not the most interesting advocates in the world.

Inevitably, in a long enough academic timeline, you will be required to participate in group work where you’re either lumped with doing all the work or you’re paired up with a control freak who insists on doing all the work. Either option is as pretty as that damned pimple on your nose that just keeps on getting bigger.

Allow us to be the Clearasil of your group work troubles.

First off, pay attention to that damned subject outline (that’s the equivalent of a bank’s small print when applying for a car loan). When it describes the assessment, does it say that you will be marked individually but can work in groups? If so, be aware to present your own work in the final instance. When it becomes murky who did what and who copied from who, the lecturer/tutor is obliged under university policy to report you and your group to the faculty for collusion (a.k.a Academic Misconduct). This process could result in you getting a fail for the WHOLE subject (even if your group work is only weighted 3% of your final mark).

To avoid these pitfalls, keep track of your contribution in, say, a diary or any other written form. This could come in handy in proving that the work that you presented is your own. Ultimately, working in a group can be a great experience or one that brings you to the brink of wanting to pull your hair out. Either way: remember that group work is much like a ménage à trois. To go smoothly, everyone should be on the same page, equally engaged and active.

That, my friends, requires communication.


This post was brought to you by the UMSU Advocacy Service.

They have a combined educational experience of approximately 500 years. Their collective HECS debt is zero per cent of your business. They call themselves ‘the justice league of UMSU’ (they have a poster on their wall to prove it). They are: the most interesting advocates in the world*.

*They are very likely not the most interesting advocates in the world.

So by now you’ve figured out where the toilets are, where the best coffee is and how to get to your lecture located on platform 9 ¾.

The wide eyed wonder with which you stepped onto campus has been replaced by a knowing twinkle in your eye (soon to be replaced with the empty gaze of the unslept once end of semester hits). You know stuff. But do you know ‘all’ the stuff? There’s still a hidden world out there in the universe.

A sort of invisible structure of policies, procedures and rules that oversee your life on campus. Much like your great aunt’s map of spider veins running up her leg, you might not want to know about it. Unlike her network of spider veins, you need to know about it. Also, the University kinda expects you to be well, um, familiar with the spider veins, er, policies.

Chances are, you’ve already entered the invisible structure through your student account on the interwebs. You may be stuck and need some advice about how to deal with the University, SEDS, Stop 1 or your faculty. We can give you that advice. That’s what an Advocacy (Service) is.

Want to find out more? Click here. We know you want to.


This post was brought to you by the UMSU Advocacy Service.

They have a combined educational experience of approximately 500 years. Their collective HECS debt is zero per cent of your business. They call themselves ‘the justice league of UMSU’ (they have a poster on their wall to prove it). They are: the most interesting advocates in the world*.

*They are very likely not the most interesting advocates in the world.