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Week 5 Wrap Up

Four day week! (OK five if you count writing this post)

So what have I been up to this week?

First thing Monday morning I sent off an email to our VC Glyn Davis about the reduced library opening hours at Burnley this semester. Many students had been in contact with me or the staff at Burnley about this, and were rightly quite upset to have their already short library opening hours cut further. Amazingly, by Tuesday afternoon Burnley students received an email letting them know their 2014 hours had been restored, so well done to every student who made their dissent known.

Tuesday I sat on a University Staff Awards for Excellence Selection Committee as the student representative. There were some amazing applicants for these awards- I was asked to do the close reading of applications for the Edward Brown Award for Teaching Excellence in the fields of: Architecture, Engineering, and Economics, Commerce and Business, and it was great to read in close detail about some of the well-loved, passionate teachers in this university (whether I understood the Architecture concepts or not). It was a shame only one award could be awarded per category, because there were many outstanding candidates in some fields.

I had been really looking forward to Wednesday’s “What The Feminism?” panel and was glad I found the time to make it! There were some great panelists who spoke about their journey to feminism and some of the overwhelming frustrations that came with being a feminist. The event was open to all genders, and it was great to see a few men come along to hear from three great feminists. Afterwards I swung by the Engineering Students Club event Beer ‘n’ Chips, but was unsurprised to learn that the chips had run out- you have to be fast at Beer ‘n’ Chips.

Wednesday evening was Activities Trivia, and one of the biggest we’ve had in some time! Trivia was up in the Grand Buffet Hall, which is my second favourite space in the entirety of Union House (after North Court of course). Our “Union Thugs” team of UMSU peeps came tied first- FIRST TIME I’VE EVER WON AT TRIVIA! There were also some solid lip sync performances in the between-round Lip Sync Competition (not to mention a fantastic performance of “I Touch Myself” by The Divinyls from Union Thugs) and a great red cup stacking rivalry.

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Members of the Union Thugs team

Thursday was not the easiest day of the week (see red cup stacking), but the promise of a long weekend got me through. I met with Vanessa Campbell who is coordinating the University’s Accommodation Portfolio- the Uni is aiming to increase its bed numbers so that it can offer an accommodation guarantee to international, interstate and regional students, as some other universities are. We spoke about the current project of turning the old Salvation Army Training College on Royal Parade into student accommodation- a more independent option to that of a college, with individual rooms but shared cooking spaces and lounge spaces.
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We held the first Operations Sub-Committee for 2015, which is the meeting of the sub-committee of Students Council with delegated powers to authorise expenditure. UMSU General Secretary Hana chaired the meeting, while I took minutes. I also started really nutting out the details for the upcoming Student Forum on the future of Union House (spoiler: it’s on its way out). We’re going to be moving into a new space somewhere on campus at some point in the medium term, and I want to make sure that a) students understand what is happening, b) feel consulted and c) that I am doing my best to represent students in the Student Precinct Steering Group I sit upon. The first stage of this will be an evening session in Union Theatre on Wednesday April 22nd at 5pm, outlining where this process is at, and allowing plenty of time for questions- no matter what they might be! We’ll also be setting up an online ideas inbox for students like you to contribute their feedback and feelings about a student precinct on campus.

I also swung by Science Students Society event Kegs ‘n’ Sun (where there may not have been sun but there were JUMPING CASTLES) and grabbed myself a sausage- really, would my Thursday have been complete without sausage?

Rebecca from the NTEU unimelb branch invited us to a Public Forum on Deregulation with the Vice Chancellor and Adam Bandt on Thursday 16th April, which I can’t wait for. I’ll be promoting it through social media next week, but if you’re super keen (keen enough to be reading this blog anyway) you can grab yourself a spot here . I hope to see many of you there!

Have a great Easter and a relaxing midsemester break!

Rach