Week 6 and 7 Wrap Up

It’s been a little bit too hectic these past two weeks to get to a Week 6 Wrap Up- so here’s two for the price of one! (that price being $0 + the time it takes you to read this).

Much of the last two week has been taken up with organising the Student Forum: A New Union House?, which some of you may have attended on Wednesday night. This involved *deep breath* working with Comms to develop the branding for the event (which I am going to recommend be used in an ongoing basis for UMSU consultation), the Facebook event, dealing with some of the conflicting ideas that began to emerge around the focus of the event (including clarifying this to the University), liaising with the University Steering Group Chair around who would attend on behalf of the University, responding to comments on social media, compiling a list of FAQs, planning the presentation, creating the slideshow and fact checking every piece of “known” information. Phew.


The event went well (apart from when my throat went dry and I had to leave the stage for water), and many students expressed that they feel far better informed about the very preliminary stages of this process, so win-win. The University was also able to hear directly from the student community about their concerns and feelings, and see for themselves the importance we all place upon our student spaces. If you missed the event, Daphane from unimelb adventures posted a recap here:  https://storify.com/daphane_ng/student-forum

Post- event, I have uploaded our list of needs (the ones submitted to the University) to our website for students to view and make suggestions if needed. 

The next Student Precinct Steering Group meeting is not until late May.


I helped Rory, from our Burnley campus, use UMSU funding to put on a Burnley Mid Semester Event. The Burnley Campus doesn’t currently have an UMSU Rep, but we put aside a budget line at the start of the year specifically for non-Parkville events, which we were able to use to spread the UMSU love beyond the boundaries of Parkville and VCA.  I helped Rory liaise with our Communications department, and as  you can see, Rory is quite the wordsmith :

BURNLEY_Mid_Semester_Drinks (1)

It is fantastic that UMSU is able to reach students down at Burnley, and that this student felt comfortable approaching UMSU, as I encouraged them to do at their Orientation.


I’ve  been making inquiries around the idea of holding a Second hand market in North Court in Week 12. There is a lot of student interest in this idea. If you’re reading this and this interests you, shoot me an email at r.withers@union.unimelb.edu.au


I’ve been on a little bit of a college tour these past two weeks, to speak to them about UMSU, and encourage college students to come and get involved in some of the wondrous things that UMSU offers. I have so far been to St Mary’s, St Hilda’s, Whitley, Medley Hall and International House. Their presidents have been very welcoming in allowing me to promote UMSU to their students. Plus I’ve gotten to wear a hall gown to formal dinners!

I spoke specifically to Olivia the President of Whitley College about the fact the Baptist Union that owns Whitley is considering closing it as a college and turning Whitley into a theological school. This would be a great tragedy in my eyes, and I expressed this directly to Glyn Davis in the hope that the University might consider buying Whitley (in light of the University’s desire to acquire more accommodation options, to lose these beds seems counterproductive).


 I also attended Academic Board at which the VC mentioned an upcoming meeting with the Metro CEO regarding the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel- and specifically the Parkville Station (!!!). I have emailed Glyn asking if I might attend this meeting as a student representative, given how much of an impact this station will have on students, and he has offered to ask the Metro CEO to include me in this meeting.


What a week.

Until next time.