(RSS 2.0 feed) Topic: Inside Student Orgs

Meeting People You Don’t Know… At Their Farewell

I was at a farewell reception on Tuesday afternoon for Professor Adrian Lee, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Quality Improvement). Unexpected, possibly, but the leaders and managers of all the UNSW student organisations were invited.

The point is, I only first set eyes on Professor Lee Monday last week, from the gallery at a meeting of Council. The first time I saw him where he would have had the opportunity to see me was only yesterday, at another meeting.

It gets better… at Monday’s meeting, I kept falling asleep during a presentation he was giving — yes, falling asleep, and I was sitting where he could constantly see me! :-| You know, it’s not ‘cos it was uninteresting at all, but only because I was bloody tired from not having slept the night before (stayed up setting up a form on the COFA SA website for people collecting our 2006 diaries and stuff).

Continue Reading 1 comment 14 years, 6 months ago

Me? COFA SA El Presidente?

As some of you may have heard already (especially those of you who attempted to vote), the elections for the COFA Students’ Association’s 2006 President have been called off. Yesterday, on the third day of the election, the other candidate decided to withdraw from the contest, although I don’t know why as yet — I haven’t had a chance to speak to her since I found out about this development.

This means I’m going to be President next year! W00t! :D Thanks to everyone who voted for me!

However, I’m also disappointed at result in some ways. You might be wondering why. I won an election without having to do a lot of campaigning and without all the stress of having to wait for a result. Why on Earth would I be anything other than ecstatic at the result? Let me explain…

Continue Reading 1 comment 14 years, 10 months ago

No VSU in 2006 After All?

An article in Melbourne’s The Age today suggests that no form of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) may be implemented in time for 2006 — a significant development this late in the game.

Dr Nelson confirmed to The Age that he did not expect the legislation to even reach the Senate before December, saying the Government’s industrial laws would take priority.

And Dr Nelson said even if the legislation was passed this year, he was considering delaying the introduction of the changes until 2007.

“I’m concerned that the crowded legislative agenda that we have, may make it difficult for universities to actually implement it barely a month after its passage through Parliament,” he said.

I don’t know whether to celebrate or throw my hands up in despair. Forget whether VSU will kill us or not, long before that happens the uncertainty itself is going to get to us!

Opposition education spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said Dr Nelson had been “plainly” unable to get the support of his coalition colleagues in the Senate. “The Education Minister’s delaying tactics have left staff, students and their families at Victorian universities in limbo, not knowing if their jobs and the services they rely on will exist next year,” she said.

Damn right, and it’s obviously not just Victorian universities. At COFA SA, our staff have been left in limbo for the better part of year too. With no idea if their jobs will remain if VSU is implemented but with no idea when we’ll know if VSU will be implemented, you can’t blame any of them for being so incredibly stressed. It’s been impossible for any of us to plan ahead in very meaningful ways and it’s been terrible for morale across the organisation.

If VSU isn’t implemented in time for next year, do we restructure our organisation now anyway and try to save as much money as possible (not knowing what we’re actually planning for)? Do we stick to the status quo for as long as possible? Oh who knows. If the government is trying to screw over student organisations by attrition, I daresay they’re almost succeeding.

Uni student fees plan in disarray

Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

Where Do Your Uni Fees Go? — the MSAF

This will be the first in a series of posts through which I hope to offer some insight into what really happens at student organisations at Australian universities, from the inside. The COFA Students’ Association is the student organisation at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, where I’m the Vice President and Education Officer this year.

(Before I start, I should make clear that I only speak from my own personal experiences. My views are not necessarily those of COFA SA, and what I say is definitely not official COFA SA anything.)

I’ve found out that life at COFA SA is in many ways quite exciting and there are a lot of things we do that students typically no nothing about. But in many instances, it’s really mundane and a lot less controversial than you might think!

One of the things that many students don’t have a clue about shows up every session on your UNSW fee statement: the “Misc. Activity Fund”. This year, you’ve paid $39 each session towards it (if you’re a full-time student) — but what is it anyway and where does that money go?

Continue Reading 2 comments 14 years, 11 months ago


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