Parramatta City Campus and Its High School Students

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Campus News, Uncategorized

(Western Sydney University’s Parramatta City campus and its high school students. Photo credit: Raynesh Charan)

The Parramatta City campus is extremely popular amongst WSU students. The glassy high-rise building with its USB power points, NFC Lockers, various seating options, and filtered boiling/iced water taps, is just so darn tempting. However, its most attractive feature has got to be its convenient location. 

Located adjacent to Parramatta train station and Westfield Parramatta, and with the soon-to-open Parramatta light rail, the area offers swift access to the food heaven that is Church Street. However, alongside its popularity amongst WSU students, it’s become evident that high school students are also frequenting the campus.  

As a WSU student who frequents the campus, it’s crawling with high schoolers, especially during their after-school hours. These activities are causing disruptions to study areas, creating a sense of overcrowding, and even leading people to occupy vacant classrooms. After asking around I became aware that this is not a recent development either; high school students have reported been on campus since the inception of PC.01.  

Ashley Leslie, a fellow student concurs: “The problem is that 4 years ago, I used to be a high-school student, so I understand it is a good study space, but eating and talking in a quiet zone crosses the line, especially when I can’t find a spot to take my exam in my own university.” 

I reached out to Stephen Raj, the campuses representative, and he acknowledged that WSU students have previously raised concerns regarding high school students being present on campus. These concerns are mainly regarding the legitimacy of their presence and the distracting noise they generate. 

“I inquired raising this issue, but I soon uncovered that WSU is a public-funded university, meaning that everyone is welcome to the university; therefore the high school students do indeed have access to PC.01. In my point of view, I believe that high school students or anyone else should all be welcomed to PC.01, provided they abide by the rules and respect WSU’s code of conduct” Raj added.  

It turns out WSU legally cannot close its doors to high school students; however, it can dictate the extent of their access. WSU has officially limited all external visitors to floors 1, 2 and 3. But this isn’t being enforced as there is no indication anywhere on campus that levels 4 and above are only for WSU students, and even if there was, there is nothing physically stopping high schoolers from venturing off to the higher levels.

(High schoolers captured studying on a group study table at PC.01. Photo credit: Raynesh Charan) 

However, it is important to acknowledge that not all high school students are disruptive, I have seen plenty use the spaces as intended. But there are enough not doing so which, creates a sense of resentment amongst us WSU students. Jedd Kosman, a WSU student stated: “High school students should be restricted to level 1 and below. Whilst our campus is open to the public, the campus should be facilitated to best serve the students at Western Sydney University and create a space to learn and collaborate. This is not possible with the amount of noise and disturbances high school students bring. 

There’s also the issue of equal access. If they are occupying a study space that a student would like to acquire (assuming that there is no space left), should they make space for the WSU student and relocate? 

Raj suggested hanging flyers on the first floor to inform the high schoolers that they are expected to be quiet at the study spaces. “I’m specifying the 1st floor because this space is where most of the other students from other campuses and ours come to work in.” Another possibility could be stationing a campus security member on the 4th floor and having elevator access to floors 4 and above requiring authentication from a student ID card (this infrastructure already exists). 

It is interesting to note that the Parramatta City campus isn’t the only WSU campus that is dealing with this issue. The Bankstown City and Liverpool City campus representatives have also acknowledged the presence of high school students on their campuses.  

Ultimately, the high school students do need a space to study, but this responsibility doesn’t necessarily have to fall on WSU. The high school students all have campuses of their own, as well as P’HIVE (Parramatta’s new award-winning public library), which is only two blocks away from PC.01. 

For the time being, WSU students must learn to co-exist with these external visitors in their campuses, but more should be done to ensure that they don’t disturb WSU students. All students are encouraged to inform campus security if they feel that the spaces on PC.01 are being misused. Additionally, if WSU students feel that PC.01 isn’t able to serve them as intended, they are encouraged to raise the matter to the campus representative – by sending an email to src@westernsydney.edu.au – who will be able to take up the matter to the campus dean. 

Luci Kugathasan

What’s Your Hot Take? “Book to film/tv-adaptations are always a gamble”

Similar Articles

Connect with us