Report from Parramatta Student Campus Council

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By Hannah Mograby:

The Parramatta SCC has had a really positive year so far. From our first meeting to the most recent one we’ve had, we’ve been discussing things we can do to benefit students on Parramatta campus. Many SCC’s have gone by the “free food” culture for the past couple of years – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but we wanted to make sure that, in our time at the SCC, we would work hard to make a difference.

Still not exactly sure who we are? Well, you might have seen us handing out some donuts or pizza last semester while we try to awkwardly engage in enough conversation to get out some concerns or feedback from you. For the record, I never wanted to be like that person that yells “HEY CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION?” at someone in a shopping centre to get them to buy some soap. I actually applied for a job like this and quickly decided to abort mission once they started training us. But I, as well as all 10 other members, genuinely wanted to hear students’ thoughts on their experience in Parramatta. Are you getting to campus and classes swiftly? Is vUWS working as it should be? Are you happy with the food options on campus? Are you coping with studies? Are lecturers and tutors being as helpful as they can be? Is everything really as is it should be?

These are some of the questions we want you to answer. You have every right to want to know how the university is utilizing your money, offer input to where things could improve and speak out on things that affect your experience and education.

Apart from hosting some of the beloved food events this session, the SCC is in the midst of putting together a campaign for better parking in Parramatta. In a few short weeks – or perhaps by the time you’ll be reading this – our campus will be flooded with flyers for a petition to improve parking. This has been one of our main goals for 2015 and, after being told several times that there was no point or that it was a lost cause, we decided that we couldn’t serve our time on the SCC without having at least tried. We’re extremely determined to put these issues to the university whether they’ll respond or not. And if you’re wondering “well what if they don’t do anything about it?” the answer is: Then we’ll keep making noise until they do.

I have enjoyed every moment of the SCC and though I will sadly be resigning as Chair and member this month, I will really cherish all that I’ve learnt in my role as a student representative. This is all to do with ensuring I don’t put in a half-effort to my studies or the SCC while doing both as many student activists would tell you: We can sometimes let one or the other engulf our time without realising it. I joined the SCC in October 2014 and was re-elected in 2015 and as Chair.
My time on the SCC has taught me so many things that I’ll never forget:

  • Time-management is everything. Literally everything.
  • Don’t let intimidation get in the way of saying what’s on your mind – without students there’d be no staff.
  • Don’t let someone convince you there’s a dead end when there’s really just a locked gate: Oh there’s no point bringing up something “cause someone else has and they didn’t get the answer they were looking for”? Well maybe you just need to word the question differently.
  • Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork

On that last point, enough about me. We’ve got 10 amazing members in the Campus Council. So before I go, here’s a little bit about each of them:

Nicole: Outspoken, reliable, caring – Nicole is that person you always want to give you their thoughts on something. Her feedback is always valuable which is why I always ask her for opinion on things when I see her because I know she thinks about things more straightforwardly than others.

Brendon: Creative, enthusiastic, approachable – Brendon is always coming up with ideas for events the SCC could host and considers the student appeal to it all. He’s constantly trying to think of what we could do that would be fun and different to any other SCC.

Lucy: Original, perceptive, dedicated – Our student editor! Lucy is really passionate; you can tell she really cares about doing our best to benefit students. She’s always providing a different perspective to issues and how we can deal with them

Tahani (Vice Chair): Rational, resourceful, selfless – Tahani is perhaps one of the most considerate people you could come across. She always knows exactly what to say and how to say it, which makes her role so important on the SCC. She thinks about everything logically and is constantly considering how we can make this campus better.

Anup: Understanding, kind, hard-working – Anup really listens to students’ complaints and always brings a different perspective to issues on campus. He has shown to be really passionate about making a positive difference to others, making him a really selfless person.

Michelle: Confident, energetic, optimistic – Michelle is a really positive person that has a lot of confidence with raising concerns and engaging with students at our events. She’s very charismatic and is always ready to offer a helping hand.

Michael (Secretary): Focused, friendly, articulate – Being one of our newest members this year, Michael has already proven to be a very dedicated and well-spoken member in the SCC! He is constantly providing positive input at meetings on issues/events and demonstrates real passion in student activism when doing so.

Marija: Organised, intuitive, charismatic – Maria was previously our secretary, and only just recently resigned and we were absolutely crushed to see her go! She is one of the most organised people I’ve ever met and has an eye for detail in everything she does. She always thought of and executed plans to make student life a little better and continuously spoke up about issues students were facing. A very diligent member on our team, we hope she’s enjoying her time abroad!

Abishek: Kind, soft-spoken, cooperative – Another one of our newest members in the SCC! Abi is a gentle member that is punctual and supportive. He is a considerate member that is always ready to listen to and communicate issues.

Alby: Calm, insightful, considerate – Alby is an awesome “O.G.” member in the SCC. He’s had a lot of experience in the SCC and always helps us understand things that have worked in the past and issues previous councils have faced. He’s always honest with his feedback and offers a unique angle of looking at things!

Can’t wait to see you all continue representing students this year! I am so happy and proud to have been able to work with such a dedicated team. Good luck with it all!

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