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A letter to a “President”

 “The following open letter shares opinions that may or may not be shared by the Publications Committee, publisher of W’SUP. We do hope...

 “The following open letter shares opinions that may or may not be shared by the Publications Committee, publisher of W’SUP. We do hope that the social, industrial, economic and political crisis comes to a harmonious resolution for the people and the natural environment of Sri Lanka as soon as practicable.”

Sri Lanka flag waves in wind
The Sri Lanka flag in the wind. Photo: Mariana Proença on Unsplash

The “you” I’m referring to, are the presidents, alongside everyone else who saw the corruption going on, took part in it and denied your actions, which has led to the situation today in my precious island, Sri Lanka.

You know everything.

You are seeing people suffer, you are seeing the queues all over the country, and you are seeing people drop dead after 12+ hours of staying in line to feed their families. You see all this and still choose to stay in that seat that was once applauded. You all, deep down, know everything that each of you has done for personal gain. Politics can be wonderful, it allows you to be a voice for the voiceless, and to raise nations from poverty. But that has not even been a thought that lingered in your mind or your regime’s. That’s for sure. There’s most of the youth still choosing their words with so much patience, still fighting for their rights while respecting you all as adults, but look at you. No integrity to listen to them, to fix the problems that you created. How can you? When little by little, your frauds are discovered, your own words can’t save you, and your humanity is questioned.

The people don’t deserve the corruption that they have been put through, year after year. You’ve clearly chosen who your family is, and that’s not the people dying from your actions. You swore you’d protect and support them, the day you got elected. How you smiled to the camera to give a speech, oh how people wish they knew your hopeless, false promises. Look at what that did. Look at what many honest people in my country are going through because power hypnotised you and money took your soul.

How many should die? How many citizens, even with jobs, deserve to eat only a meal a day? How many children should feel the extra pressure of growing up where they can’t reach their dreams? How many? How many? How many will it take to end your corrupted thoughts?

I won’t ever wish you bad. But, somewhere out there, the repercussions of our actions never just get forgotten. Some things wait for us. And I know your presence is awaited there too. Your utter lack of ability to have compassion for even your own people will haunt us here and it may haunt you there.

I hope we take the rose-coloured glasses off now and are fortunate enough to not meet you again.

Do you still think you know everything?

Look around.

You know nothing.

“Our thoughts are with our fellow Sri Lankan students at Western Sydney University, if you are a Western student or someone you know is experiencing distress or in need of support, contact student services on 1300 668 370.”

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Dear Minister, HECS is a necessity

Open letter to the Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP...

Open letter to the Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP

Dear Mr Tehan,

The recent legislation to axe the student HECS loan for students who fail 50 per cent of their units in their first year of university is an ill-judged decision. Most students in Australia rely on the benefit of being able to complete a higher education without the added pressure of paying their fees simultaneously.

Hence at a time where many are affected financially, with no foresight as to when the situation will ease, a decision like this can be a catalyst for increased worry and anxiety.

Choosing your course and commencing university can already be a hard step for many. Some are fresh out of HSC, some are mature age students who have children and spouses to care for, and many are international students who are just finding their feet in a newly foreign country. First year students do not need to be on edge of fear of having the rug pulled from under them.

In your media release, it is mentioned that the changes are to ensure whether a student was “academically suited” to their course on an ongoing basis. For myself, this takes me back to when I was in school and I had to remain in what my teachers confined me to based on my performance.

The truth is, if I had chosen to change my course in my first two years of university, I know I would have regretted it. My grades were nowhere to what they are now, but it is passion that has allowed me to excel, not my IQ. University shouldn’t just be about what you’re smartest at, but what your biggest passion is. It is the beginning of a journey that is aimed at taking you to your prime location; your career, and we should be uplifting students to do what they love. Not punish them for their shortcomings.

We understand that there have been some ingenuine students when it comes to the seriousness of their enrolment, but how great is this number compared to the majority of resilient students who are defying all obstacles to complete their degrees. Through this legislation, the Department of Education is stigmatising failure, rather than creating an open space for students. Ministers and universities need to address the core reasons behind it.

If I may, I would like to respectfully, on behalf of the many upcoming hard-working and resilient students, ask that you rethink this legislation. We are at a point where two in five school leavers enrol in higher education. We hope not to see a regression in this and continue to see an increase in university alumni across Australia.

Warm regards,

A university student

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Message from the president of the Student Representative Council

It is our mission for the year to listen to students and take action on concerns, suggestions and needs....
Mary-Pearl Chung, the president of the Student Representative Council.

Since the start of July, I have been in the role of president of the WSU Student Representative Council.

It goes without saying that this year will hold innumerable unprecedented challenges, not just within our university community but also globally and in our personal lives.

I am excited beyond words to represent and amplify the voices of WSU students— though I feel extremely humbled to have such invaluable support and guidance from my new SRC team.

Although we have only just commenced our term it is clear to me that the new SRC team is filled with outstanding talent, passion and experience of which I admire and am motivated by. It is our mission for the year to listen to students and take action on concerns, suggestions and needs.

 

Our vision for the council is that we will do our best to establish and maintain a more vibrant and inclusive university student experience.

During elections, I had three campaign promises that I remain committed to achieving with the role of the council;

  • To push for full transparency of SSAF funding and more student consultation into its decision making,
  • More events, initiatives and student societies across all WSU campuses (including online students),
  • Greater social justice involvement from the university through extracurricular initiatives and advocacy.

I believe that equity within the university community and a greater sense of belonging are so important in having a positive and memorable university experience. I am proud to be a student at WSU, a young university that has so much potential because we can draw from the successful implementations of other universities and be better to enrich our diverse and unique Western Sydney communities.

Over the past few months some new council members and myself have been working alongside the previous council to address various issues such as COVID- 19 student support, student concerns against ProctorU, the BLM movement and solidarity with Indigenous communities, among several other issues at hand.

However, I know that there is so much more that we as the SRC can do especially during these trying times deeply affecting so many of our students. As the President, my vision for the SRC in the year ahead is to have stronger relations and consultation with the student body— I want WSU students to feel like they can just reach out at any time to the SRC or myself for any concerns, suggestions or enquiries.

I know how I had imagined my uni life might be like, with all the excitement of clubs, societies, events and networking— and I want to be able to create that experience for as many students as I can. Remote online study has made this vision a little more difficult for sure, but I hope that we can work through this eventually.

Again, please do not hesitate to contact the SRC for any concerns, issues, suggestions or feedback related to your experience at Western Sydney University. You can also find us on our social media to keep updated with our work and ways to get involved in uni life.

I look forward to hearing from you all in the coming year.

Sincerely,

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Mary-Pearl Chung
SRC President | Western Sydney University
president@westernsrc.org

src@westernsydney.edu.au
http://westernsrc.org
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