What a difference a year makes

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By Bec Foley:

After taking a year of leave absence, this student returned to a radically different UWS and is pretty pissed off about it.

Not many students plan to get pregnant during the course of their study, but it happens. It happened to me, and at 36 years of age, hey, I was pretty happy about it. But it forced me to take a year off study and enjoy the new cray cray life of motherhood. One word of advice: Sleep. Enjoy it while you can.

My little squidgy bundle of joy arrived mid 2014 so I took off Autumn semester, and first semester this year. I’m now back at UWS, or WSU, or whatever… and man, this place has changed.

On my first day back I did what I do every semester, I went to the uni to print out all of my Unit / Learning guides.

Ba bow

Goodbye Allen Library! What the what? Where will I now print? Where did all the books go? And wait… if I want to just top up my printing credit, I have to catch the bus over to Kingwood campus? Whoa. Annoying.

“Ok, get over it, you can’t fight city hall,” I thought. Go to The Cottage, get a packet of chips and chill out.

Ba bow

That’s closed too. It’s now a weird doss-house who’s mega-sized outdoor chess set has NEVER been used.

“Ok, ok. It’s harsh times for universities. You’ve heard the stories about how the government is tightening the purse strings to universities,” I pondered.

Yes. Poor ol’ UWS. It’s such hard times it needs to close this campus’ library and cafe for goodness sake!

And in such hard times, it’s even harder to find a spare $20 million to rebrand the Uni…

But enough has been said about THAT topic.

So I went back to my car, feeling deflated. MY car, that was displaying a parking permit. My car that, strangely, had a SDRO parking fine gently tucked under the windscreen writer.

FFS

What? I paid the $47 parking and am displaying a permit. Surely, this is the parking department’s error?

After calling Parking, who told me that even if I was in the right, it was now in the hands of those friendly folks at the SDRO. Yay! Being a full-time studying mum, I SO have time to deal with that oh-so-understanding government department!

So I called Security, and they informed me that I was displaying an orange permit. Not a yellow one. And they’re the same price. But orange means I can park only after 5:30pm. So, yeah, it was my boo boo. But maybe, just maybe, instead of being such hardline, punitive authoritarians, they could have just looked up my rego, found my student number and discovered that I have been a student here for four years, and have always bought a yellow permit, and maybe, just maybe, I’d bought the wrong sticker. A nice friendly note on my windscreen would have been nice too: “Hey Bec, we’ve noticed you bought the wrong permit this year. Silly girl! Go back online, buy the yellow one, and get a refund on the orange one, you duffer.”

But no. It’s straight to a $106 fine. Awesome. Thanks.

UWS, or WSU, or whatever you are, you feel like a massively huge meanie and I’m not sure I like you at the moment.

By Bec Foley

Final year journalism student
Mother to Delilah
SDRO harrasser

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