By Manu Risoldi
Since this is the first issue of Tharunka for 2020 I wanted to give a massive welcome to our newest students who have joined us for T1 and to the broader community who have started uni again for the year. This year is set to be massive for the SRC. We have campaigns being run around affordable student accommodation, getting rid of the Fit to Sit rule, raising Newstart and boosting student life on campus. The SRC is committed to ensuring we remain student oriented and focused on delivering services that directly impact the students of UNSW.
About the SRC
The SRC is the peak representative body on campus for students. We comprise of Office Bearers and Councillors. We fight for issues that affect students, and run campaigns when we feel it is the necessary course of action. The SRC has a number of autonomous spaces on campus, which can be located off Basser Steps. These spaces include a Women’s Room, Ethno-cultural Room and a Welfare/ Disabilities Room. These rooms are ideal for study, and down time if students need a safe space to sit and chill. They are open to all members of the community. The Welfare/ Disabilities Room has a kitchenette, mini fridge and microwave. The SRC also has an activist space on the upper level of the Arc Office also close to Basser Steps. This space can be utilised by all students who wish to plan and create campaigns they are bringing to campus.
These spaces are also used for our weekly collective meetings. The times for all collectives can be found below and are an ideal time for students to help build campaigns and meet other like minded students.
Welfare Collective – 1-2 Thursdays in the Welfare/ Disabilities Space.
Women’s Collective – 1-2 Wednesdays in the Women’s Space.
Enviro Collective – Weekly Meetings TBA keep up to date with their Facebook group!
Queer Collective – 3pm Thursdays
Disabilities Collective – 4:30 Tuesdays in the Welfare/ Disabilities Space.
Ethno Collective – 12 – 1 Wednesdays
International Collective – Weekly Meeting Times TBA keep up to date with their Facebook Page!
The SRC will be providing fortnightly free lunches on campus because we know how much of a struggle it already is being a student in Sydney. Free lunches are a part of the broader move of the SRC to promote student welfare more. Alongside the free lunches, all SRC spaces will have emergency toiletries that all students can access. This will include things like sanitary products and shampoo and conditioner.
The SRC continues to support the ongoing climate strikes in Sydney. We will be sending UNSW contingents to all strikes alongside the students striking from the University of Sydney.
The SRC is continues to support the Raise the Rate campaign on campus. This campaign aims to raise the rate of Newstart, something that has not been raised in over 20 years. Students are disproportionally affected by the rate being low. Alongside the Raise the Rate campaign the SRC are making it our priority to draw students attention to their workplace rights. Over the past few weeks we have seen major Australian companies exposing themselves for rampant wage theft. Wage theft is an epidemic in Australia that must be stopped. Students are amongst the biggest group of people that are consistently affected by wage theft and it is incredibly important that students at UNSW are aware of their rights at work.
In conjunction with the National Union of Student the UNSW SRC will also be partaking in a number of national campaigns. The NUS Women’s Department is launching the ‘We will Stand our Ground’ Campaign which is demanding that a National taskforce into sexual assault is established. The UNSW SRC is committed to creating a safe space for everybody to learn in. This means calling out sexist behaviours on campus and ensuring women feel safe on our campus. The NUS Women’s Department has also continued to condemn Bettina Arndt for her vile opinions regarding women and the rape crisis we are experiencing on our campus. The UNSW SRC stands in solidarity with the NUS Women’s Department and condemns Arndt for spreading such a misogynistic rhetoric at university campuses around Australia.
If you’re wanting to get involved in our campaigns or stay up to date with what the UNSW SRC is up to you can follow us on Facebook and you can join the various Facebook Collective Pages. This is the primary way our Office Bearers share news about our campaigns and meetings for the future. Our SRC Spaces also have suggestions boxes if you would like to submit some anonymous feedback or give suggestions about the direction of our council.