Hey everyone, and welcome to the inaugural Arts Union Student Welfare Guide! We decided to publish this because we know how easy it is to get caught up in assignments/socialising and general uni life that you forget to look after yourself. Sometimes things get out of hand, be it with your studies, health or finances, and when they do it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know what to do or who to go to. Hopefully this will help! Keep Smiling! UWA Arts Union
This alpaca is happy, you should be too!
PART 1 – YOUR EDUCATIONAL WELFARE
It’s easy to forget sometimes, but the reason we go to Uni is to learn something, and maybe even gain meaningful employment one day (a terrifying thought I know). Usually this is pretty straightforward: you go to class, do your assignments and show up to an exam and the end of semester and cross your fingers. Sometimes, though, it’s way harder – maybe the content is tough, or you’re doing loads of work for a tiny allocation of marks, or you feel like your lecturer or tutor just doesn’t like you. If that’s the case you shouldn’t have to just put up with it, and you don’t. In fact, there’s a variety of ways you can deal with units, assessments or teachers that don’t seem to be fair:
If you feel like the mark you’ve been given just isn’t right, you have the option of appealing it. Here are some tips: 1. Breathe: even if you’re sure your mark is wrong, and you’re upset about it, take the time to calm down, re‐read your paper and try to be objective 2. Go back to the unit/assessment outline: Usually your unit outline will contain information about your assessments and how they are marked. If not, check LMS for a detailed assessment outline and marking key. Cross check the criteria on that with what you’ve written. 3. Still feel like you were robbed? Approach your marker (your unit coordinator or tutor) informally and ask them for some more detailed feedback. You’ll be surprised at how responsive they can be 4. Enter the formal appeals process within 20 days of your marks being released. You’ll need to fill in this form: http://www.guild.uwa.edu.au/welcome/support/academic?f=47898 along with a covering letter. You can appeal to the School, Dean, Faculty Appeals Committee and Vice‐Chancellor. Visit: http://www.guild.uwa.edu.au/welcome/support/academic#appeals for even more useful info!
Complaints: If you’re having particular problems with a teacher, assessment or unit you have the ability to complain on a number of levels:
• Often it is best to approach your tutor or unit coordinator directly and voice your concerns, or go to another staff member to discuss your issues. • Approach your Arts Union student reps: Emma (El Presidente) and Rob (Ed VP) both sit on Guild Education Council and liaise with faculty members. We take feedback from students very seriously and do everything we can to advocate on your behalf and get the results you want! o It helps if you can be specific in the issues you raise, and if you know of other people in the unit having similar concerns, get them to back you up. The more people speaking up, the harder they are to ignore! • See a Guild Education officer to discuss your issues and try and find a solution.
More Ed Stuff:
PART 2 – YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH We’re Arts Students, Not Doctors… So you probably don’t want our medical advice! However, if you’re feeling unwell or just a little down there are plenty of organisations who can help you out for little to no personal cost. The UWA Medical Centre has a number of bulk billing GPs and onsite pathology clinic, and it’s conveniently located on campus! It’s usually easy to get an appointment at relatively short notice. Find them on the third floor in the Guild Village, or call 6488 2118. University Student Services also offers a free counselling service. You’ll have to have an initial triage appointment, and depending on the severity of your situation will get a full 50 minute session after that. Visit http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/life/health/counselling for more details. Student services also offers free ‘skillshops’ that deal with common problems faced by university students. Go to http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/life/health/counselling/skillshops to find out more, and see what courses are coming up! Headspace has offices in Fremantle and Osborne Park and offers a bulk‐ billing GP and free counselling service. Visit their website: http://headspace.org.au for more info, as well as loads of great mental health resources, and an online counselling service.
Special Consideration: Not as Scary as You Think! There’s nothing worse than trying to study when you’re sick! Luckily, the University tends to be pretty good at recognising this. If you just need a short extension, it’s often worth emailing your tutor or unit co‐ordinator direct, and short‐cutting the system if you can, but for longer extensions, dropping units, special exam arrangements or adjusting marks you’ll have to fill in a Special Consideration form. You can access the University’s policy on Special Consideration and download your form at: http://www.universitypolicies.uwa.edu.au/search?method=document&id=UP11%2F 23 If that all seems too much, here is our simple guide! 1. Get a form: you can find them at the link above, the Arts Faculty Office and the UWA Medical centre among other places 2. Fill sections 1 & 2 (They’re pretty straightforward) like this:
3. Move straight to section 4. Now you’ll have to work out what you’re actually applying for, and use the secret code:
4. Congrats, you’re halfway there. For sections 5 and 6 you and someone important (e.g. a doctor or counsellor) respectively will be asked to explain your circumstances and how they’re impacting your study. Note that it is not essential to fill out section 5 if you have something personal going on:
5. Sign and date section 8, then hand this bad boy into the Arts Office and you’re finished! If you have a chronic condition that means you’re likely to need special consideration on an ongoing basis, it’s definitely worthwhile registering with UniAccess – they’ll negotiate exam arrangements and special consideration on your behalf and make the whole process way easier. Visit http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/life/health/uniaccess for more info or call 6488 2423 to make an appointment!
PART 3 – FIGHTING STUDENT POVERTY Living out of home? Money saving tips! Written by an anonymous thrifty arts student. For many of us, living out of home teaches us the value of money. Soon you realise that money you used to spend on clothes and going out on the weekend no longer exists as you pay for rent, electricity, groceries, phone bills…. You can still enjoy going out and doing the things you enjoy but sometimes it just takes some smart spending and planning! If you can save $50‐100 per week on food and other expenses, imagine what kind of awesome weekend you could afford? Or what kind of holiday you could save for by the end of the year?
Food Food is an item that somehow burns a hole in your wallet as you start spending $20 per day on tav burgers and Ararat kebabs. Learning to cook at home cheaply and efficiently is an important life skill that can save you money, as well as make your life that little more delicious. Here are some tips for cutting food costs: •
Bring your lunch to uni! The ARTS UNION COMMON ROOM is awesome, not only because it has cool people hanging out in there, a ping pong table, couches, snes… It also has a microwave, kettle and fridge where you can store and heat your lunch for free! If you can’t make it to the common room, all Guild cafes on campus have free microwave facilities for you to heat up your food.
Grow herbs in your garden! Oregano, basil, parsley, coriander and mint is an awesome line up of herbs that grow easily (without needing impressive gardening skills). If you don’t have a patch of dirt, you can buy special herb pots to have inside! You can normally buy herb seedlings for $3‐5 each and you will be able to use most of them all year round which will make a world of difference to your cheap meals. A bit of fresh oregano or parsley in your scrambled eggs or pasta sauce is a great way to make a cheap meal taste, well, less cheap.
Don’t buy ready‐made meals! Firstly, they don’t taste good. Secondly, you can make better food cheaper! The 5 minutes it takes to heat up that $5 lean cuisine could be you putting some two minute noodles on the stove, adding some boiling water, tomato passata, noodle flavouring, grated carrot (or any
other leftover vegies), any leftover meat (including leftover bolognese sauce!) and some grated tasty cheese – all for less than $1 in the same timeframe! •
Find a cheap supermarket near you. Once you’ve found a cheap supermarket put aside a time once a week or fortnight where you will definitely go shopping and spend within a certain budget. A lot of us get caught into that trap of driving down the road to the conveniently located but expensive grocery store nearby for last minute ingredients a couple of times a week. These costs add up, not only because you’re spending more money on the grocery items in the more expensive store, but the additional fuel expenses will also cost you.
Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk! If you can get beef mince for $3/kg but they only sell in 2kg packets, buy one! Buy some freezer plastic bags and then just divide the mince into portions and keep them in the freezer. Also keeping a load of bread in the freezer is really handy if you want your bread to keep fresh and not go mouldy after not being able to eat the whole load yourself in a few days.
Learn to love pasta. Seriously. It’s cheap, diverse, and delicious. Also – never buy a 500gm pack of pasta for more than $1.
Basic white sauce recipe: o Ingredients:
Milk (to the amount of sauce you need)
Stock powder (chicken or vege stock preferably)
Any other ingredients you want to add to your sauce (cheese for macaroni cheese, butter, smoked salmon slices, leftover chicken, frozen peas or corn, sautéed onions and/or mushrooms, whole grain mustard, spinach, etc)
Put the milk on a pot in the stove, bring it close to boil
Simmer milk as you put 1tbsp in a small bowl and mix into a thin paste with cold water.
Whisk the cornflour mix bit by bit into the milk on the stove and keep mixing until the mixture starts to thicken to the thickness you prefer. Make another lot of cornflour paste if you want your mix to be thicker.
At your preferred thickness, change to a low simmer as you add in the stock powder (add to taste based on how much sauce you have) and any other ingredients (recommended: whole grain mustard, a cup of grated cheese, peas, corn, sautéed onion and leftover shredded chicken with pasta!)
Basic red sauce recipe: o Ingredients:
1‐2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes or a half or whole 800mL bottle of tomato passata
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced in half
2tbsp of butter (or you could use margarine if you’re short)
Possible (but not necessary – this sauce is delicious!) additional ingredients: 2 cloves of minced garlic, fresh herbs, spinach, chorizo, etc)
On a medium heat, add tomatoes, onion and butter into one pot (also add minced garlic at this point if you want to add it). Bring to boil and then simmer on a low‐medium heat for 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how hungry you are/how much time you have.
Remove the stewed onion and throw it out (unless you want to eat it which is fine, it tastes pretty good!)
If you want any additional ingredients added, add them now.
Put this sauce on pasta! If you’re feeling fancy, put some parmesan on top.
Soup is awesome in winter, here’s your basic recipe: o Ingredients:
1 brown onion, chopped roughly
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 carrot, finely sliced
1 celery stick, finely sliced
Herbs (if you’re feeling fancy)
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
Whatever ingredient you want to flavour your soup (my personal favourite would be broccoli, pumpkin or chickpeas)
Heat the oil, add garlic and onion and fry until they start to soften
Add carrot, celery and herbs and cook on medium heat until soft
Add the stock and bring to the boil
Add your signature ingredient and simmer until that has cooked/softened
Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little, then whiz in the blender
Voila! You have soup!
Drinking Drinking is a very expensive part of your social life when you’re a student. If you can’t cut down on how often you go out with friends, here are a few tips to saving money when it comes to drinking. • Pre‐drink! If you have to go out to a bar or pub, have a few cheap drinks at home beforehand and then drink slowly when you get to the venue. • House parties! House parties are the best. They save you money and they’re also more fun! Take turns hosting with your friends and have an awesome night in.
Develop a signature cocktail! Or at least learn how to mix basic drinks! Buying spirits and cheap mixers will often save you more money than buying pre‐ mixed drinks from the bottle shop and taste a lot better than that cheap carton of EE.
Create a delicious goon punch recipe. Fruity lexia does make you (and your wallet) sexier.
Other savings Finally, here is a bunch of random other things you can save more money on! •
Find out if you’re eligible for Youth Allowance! Visit http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/youth‐ allowance or make an appointment with a Guild welfare officer.
Do your downloads at uni! If you have a laptop, bring it to uni and save your internet costs at home while you download at uni! In the past year I’ve downloaded 2‐30GB/day at uni and never been contacted by the uni about it. Save money on an expensive internet plan by getting a smaller download limit and maximising your downloads at uni.
Take a water bottle to uni. Buying bottled water adds up and it’s also a lot healthier to always have water available when you’re studying!
If you can’t make a change to cycling or taking public transport to uni, park at the pit! Parking at the pit is free ‐ you can only be given a parking ticket if the inspector (who is never there anyway) physically hands you a ticket. On the rare occasion where you may see an inspector hanging out waiting at your car, go back to the library and study for an hour and then drive home!
OP shops are fuckin awesome. Not just for looking incredible in that big ass coat but also for buying cheap furniture (if you don’t pick up something awesome for free from roadside collection!), cutlery and crockery.
Never buy toilet paper for more than 50c a roll. The luxurious Kleenex cottonelle often sells in a 48 pack on special for $20.
Fridge or washing machine died? Before you head over to Good Guys or Harvey Norman, make sure you check gumtree first. People often get rid of decent appliances for a fraction of the price you’d pay for them new.
Want to play sports but can’t afford the team costs/gym membership? Play inter–faculty sports! Once a week over semester the Arts Union plays a variety of sports against other faculties for FREE! Check out the Arts Union’s sports Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/354966764617646/ for all the info you need!
Hopefully these tips I’ve learned over the years of living out of home will help you out when it comes to saving those dolla dolla billz! If you’re still having trouble financially and need additional support remember that there are fantastic student support services on campus. Check out the Guild finance webpage at http://www.guild.uwa.edu.au/welcome/support/finance with budgeting tips as well as information on interest free loans and Guild grants. The Arts Union also has a fantastic equity officer, Molly Dale (email@example.com) who is always happy to help you out in getting the support you need.
PART 4 – WHO TO CONTACT Your Arts Union Reps: • Molly Dale – Equity VP( firstname.lastname@example.org ): for help with any general concerns you may have and a load of great social justice opportunities • Rob McLeod – Education VP( email@example.com ): if you’re having issues with anything listed in the first section
UWA Guild Contacts: • firstname.lastname@example.org: o Welfare officers can help you work out if you’re eligible for Youth Allowance, organise interest free loans and more! o Education Officers can help you with special consideration, and all the things mentioned in the first section
University Student Services: • Student Support Services Reception (6488 2423): to organise an appointment with a UniAccess officer or to find out about the counselling program • UWA Medical Centre (6488 2118): to make a medical appointment
If Something Bad Happens: • In case of a life‐threatening emergency always call 000! • UWA security: 1300 555 788 • Lifeline: 13 11 14