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The University of Sydney Student’s Representative Council acknowledges the traditional owners of this land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We stand on this land today as beneficiaries of an incompensated and unreconciled disposession which ocurred over 200 years ago.

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Many of the descendants of those dispossessed live just down the road in abject poverty, and as young people it is important to recognise how this history of dislocation and disenfranchisement has contributed to the inequity we observe in contemporary society, particularly in the area of education. We acknowledge both our privilege and our obligation to redress the situation at best we can: to remember the mistakes of the past, act on the problems of today, and build for a future for everyone who will not call this place home, striving always for practical and meaningful reconciliation. If you are reading this, you are standing on Aboriginal land. Please recognise and respect this.

Contents What is the SrC


From the Editors

President’s Report


General Secretary’s Report


Vice President’s Report


Collective Orgainising


Student Representatives


Education Action Group


Education Officers’ Report


Countless hours trapped in the windowless dungeon of the SRC has once again spawned the symphony of fervent idealism that is the Oweek handbook. The SRC is your student organisation, and is there to represent your views and your interests. University can be a terrifying place, but never fear, your campus defenders are here. In this handbook, we will introduce you to the work that we do, presenting all our illustrious departments, collectives and office bearers.

Welfare Officers’ Report


Women’s Officers’ Rpoert


Queer Officers’ Report


Environments Officers’ Report


Anti-Racism Collective


Global Solidarity Report


Incampus Officers’ Report


Sexual Harassment Report


Studying With a Disability


Student Democracy


National Union of Students


Academic Appeals


Special Consideration


Your Rights at Work


Income Support


Drug Use


Mental Health




Campus Safety


Sexual Health


International Student Pages


The Editors



Armen Aghazarian, Tim Matthews and David Pink

While we take credit as the craftsman of this masterful pastiche, we owe all our gratitude to the immeasurable ardour and dedication of the SRC office bearers. In your hands, you hold words from some of the most committed individuals we know. Faced with mountainous academic and employment commitments, the office bearers of the SRC expend substantial quantities of their own time to better our experience as students. They organize the campaigns that help unite us and present our collective voice. They ensure that the SRC remains progressive and help make it into an effective agent of change. Whether its the boy bonders our education officers; the green lanterns our environment officers; or our planters advocating global solidarity, the SRC office bearers are all superheroes. We would like to thank all the caseworkers of the SRC for their unending patience and advice, and for contributing a good portion of the articles at such short notice. We would also like to thank the SRC publication managers for guiding us through the technical labyrinths of InDesign and Photoshop. Furthermore, we would like to thank all the office Bearers for their stellar contributions and for dealing with our constant hounding and harassment as we approached the deadline. Once again, you are all superheroes.


What is the SRC? The Student Representative Council (SRC) is the body representing all undergraduate students at the University of Sydney. Located in the very aptly named ‘windowless dungeon’ down in level 1 of the Wentworth Building, it provides a set of services to students. This includes a casework service for dealing with University administration and a legal service (free to all undergraduate students!). The SRC is also an advocacy body; we campaign for your rights as a student and support activism on campus. Most importantly, the SRC is YOUR organisation. It is you the students that choose who runs the SRC, what it does and what it represents.

for president. The 33 councillors will then elect all positions besides the president. You do not have to be a councillor to be elected to any office bearer position. Office bearers conduct the bulk of the SRC’s work. They run the campaigns, write the submissions and facilitate the relevant collectives. The SRC currently has over 30 office bearers covering a range of issues. When council doesn’t meet, decisions of the SRC are conducted by the executive, which includes the President, Vice President, General Secretary, and 5 general executives elected from Council.

Relationship with other organisations The SRC runs alongside but separate from three other representative student organisations. This includes: the University of Sydney Union (USU); the Sydney University Postgraduate Students Association (SUPRA); and the Cumberland Students Guild. SUPRA represents and advocates for the interests of Postgraduate students, while the USU is the Students’ service provider, funding all the clubs and societies and running most campus events. The Cumberland Students Guild is located in the Health Sciences Campus. THE SRC OFFICES CAN BE PRETTY DIFFICULT TO FIND! WE’RE IN THE BASEMENT OF THE WEBTWORTH BUILDING. ACCESS VIA CITY ROAD!

Governance The supreme decision making body of the SRC is the Council. Council is composed of 33 voting members who are elected by the student body in the second semester of every year. Council will typically approve the SRC’s yearly budget, pass policies and motions and keep office bearers accountable. Meetings of Council are held on the first Wednesday of every month at varying locations. These meetings are open, so anyone can come along and participate. To get the location of the next meeting, contact the SRC front office on The 33 councillors are elected from the entire undergraduate body via a system of proportional representation, while the president is elected directly. Any undergraduate student who has paid the required affiliation fee may run for Council or


The SRC is an affiliate of the National Union of Students (NUS), which is the peak representative body for all undergraduate students in Australia. NUS runs national campaigns on issues important to students.

Services SRC Help Caseworkers The SRC caseworkers are there to help you when you have trouble with the University, or whenever you feel you rights as a student are not being met. Our caseworkers are trained and experienced professionals. Common reasons for which you might need to see a caseworker are:

• • • •

Help with an academic appeal Special Consideration Tenancy Issue Requirement to show cause for failure

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SRC Secondhand Book Shop

How Do I get involved?

The SRC book shop is located on the 4th floor of Wentworth Building and is a not-for-profit service offering a cheaper option for textbooks. Any person may sell their textbook to the bookshop as long as that textbook is still a set text the following year.

The easiest way of getting involved in the SRC is to join a collective. Get in contact with the relevant office bearer to find out what you can do to aid the SRC in its campaigns. Furthermore you can come by to any meeting of Council. Just contact the SRC front office on 9660 5222 or email us on admin.assistant@ to get the location.

SRC Legal Service The Sydney University SRC is one of the first student organizations to provide a full legal service. Our solicitors will help you on a range of issues, from criminal matters to tenancy problems. Activism The SRC supports grassroots activism on campus by providing support and funding to the Collectives. There are five collectives that currently operate at the University of Sydney. These are:

If you’re super eager, why not run for council? To do this you must become a supporter member and pay the required affiliation fee. You must do this at the SRC office on the ground level of Wentworth. You will have to fill out a nomination form and submit it to the front desk. Nominations for SRC typically open in Week 2 of second semester and close in Week 5. The election campaign typically starts in week 7, with the actual elections being held in Week 9.

• Queer Collective; • Women’s Collective; •

Sydney Environment Action Collective (SEAC);

• Climate Action Collective (CAC); • Anti-Racism Collective (ARC). In addition to these 5, there are currently proposal for the commencement of three new collectives. This includes the Welfare Collective, the Education Action Group and the Global Solidarity Collective. The Welfare Collective will be focused on improving the well - being of students through greater investment in public services and benefits. The Education Action Group will be focused on improving the quality and accessibility of education. The Global Solidarity Collective will run campaigns on a range of issue of global significance. The SRC itself runs numerous campaigns and organises rallies. The Education department ran a highly successful rally in 2010 for the reform of youth allowance. The rally was entitled Noodle Day, and saw hundreds of hungry student slurping 50 cent mi goring noodles in front of the quadrangle. The SRC has also provided support for campaigns on a number of other issues important to students. Most notable was the Green Campus Now campaign run by the environment department several years ago.

The SRC, standing up for your Rights and representing your voice


President Our very own wonder woman, Phoebe Drake, introduces you to your SRC.

Hi and welcome to all Sydney University students! My name is Phoebe and I’m the 2012 President of the Student’s Representative Council (SRC). For those of you who are new to USyd, the SRC is the peak representative body for all undergraduate students. My responsibility, as President, is to ensure your voice is heard at every possible level of decision making within the University. This is why I sit on various committees and boards, such as the Student Consultative Committee, which is chaired by the VC and Academic Board. The SRC also provides a number of vital (and free) services, such as caseworkers who can help with academic appeals, or tenancy and youth allowance issues. Additionally, we have a free legal service where you can access legal advice and representation. Importantly, we have collectives and departments who actively fight for change on the issues that matter: affordable housing, smaller class sizes, no staff cuts and a greener campus. We also firmly believe that student organisations should be run by students. This is why in second semester every year you can run for election and vote for your peers. Consequently, maintaining the independence of our organisation and the services we provide is absolutely crucial as we continue to support, represent and advocate for students at Sydney University. Besides, after 84 years of representing students, we’re pretty damn good at it.


To an extent, 2012 is the year of change. This year marks the introduction of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). This vital change in legislation is considered by many as a solution to Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) which, when introduced, caused the collapse of student services, student life and student representation across the country. It is pertinent to note, however, that the SSAF is in no way unionism (though it is often confused as such). This is because, under the legislation, there is no guarantee that universities will pass any of the $263 on to student organisations. Universities, however, must consult with democratically elected student representatives and organisations in regards to the distribution of funding. Thus, it remains a priority for student organisations (and Sydney University SRC) to advocate for and ensure they receive a portion of the SSAF. The University, too, is getting into the rhythm of change. A recent decision to cut staff (general and academic combined) by 350 has caused much confusion and anger in both the staff and student community. Whilst it’s not yet clear what impact this will have, the SRC is concerned by the lack of funds being directed to teaching and learning, which means that the quality of our learning as students could be compromised. Essentially, this means a higher student-staff ratio, more overcrowding in lectures and tutorials and a significant change in the way courses are run.

A higher student-staff ratio may lead to some changes in your classroom experience

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I have always believed that universities should regard themselves as service providers and not as a business. If universities purely see themselves as a business, we then see high cost housing, students crammed in to classes and expensive course materials. This is not acceptable and, moreover, it is a right, and not a privilege, for each student to have access to an education that is both high quality and affordable. Consequently, here at the SRC, we will be keeping a very close eye on the University this year and will be holding it accountable if any drop in standards occur.

Contact the President Phone: 9660 5222


Finally, with the introduction of a demand driven system at universities across Australia, it is now possible for universities to enrol as many students in a course as they wish. Whilst it is unclear how universities will react to this change, the SRC is concerned that this, combined with staff cuts, will see quality of education compromised for the sake of profit. Whilst Sydney University has said they will not increase numbers, it seems the number of 2012 students offered a place is higher than previous years. So as you can see, 2012 will be a busy year and I will be continuing the campaign for equal access to high quality education. I also encourage all of you to take part in the SRC’s activities. Whether it is the gendered pay gap, a green campus, or fighting illegal course costs, there are many issues in which you can take part. So, I urge you; it is our future and our fight, so get involved!


General Secretary CAPED CRUSADER, Tim Matthews talks about your student organisations. What can I get involved in? Students Representative Council Now – I am certainly a biased source, BUT, there is SO FREAKIN MUCH for you to do around the SRC. Collectives are a great place to start and you can hear a bit from them in this handbook – if you are passionate on educational, social or environmental issues, the collectives are a great way for you meet similar-minded people, share ideas and plan and execute campaigns. Its an excellent way to learn skills in advocacy and organising and can be an incredibly empowering experience.

Well hello there! My name is Tim Matthews, and I am the SRC’s General Secretary (that’s right – the most vague and nonspecific of secretaries that you ever did meet!). My role within the SRC is to liaise with all of the Office Bearers and the Executive Committee to make sure that there is plenty for you to get involved in, and that everybody is getting the most out of the SRC’s services and resources. Beyond that, I help to prepare the SRC’s budget and finances, a task for which my Bachelor of Arts majoring in ‘WouldYou-Like-Fries-With-That-ology’ comprehensively prepares me. If you have any questions about what the SRC is doing, where you can go to be involved or who you can talk to, I can probably point you in the right direction. Just shoot me an email at general.! I remember my first Orientation Week as a blur of bright colours - joining too many clubs and societies, meeting new people and excellent parties. If you have picked this up and are reading it during OWeek (bravo – eager beaver!), can I advise that you put it down, turn towards Eastern Avenue, and join the first club you find. There may be free chocolates, beer or a friend in it for you. (Heck, you may even join the SRC in which case I can greet you in person, instead of in print!) I want to use these precious column inches to talk to you about how you can get involved in student life on campus.


It doesn’t end there. As you will see in this handbook, all of your SRC office bearers have big plans for 2012 - Campaigns, meetings, publications galore. I won’t steal any of their thunder, but please do read on. They’ve all put a lot of effort into campaign planning, but are more than happy to hear your ideas about what you’re passionate about. Council meetings are also held monthly, and you are more than welcome to come along, join in the debate, and propose your own motions for the 33 elected councillors, your office bearers and other students to debate. Why not write to Honi? The only weekly student publication in the country, it is choc-a-block with student-produced content! You can read what your peers write, are reading, are viewing, what photos their taking - and you can even see it all on their sexy website.

University of Sydney Union I freaking LOVE the University of Sydney Union. Over 200 clubs. 2 bars. Parties almost every week. Book clubs. Camps. Balls. Amateur sporting groups. Religious groups. Faculty groups. Revues. Shows. Concerts. THEY HAVE FUCKING EVERYTHING. You won’t be able to miss them at OWeek, but do look our for USU events after that. There will never be a moment that you are bored at uni if you get involved in student life on campus.

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Sydney University Sport and Fitness So, this is all coming from a guy who falls over when walking on flat surfaces. I’m not exactly an authoritative word on Sydney University Sport and Fitness. However, if you find exercise more than a punishment (or just really want to try the rock climbing wall) – then SUSF has you covered. There are two gyms on campus, and a heap of sporting teams and activities to get involved in!

introductory padding that made up my first three or so weeks at uni. But I can tell you every party I went to, every club that I joined that I’m still a member of, and the people I met along the way. I sincerely welcome you to the University of Sydney. Enjoy your courses, but if you can’t, enjoy the beer.

Why should I get involved? Not going to lie – I left this question sitting on my screen for a good minute, staring at it without writing an answer. I want to yell a million things at you – Friends! Experiences! Not going to boring tutes! Free alcohol! But I feel like you are probably in search of a semi-constructed sentence. So. At this stage you could think about your tertiary education in two ways. You can make the choice to diligently attend every class, to return home and read those readers cover to cover, and to leave University excellently prepared for a predictable job that will (no doubt) make your family very proud. Alternately, you could treat University as a collection of experiences – some educational, some experimental, some planned, some surprising, some alone, and some in a team, some early mornings and some late nights, some hard work and – yes – some excellent bars. Advertising material will tell you that we have ‘the number one student experience in the country’ – but what does that mean? It means that our University is a community of people, of students, who together have an awesome time. Hungry? – there are literally hundreds of options to fix that. Bored? – have you considered one of the multitude of clubs and societies events that are certainly on? Lonely? – there are thousands of friends for you in bars, on lawns, in classes and in theatres across the uni. There is just a metric fucktonne of stuff for you to do. And that is amazing. And what’s more – it’s unique.


Contact the General Secretary general.secretary@src.usyd. Phone: 9660 5222

Getting involved in campus life – in your SRC, in the USU, in SUSF – will make your University experience amazing. Sure, maybe you’ll drop the odd tutorial, and maybe your reader will become a brilliant paperweight twelve weeks of the Semester, but I guarantee you that you won’t spend one minute being bored. I already can’t remember the


Vice president Faster than a SPEEDING BULLET, Tom Raue .... including spending. As for the rest of my job... it’s a bit vague. I think that’s great though. Since I have a lot of freedom I can put my energy into areas I think need a bit more work. I’m here to help out the other office bearers and the collectives.

SPECIFICALLY, this year I plan on: Collectives: Student activism is a tough gig, but a little bit of money can make it a whole lot easier. I’ll ensure that the collectives get the funds they need while ensuring their autonomy. I’ll also support the creation of new collectives this year like Welfare, Disabilities and Education. Hi guys! I’m Tom, SRC Vice President. I’d like to briefly spruik a couple of my favourite things about the SRC before moving onto where I fit in.

Collectives One of the best ways to get involved in uni life is to join an SRC collective. They’re simply groups of like-minded students who campaign around issues ranging from the environment, to student welfare, to women’s rights – and everything in between. You’ll hear from some of the related officers elsewhere in this handbook and you can read about their departments in more detail. I just want to add my voice to theirs: GET INVOLVED IN A COLLECTIVE.

Improving the processes of the SRC: The SRC is a great example of democracy, but it’s not perfect. I want the SRC elections and meetings to be completely transparent and accessible to all students. Fighting the staff cuts: The university plans to lay off hundreds of academic and support staff. This will adversely affect YOUR education. The university’s financial bungling is not the fault of these staff and they should not have to pay for it. If you have any questions about the SRC or suggestions on how I can improve it, email me on Alternatively, you can find me in Manning Bar.

Caseworkers and Legal Service If you’ve got trouble with the university administration or Centrelink, the caseworkers have you covered. If you’ve got problems with the law, the Legal Service is there for you. It is important that these services are student controlled – the SRC has your interests at heart, instead of trying to make a profit off you. So next time you’re having trouble navigating the uni bureaucracy make an appointment with a caseworker – it’s free and awesome. So, what does the Vice President do? I sit on executive, which also includes the President, General Secretary, and five general members. We meet each week to conduct the everyday business of the SRC



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Collective Organising Our WHITE KNIGHT, Armen Aghazarian is a man of the people. Why Join a Collective Getting involved in activism can be a huge step for most students. There are many social and experiential barriers to getting involved in political parties, or in large lobbying organisations. Collectives are designed to make people feel as comfortable as possible. You will be there with your fellow students, most of whom are first years. You will learn how to fight for issues through each other, in the way that suits you best. Together we stand strong

Getting involved in Collectives is possibly one of the most exciting opportunities provided by the SRC. Collectives are the primary activist wings of the SRC, and provide the forum by which you can debate issues that interest you. The SRC funds and supports a number of collectives at the University of Sydney

While collectives may be quite small, its structure gives you the opportunity to get into other groups. More experienced members of collectives will be involved in a series of larger organisation, both on the national and local level. This is the case for example with the Environment collective and the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN).

The Collective Process A Collective is a group of like – minded individuals united by a common identity or a common set of goals. In a collective, there is no organised leadership. Rather, all participants are considered equal contributors, with decisions being made by consensus. The point of a collective is to give power to the disempowered, providing a space for those who are normally silent in the public sphere.

Autonomy The queer and women’s collectives are autonomous. This means membership is open only to those who identity respectively as queer and/or female. The idea behind this is that it gives power to traditionally oppressed groups. It means that they take charge over the discourse that has, in the past, lead to their marginalisation. Autonomy also means that such collectives act as safe spaces, where you can discuss any personal issues in a welcoming environment.

Collectives Rely on Consensus decision making. This means coming out with a decision that has the maximum possible support in the group.


Student Reps Your Friendly Neighbourhood Deffenders What are Departmental and School Representatives

Electing your student Representative

The SRC represents all students en bloc, fighting for issues that effect students in general. Your primary contact in terms of concerns with specific courses however will be through the student representative network. This is a program that provides for a democratically elected student representative for each department and/or course. There will, for example, be a representative for economics, physics, history and mechatronic engineering. Student representatives meet regularly with the head of their respective department, and interact with staff.

Any student of a particular course or department can run to be a liaison of that department. The method of voting varies from faculty to faculty. In the Arts faculty, voting will be done online through WebCT. In Science, the program is called the Staff Student Liaison committee. In Business it is the Student Reference Group.

When to Contact Your Student Representative Student representatives take care of issues relating specifically to courses. Here are some of the many issues your representatives will take:

• Your lecturer is doing something your not happy with;

• You feel the outcomes in a particular subject are very vague;

• There is a particular subject that has been cut, which you believe shouldn’t have;

• You have issues with fellow students in your course.

How to contact your student Representative Information on contacting student representatives is available in each faculty. In the Arts Faculty, representatives can be contacted on WebCT. You can do this anonymously, putting in comments for your student rep to see. Student reps also have role based email accounts. Your faculty and your department has a responsibility to make your student representatives known to you. If you are having trouble finding them, contact the SRC Education officer on education.


Anyone can be a hero

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education action group If you believe that you shouldn’t have to fork out crippling HECS debt for nothing, come along to the SRC’s Education Action Group.

The student movement has always been the social conscience of Australia, and it’s more important than ever to get involved! Get in touch with us at our O-week stall, or hit us up at education.officers@src.

We operate as forum for students to discuss educational issues, and meet weekly to organise campaigns for a fairer and more equitable tertiary education system. Joining the EAG is also the single best way to get involved with the SRC and the National Union of Students. You’re probably wondering why education at Sydney Uni is something we need to improve. The sandstone castles are deceiving. Wait until your first lecture, when there aren’t enough seats and you’re forced to sit in the aisle. Or when you walk into your first tute of twenty people, and only two or three people have the confidence to speak up. Or when you’re sick, but can’t catch up because your lecture hasn’t been recorded. This is the university with the most overcrowding and the highest fees. This is the university which calls itself the leading teaching institution in Australia, but cuts subjects that students actually want to study. This is the university which will sack staff to buy a swimming pool. Sydney University is not an island, and improving student rights to education cannot be achieved without looking beyond the university walls. Properly defending student rights means targeting the federal government too, and that’s why it’s so important that we have the National Union of Students as our national voice. This is set to be a big year for the EAG. Coming off the back of the Base Funding Review (released late last year), the Federal Government will be looking at altering how they fund our education. If the recommendations of the report are heeded, then we’re set to get an education system which is radically inequitable. It’s up to us to stop it.

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EDUCATION OFFICERS Boy Wonders, Sam Farrell and David Pink will learn you good! The State of Play in 2012 In 2012 student places will be deregulated (or ‘uncapped’) for the first time, meaning that universities can now enrol as many students as they choose. Over the past five years (from 2006 to 2011), student numbers ballooned from 45,039 to 49,059. In the same period, the student-staff ratio worsened by 23% in the Faculty of Science, 10% in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and 8% in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Bloated class sizes discourage participation and make it a lot more difficult to engage with your course – at the current rate, it won’t be too long before Sydney Law School’s practice of cramming 40-80 people in a tutorial and calling it a ‘seminar’ becomes the norm. While it is yet uncertain how many new places will be offered in 2012, any increase in student numbers will put even greater strain on the university’s resources.

You should be really pleased 2012 will not be a good year for your education. Together with deregulation, the university’s decision late last year to sack 340 staff will have serious consequences for the quality of teaching and learning at the University of Sydney. Less staff for more students means that overcrowding will get worse – there will be fewer tutorials, class sizes will balloon and you should count yourself lucky if you’re able to get one-on-one attention from a tutor. We will find our teachers even more overstretched. The staff to be dismissed are those purportedly ‘not pulling their weight,’ but the criterion which will be used to measure performance is completely arbitrary. Contradicting the university’s own definition of ‘research active’ (a qualitative measure), staff may be cut if they have had three or less publications within the time period 1st January 2009-1st January

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2011. This means that staff who have got their name in a four of five obscure journals are safe, but those who have published a ground breaking monograph in the same time period might be dismissed. It’s not just academics getting the chop – the decision to dismiss 190 general staff will exacerbate the lack of administrative support for academic staff, who already go without adequate training, resources and facilities for their expected level of research output. Management have justified these cuts on the grounds that there had been a short-term drop in international student fees, with 7.5% cut in budgeted staff salaries required to free up $53 million to be spent on infrastructure works that the VC claims must take place immediately. While we recognise that infrastructure and ICT systems are in need of serious attention, if the supposed “budgetary crisis” is the result of a short-term drop in international student fees, then dismissals are clearly unnecessary – redundancies mean a permanent drop in the number of teaching staff, which will outlast the supposedly temporary budget crisis. It is disturbing that we go to a university which prioritises capital expenditure over its staff. We question the necessity of some of these ‘urgent infrastructure works’ – they include a new 8-story building for the business faculty and a swimming pool on Abercrombie Street. That’s right, a swimming pool.

Implications of the Base Funding Review Late last year, the Lomax-Smith Base Funding Review was released by the Federal Government. It re-evaluated how Higher Education is funded in Australia, and specifically recommends that no discipline should receive less funding than what is

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allocated under the current arrangements. While the Report did identify the need for increasing government investment in universities, the report did not quantify how much additional investment is actually required The most important recommendations of the BFR (at least for students) relates to changes to student contributions. The Report recommends that HECS and HELP be retained and that contribution amounts remain capped. The Report does, however, propose rationalising the contribution scheme, with “The balance of student and government contributions... set at a fixed proportion with students contributing 40 per cent and the Government contributing 60 per cent of the funding for each Commonwealth supported place “. This means that the fee students pay will be exactly 40% of the cost it takes for the university to run the degree program. Taking as an example a commerce degree which costs the university $12,000 to run per year, you would contribute $4,800 (40%) and the government $7,200 (60%). So, you ask, will I have to pay more or less under the new model? It depends.

dubious that student numbers have no sensitivity to fee increases (especially those from low SES backgrounds), it is simply bizarre for a model which systemically advantages law and commerce students to masquerade as ‘progressive.’ In turn, it gives no recognition to the social benefits that come with students studying medicine, or nursing, or agriculture. All this discussion belies the fact that the 2009 Bradley Review found that it would cost little more than $3 billion (peanuts) for the government to completely subsidise our fees. It’s a myth that free education is unaffordable; if you were to increase the company tax by 1%, you’d cover the cost straight away. In just 30 years we’ve moved away from a system where even international students studied here for free, to studying at degree factories that churn out students with $100,000 debts that cripple them for life.

Using 2011 values, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) estimates that student contributions for undergrads studying accounting, commerce, economics and law would decline from over $9,000 to $4,800 – a saving of more than $4,000 per year. On the other side of the spectrum, the cost of studying agriculture would increase by $6,600 a year, medicine, dentistry and vet science by $5,000, nursing by $2,200 and science/engineering by $1,800. The cost of studying humanities would be slightly less expensive (-$600), and education marginally more (+$400). The old system charged students more to study law than nursing. This was for the fairly obvious reason that being educated in law gives you a far higher career income than someone who works as a nurse. However, the proposed model pays no notice to equity of access. It costs very little to teach law – all you require is a teacher and a classroom. Nursing, however, requires a lot of practical training + technology in order to give nurses the experience they need for the job. The result is that, while a law student will pay $4,800 per year, a nurse will be expected to contribute $7,680 ($3,000 more!)


The Report crudely justifies this change on the grounds that subsidising course costs in subjects like science have historically not encouraged higher participation rates in those courses. While it is

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WELFARE OFFICERS Made of Steel, your Welfare Officers Brigitte mcfadden and rafi Alam Hey students! We’re the welfare officers for 2012, and we’re here to make sure your time at the university is safe, secure, and fun! The welfare department is concerned with student financial issues, security on campus, and equitable access to essential services.

Many students are also unaware that STI checks are freely available by visiting the doctor. We are hoping to organise an STI check van to visit the university on a regular basis in 2012. We also want drink-testing kits at big events and will be exploring the possibility of providing drug-testing kits through the SRC, so students can be sure of what they’re taking. (We do not advocate drug abuse – but we do recognise its existence and the need to help students minimise the harms associated with this reality). We also aim to hold an information session on what to do if you encounter any problems with the police involving: drug possession, protests, immigration, traffic offenses, and other petty crimes.

Student parents We believe that every person has the right to go to uni, and should not be forced to choose between their children or their education. We will fight to make childcare cheaper and more accessible for studying parents.

Dark Knight Rafi, invading the quad for your welfare

Drugs and sex University can be a time of experimentation and freedom, and while these activities can be fun, they can also be risky. We want to make sure the university helps to reduce these risks, so here’s a few things we’re fighting for over the coming year. Firstly the university needs to install an adequate number of sharps disposal boxes. This will not only help to minimise harm to illicit drug users, students and staff, but also the thousands of diabetics on campus who dispose of needles daily.

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You should not have to be be superhero to juggle family and study

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Centrelink and Money $$$

Mental health

In 2012, we are hoping to run an information campaign regarding Centrelink and your ability to claim a Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY payment. We will be running a stall on Eastern Ave with information on eligibility for payments and how to claim your payment. We will answer your questions, and forward you on to an SRC caseworker if your questions are far beyond

Mental health issues affect many students at one time or another. We believe it is important to raise awareness regarding mental health on campus, and in particular, fight the stigma associated with these issues. We will also aim to provide specific information about government health reforms and programs available to students - eg. the number of free sessions you can claim with a psychologist on the Mental Health Treatment Plan.

our capability!

Welfare Collective This year, we’re proud to announce our plans to start a Welfare Collective. Collectives are democratic and non-hierarchical organisations run to benefit the student (and wider) community. Anyone can come along, put their opinions forward, and contribute to campaigns. The Welfare Collective will soon start holding regular meetings, but if you want to get a head start and get involved now, you can email welfare.officers@src., or contact us directly at aala2161@ (Rafi) and (Brigitte). Thanks, and we hope to see you guys soon!

All Falling apart? Brigitte’s superstrenght will keep you up


WOMEN’S OFFICERS Kicking butt and taking names, our own BAT-WOMEN, Kate O’Brien and Annabel Osborn The University of Sydney’s Women’s Collective is a group of woman-identifying students who are passionate about issues relating to women and feminist activism. As an autonomous group, the Women’s Collective runs a variety of campaigns throughout the year centred around improving women’s experiences on campus at Sydney University as well as in the wider community. We also run lots of social events throughout the year such as discussion groups, film screenings and dinners. Annually, we publish a journal called ‘Growing Strong’ and are responsible for an edition of Honi Soit, both of which provides a great opportunity for female students to explore and express the different experiences of women and highlight the dynamic and diverse nature of the feminist movement. Most importantly, Women’s Collective is a great environment for women to come together and support each other, share ideas about feminism and make new friends!

can be found in their office in the SRC or emailed at anytime at The Women’s Collective meets every Wednesday at 1pm in the Women’s room in the Holme Building.

In 2011 the Women’s Collective engaged in a range of activism. Members of collective played a huge role in organising Sydney’s Reclaim the Night rally, and were lucky to have admirable speakers such as Nina Funnell and Karen Willis (NSW Rape Crisis Centre) partake. We participated in the International Women’s Day march and the NOWSA (Network of Women Student’s Australia) conference where members of the collective were honoured to meet Eva Cox. We launched a successful non-autonomous discussion group with guests such as Professor Raewyn Connell and Jane Caro (Gruen Transfer). A roller derby group was under construction last year, whilst dinners, movie nights and campaign organising united women students at The University of Sydney. These are annual events which are important for the collective to maintain, however there is always room for new campaigns and ideas! Experiences and ideologies differ for every woman and it is important to us, as a collective, to provide a platform for women to come together with equally important and respected views, and allow for these to be expressed freely- whether this is in discussion or in campaigns we run. Women from all backgrounds, experiences and interests are encouraged to join. For 2012, there are two Women’s Officer’s- Annabel Osborn and Kate O’Brien- who run the Women’s Collective and provide support to women students. The Women’s Officer’s are essentially the friend any woman can go to when in need. Kate and Annabel

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QUEER OFFICERS The Fabulours four, Lachlan, Lane, Eleonora and Rebecca introduce you to the Queer Collective

Hey queers!

What we do

Welcome to Sydney Uni and QUAC, your Queer Action Collective.

Quac holds weekly meetings in the Queer space, a notoriously elusive space in the Holme building. Being collectively run, any member can bring up anything they want to discuss in the meetings and we’ll do our best to do something about it. On the agenda this year is Gender neutral toilets, toilets for people who don’t identify as male or female. And the Ally Network, a list of people you can contact if you ever feel any sort of discrimination relating to your sexuality. Come to a meeting, let us know what you feel passionately about, and we’ll do that too!

You may have noticed a few Clubs and Socs around dedicated to Usyd’s queer community and maybe you’re wondering what sets Quac apart? Well, to start with Quac is proudly Queer, meaning we love you no matter who you love or how you do it. So wherever you sit on our beloved acronym we have a safe space for you. We’re also proud to be an action collective. Primarily that action is to make Usyd and the wider community a better place for queers. And we’re a collective! Quac equally values the input of all our members equally so attend some meetings and see how much of a difference you make in our organization.

Why you should join If you don’t feel that political Quac is still a great place to meet people. If you’re just in the process of coming out, our shared experiences can help you through it. If you’re new to Sydney you can make a great group of friends, and if you’ve been out forever and lived in Newtown your whole life you can help the community of queers at usyd to grow.

Plans for next year Well…. Mardi Gras is coming up, and you have the chance to help out with the float, maybe be on it? I ‘ve heard rumors about the theme being something about rainbows? And if the worlds largest queer festival wasn’t enough, we also have Pride week, a week of Queer Pride! We’ll be hosting workshops to deconstruct the knowledge hierarchy! And Queer Collaborations; an opportunity to meet queers from all over the country in Australia’s favorite city, Adelaide! See you at the stall/ queer space! Yours with love eternal Quac MARDI GRAS IS A HUGE EVENT - BOTH FOR THE SRC AND THE ENTIRETY OF GOTHAM CITY.

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ENVIRONMENT The Green Lantern corps. SEAC and CAC save planet earth! student Environment Action Collective (SEAC) Opened to the enviro page of the handbook? Looking for a fun collective who care about the trees, seas and bees? Awesome. Release the inner hippie. Read on. Meeting on the greenest grass of any Sydney city uni you’ll find the Student Enviro Action Collective (SEAC, pronounced ‘seek’), a group of tree huggers, such as yourself, who (as a general rule);

• are concerned about environmental destruction, nuclear power, the coal industry, uranium mining, the lack of clean energy on campus

• like renewable energy, solidarity with indigenous

struggles, food co-ops, stopping the coal industry

• Work together in a way that is non-hierarchical and inclusive, so that everybody feels equal ownership over the group and its actions

• are connected to broader networks of people

working on environmental campaigns all around the country

In the past SEAC has launched plentiful campaigns with associated actions including the widespread ‘green campus now’ to promote renewable energy on campus. We’ve also organised a series of forums with speakers from awesome enviro NGOs and collectives to discuss important issues. Talks, which we plan to continue into 2012 based on their popularity; for which topics will totally depend on the interests and ideas of all our members! Collective is a space where we deal with many more things than just enviro issues. We have a strong dialogue and debate around race, class, sexuality and gender oppressions. Frequently these overlap with and challenge our environmentalism and we seek both complications and solutions in an honest, open way. So come join us this year to get excited and involved in important environmental issues with a fun collective where you meet many and together make a difference! :D Find our O-week stall with the SRC or call Steph on 0432105278 for more info.

• run campaigns, host forums, screen films, do

actions, attend camps, discuss societal change, eat nums nums, have fun!

As a grassroots collective which uses principles of consensus decision making, the direction of the collective is up to YOU! Got a passion for coal campaigning? Marine conservation? Anti-nuclear? Smashing the state? The collective is a place for all these issues, and more.’ We hold weekly meetings to plan our on/off campus activism as well as a monthly meet up with the UTS Environment Collective for picnics, awesome chats and widespread campaigns/ actions. Further, we are planning a monthly hangout event where we can host skill-shares, watch enviro docos, enjoy pot-lucks and other awesome activities. Linked to its broader networks of SEAN (Student environmental network of NSW) and ASEN (Australian Student environmental network), SEAC members can access broader information, campaigns and friends around Oz through skillshares, meet-ups and camps.


Cool rings are just the START of your involvement with the enviro collectives

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Climate Action Collective (CAC) This time in 2011 the Climate Action Collective’s (CAC) report was censored (deleted!) from this publication by liberals in the Student Reps Council (SRC). It was the beginning of a tough year fighting liberals on and off campus. Tony Abbott led the charge to the Right and gave fresh oxygen to climate denialists, while student Liberals sought to abolish CAC altogether. The appearance of this report is the result of a Leftwing pushback that took the SRC out of the hands of the far-right. But we still have a fight on our hands. In the wider world of climate politics the Labor government continues to advocate false solutions and half measures, not the progressive action we need. The year 2011 saw Abbott and Gillard go head-tohead over Labor’s plans to price carbon. But four years after Labor come to power on a mandate to tackle climate change it is obvious they are not committed to taking the necessary action. The carbon tax is not a solution to climate change. It will only allow big polluters to pass on extra costs to consumers, while they continue to profit and expand (and get billions of dollars of “compensation” from the government). The scheme is filled with loopholes. Rather than reduce their actual usage, polluting industry can use dodgy “offset” schemes to claim reductions. Trading schemes and taxes in other parts of the world have not led to a drive in renewables, but to the creation of new financial “carbon markets”. What we need is mass government investment in baseload renewable energy, an expansion of public transport and the creation of thousands of green jobs. Unfortunately The Greens’ support for market-based solutions has obscured these questions and led the climate movement into uncritically defending Gillard’s carbon tax, instead of fighting for the solutions we need.

The Climate Action Collective (CAC) is campaigning for these real solutions, while also getting active in the fight-back against Abbott’s climate denialism. Off-campus we have also been a part of the huge ‘No Coal-Seam Gas’ Rallies that have been held in Sydney and surrounds. The government classifies coal-seam gas as a ‘clean energy,’ but it is actually highly emissions intensive. Thousands of people have been part of the fight to stop this industry locking us into a future of emissions. And we are part of the movement fighting the government’s racist plan to put a nuclear waste dump on indigenous land at Muckaty in the Northern Territory.

Sydney University Students protesting the Expansion of Coal

There is a desperate need for the organised Left to bring the climate debate back to where it should be. We need a mass movement fighting for real, equitable action on climate change. This year the Climate Action Collective will again be attending the Climate Summit and the Students of Sustainability conference, as well as hosting forums and attending protests, so come get active! We meet every Monday at 1pm on the Chancellor’s Lawns, right next to Fisher Library on the Parramatta road side. Find us on Facebook or check out our blog:

No. Seriously. Please save the world. PLEASE?

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Anti-Racism Ethnic Affairs Officers Ben Dharmendra and Domenique Sherab The Sydney Uni Anti Racism collective (ARC) is committed to fighting against the mandatory detention and offshore processing of refugees and for the rights of Aboriginal people suffering under the NT intervention. Tony Abbott has given us a taste of what we can expect if the Liberals win the next election. This year he has already declared he will stop refugee boats with military force and threatened to ‘send the boats back home’. And, marking 40 years since the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was first established, he’s claimed it is ‘no longer relevant‘. But he is well and truly walking a path paved by Julia Gillard’s unprincipled shift to the right in both refugee and Indigenous affairs. Two decades after the introduction of mandatory detention, roughly 6000 people are imprisoned for doing nothing more than exercising their rights under the 1951 Convention. Indefinite detention has driven 6 people to suicide since 2009 and has been described as ‘akin to abuse‘ by the Australian Medical Association. Furthermore, Gillard’s attempt to implement an offshore processing centre in Malaysia would have seen 800 legitimate asylum seekers sent to a country that has not signed the UN convention on the rights of refugees and is notorious for its human rights abuses. ARC students have played an important role in fighting these policies. In June we joined thousands demanding an end to mandatory detention on World Refugee Day in Sydney. It was the biggest pro-refugee protest since the Howard era. On campus, we’ve held forums and speak-outs, and have taken on far-right Liberal students when they have the confidence to chalk ‘stop the boats’ around campus. When, in September, the High Court exposed and dumped Gillard’s ‘Malaysia Solution’ we hit back with a student speak-out, with an ex-detainee and a Greens speakers. We urgently need to channel this energy to fight the deportations of Afghans and Tamils set to begin in early 2012. Aboriginal people also continue to suffer under Gillard, who has just announced a 10-year extension of the NT Intervention; a policy that required the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act to implement. This paternalistic seizure of assets, land and authority from

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Aboriginal communities was claimed to be for the benefit of Aboriginal people. However, under the Intervention, incarceration rates increased by 40%, school attendance has drastically fallen and substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide and selfharm have all increased. With both sides of politics committed to vilifying Aboriginal people and refugees, students must build the momentum of 2011 into anti-racist campaigns. Join us, get involved, fight back! We meet on Tuesdays at 1pm on the lawns in front of the New Law building. All welcome!! To get in touch join our Facebook group or phone Freya on 0431942599.

ARC members confront Bowen as he announces plans to change the asylum laws in the wake of the High Court Decision

Contact the Ethnic Affairs off cer

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Global Solidarity Our Global Solidarity Officer PAIGE OAKER says the power is yours Do you want to use your time at uni to help stop poverty? Do you dream of raising education standards for disadvantaged children overseas? Are you passionate about human rights? The Global Solidarity department engaged students at the University with campaigns and issues of global signficance. The potential of the global solidarity collective has just been realised in a yearlong extravaganza of love. The collective raised unprecedented amounts of money to help those who are facing humanitarian crises. Campaigns ranged from raising vast sums for those affected by the Japanese tsunami to allocating scholarships to underprivileged students overseas. This year, the collective will continue to share love throughout the world. We will raise funds to improve education standards in the global community. We are also committed to tackling the issues of world poverty and hunger. To do this we intend to raise both awareness and money like no one has done before. We will do this through the use of, fundraising events, lobbying and various other activities. At the end of this year even Captain Planet will thank you for your hard work.

So if you think you are one of these passionate people, join the global solidarity collective. You will make lots of awesome friends with similar awesome interests. You will learn important new skills and really have the opportunity to make a difference.

With our powers combined we can supercharge our collective. We will become the new, improved planeteers and make the world a better place.

Contact Global Solidartiy



INTERCAMPUS Coming to earth from across the stars, your intercampus off cer Paloma Brierly Newton

I’m Paloma Brierley Newton and I’m your intercampus officer for the 2012 SRC. I am currently a student at Sydney University’s satellite campus - Sydney College of the Arts majoring in Photomedia which is a fancy way of saying I take photographs (hopefully for a living in the future). Last year, that would be my first year at USYD, I noticed a distinct lack of services on our campus. This omission motivated me to join the SRC.


Now the punch line - with your help – yes as determined as I am to do everything, I can’t do it alone - I aim to change the University’s attitude to its satellite campuses and bring them into the 21st by offering all the services a 21st century university should do.

This year – my second at USYD – I am determined to get those basic services such as: ATMS on campus; having our Fine Art library open on weekends and having a licensed venue on our campus. This is because firstly, lets face it, university should really be about studying on weekends because you are too busy drinking and having fun on campus during weekdays. Secondly, I know these services are freely available at the main campus which is why many Visual Arts students feel like they are third class citizens of the university. As far as I’m concerned that sort of discrimination is totally unacceptable.


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sexual harrassment Your trrused Defender, BRIGITTE MCFADDEN Most of you probably assume you know what constitutes sexual harassment. What many of you mightn’t realise is how widespread and common sexual harassment is. Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature. This can include verbal behaviour, such as sexual jokes, unwanted sexual questions, propositions or sexist language. Sexual harassment can also be physical, like unwanted touching, assault or even looming, staring and physical intimidation. Many people don’t think they will or can be sexually harassed, but sexual harassment can affect any one of any gender, sexuality, or age (although women are most likely to be victims). Sexual harassment is never ‘provoked’ and the perpetrator is ALWAYS responsible. Everybody has the right to wear what they like, have sex with who they like, and associate with who they like WITHOUT being sexually harassed.

The Sydney Women’s Counselling Centre 4/2 Carrington Square, Campsie Ph: (02) 9718 1955 Fax: (02) 9718 7072

Lifeline 13 11 14 This year, I plan to run a small campaign, with the aim of informing students about the frequency and types of sexual harassment. Hopefully, this will raise awareness about sexual harassment on campus and encourage victims to report any incident they encounter (both on and off-campus). Brigitte McFadden

If you find yourself the victim of any of these behaviours, or any behaviour you suspect to be sexual harassment, there are a number of places you can seek help. These include:

SRC HELP and the SRC Sexual Harassment advisers Ph: (02) 9660 5222 (9am-5pm Email:


University of Sydney Counselling Service Ph: (02) 8627 8433 Fax: (02) 8627 8482 Email: Website:

NSW Rape Crisis Centre Counselling 1800 424 017 Or online support and website


studying with a disability OUR DISABILITIES OFFICER ELLA ALEXANDER LENDS A HELPING HAND University is challenging for everyone, but if you’re one of the ‘one in five’ Australians experiencing a disability, it may be even tougher. Here are some points to think about if you think your study may be affected by a medical condition.

parties in some circumstances. If this is something that would prevent you from registering, it’s a good idea to check out the privacy policy thoroughly on the website and raise your concerns with a disability officer.

Do you have a ‘disability’?

How can I improve my chances of success?

The term ‘disability’ may initially irk you out, but it’s important to remember that it refers to a wide range of conditions, be they temporary (e.g. a broken arm) or more permanent (e.g. mental illness or vision impairment).

A bunch of study tips aimed at students experiencing specific disabilities can be found at http://www. Towards-Success-in-Tertiary-Study.aspx

To be eligible for the University’s Disability Services, you need documentation showing that your condition will affect your study in some way.

Who can I contact if I feel I’m being discriminated against?

What are your University?


If you feel your concerns aren’t being heard, you can head to the SRC downstairs in the Wentworth building downstairs and talk to one of our caseworkers.

You have the right to ‘access and participate in education on the same basis as students without a disability’ (according to the Disability Standards for Education (2005) legislation).

On behalf of SRC Disabilities, welcome to university and we wish you every success!


The University is bound to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ during your course of study. Most adjustments will be deemed reasonable as long as they are not too costly or burdensome and don’t compromise the academic integrity of a course. Adjustments include anything from moving your classes closer to each other if you have mobility issues to organising for assignment extensions. For further information head to stuserv/disability/assis.shtml.

Should I disability?



This is ultimately a personal choice. Disclosure will enable you to access the support services that can make your university experience a whole lot easier. Generally, your information will be kept confidential. However, signing the ‘Acknowledgement of Use and Disclosure of Personal Information’ form upon registration allows the university to provide information about your disability to some third


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STUDENT DEMOCRACY WANT TO BE MAYOR OF METROPOLIS? ARMEN AGHAZARIAN TELLS YOU HOW. Student Democracy Probably one of the more frivolous but definitely most exciting parts of getting involved in any student organisation is the election. There are two big elections at the University. These are the elections for Union board held in the first semester, and for SRC held in the second semester

The Elections If you are a first year or transferring from another university, then brace yourself. Elections at USyd are BIG. I’m talking absolutely, mind-blowingly, bafflingly humongous affairs that practically grind all normality to a halt. Sydney Uni has a reputation for being a hotbead of political activity, and you will experience this for about 3 weeks each semester. Expect 5 minute delays in all your lectures as different candidates come and make their pitch. Say goodbye to a quiet lunch as electioneers approach you for a spruik. Later this semester, you will be voting in 5 people to the Board of Directors of the University of Sydney Union (USU). The USU is the primary service provider for students and runs the clubs and societies program. Its Board of Directors is composed of 11 students who are elected for two year terms, with half the board being elected each year. SRC elections are held in Semester 2, and are arguably much larger and more visible than Union Board elections. This is party because it is actually four different elections held at once. On election day, you will get four ballot papers for electing the following:

• 33 councillors which make up the highest decision making body of the SRC;

• The president of the SRC; •

7 Delegates sent by the University of Sydney to the National Union of Students;

• The Editors of Honi Soit. The SRC campaign lasts for two and a half weeks, with voting being conducted over two days. The election days will see hundreds of campaigners on campus trying to get votes.


Why Vote? Voting for student elections is not compulsory. It is important however to remember that the SRC is an intensely political body, and is there to represent your views and your interests. Whenever council does anything, it does so as the representative voice of all Usyd students. It is therefore important that council best reflects the wishes of the entire student body.

How to Run To be eligible to run for SRC, you must become a supporter member and pay the required affiliation fee. This can be done at the SRC office on the ground level of Wentworth. You may run either by yourself or with a group of people as a ticket. All you need to build a ticket is circle of friends who want to make a difference in the experience of students. Nomination forms can be picked up from the SRC office, and are typically due at least two weeks before the start of the campaign period. Make sure you check with the SRC office as there are no exceptions to the deadline. In order to make use of shared resources, many groups choose to run a large number of tickets under a common branding, with a presidential candidate being the face of the campaign. To run for Union Board, you must be a member of he Union and have been nominated by at least 10 other Union members.


NUS YOUR OWN JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS The National Union of Students is the peak representative body for all students in Australia. While the SRC at the University of Sydney will represent the students against the University, NUS runs national campaigns and lobbies the Federal Government for student issues.

be due to the national president at least 1 month before conference. Any student at the University of Sydney can apply to be an observer without voting rights at NUS. The SRC sends 7 observers to NUS every year, all of which have their registration costs and accommodation paid. If you would like information on becoming an observer, come ask at the SRC office.

Campaigns Fair Education NUS was a key figure in the campaign to abolish full fees. This campaign was a success, with all fees now being commonwealth supported. A key belief of the National Union is that all education should be free and accessible.

Fair fares for all students


Governance NUS is run by the national executive, which includes the president, all state branch presidents, office bearers and a number of general executives. The election of all state branch presidents and office bearers is conducted at the Annual National Conference, which is held every year in December at the University of Latrobe in Melbourne. Conference typically lasts for 4 days, and is composed of delegates from each affiliated University. Individual delegates may hold any number of votes, based on the population of the University they represent. The University of Sydney sends seven delegates to the National Union of Students, the elections for which will be held along side SRC elections in Semester 2.

The cost of transport is a basic welfare issue for most students. The current travel concession schemes operate within highly varied and restrictive frameworks and can exclude students who study part time, work casually, travel interstate (including for university internships or placements) or who are on international student visas. NUS and student groups are calling for a national student concession card scheme that would allow all students access to concessions on public transport nationwide. In 2008, COAG signed an agreement for a national concession scheme for those holding a senior or pensioner card but currently nothing similar exists for primary, secondary and tertiary students.

As well as electing the national executive, national conference is the primary vehicle for setting the policy of the National Union of Students. NUS currently has a range of polices associated with each of its departments. Policy submissions will typically


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The campaign for this scheme has been building over the past few years, and after consistent lobbying, petitions and large rallies we have finally seen a tangible response. A motion has been moved by Labor backbencher John Hargreaves MLA in the ACT to bring this issue to the forefront of the federal agenda and look into the creation of a national concession card scheme. The motion is supported by the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Joy Burch. Their intention is to raise the issue at the national level at the Community and Disability Services Ministers’ Conference (CDSMC) later in the year.

How Do I get Involved A great way to get involved in NUS is to go to Education Conference. The conference is held once a year and is a gathering of student activist from around the country to discuss issues relating to higher education. To go to the conference you must register at the NUS website on www.unistudents.

Sign the online petition:

The NUS offices in Melbourne


ACADEMIC APPEALS MWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!! Feeling hard done by? Is your tutor an arsehole? Does your end of year result seem a little weird? Well. You may need to consider appealing an academic decision. For a process that occurs relatively frequently, the University literature is a bit thin on the info. Because, you know, ‘what happens when something goes wrong’ is typically an area where it is useful to have confusion and misinformation. #USydHasFuckedUsAgain. Basic rules are that you have a right to appeal, so long as you are not stupid about it. You should get onto it quickly (generally within 15 days of the decision). Academics have to keep all of your papers and exams, and they are obliged to provide you with reasons for their decisions. Sometimes, you will be lucky. A teacher will fuck up, and they will acknowledge that they have fucked up and re-mark your work. Remember, those expanding class sizes aren’t just poor form because it sucks to be in a room with that many people (seriously, everybody smells but me.), but also because the amount of time a staff member has to mark each piece of work is reduced. So here is some information about appealing your mark

Your Assessment and Appeal Rights As a University of Sydney student you have rights around the area of assessment. University policies entitle all students to full information about course goals and requirements and this information must be given to you before the end of the first week of a course. Information you are entitled to includes:

• assessment criteria • attendance and class requirements (yes, you can fail if you miss classes)

• weighting – breakdown and calculation of assessment marks

• explanation of policies regarding ‘legitimate co-operation, plagiarism and cheating’, special consideration and academic appeals procedures

• early and clear statement of sanctions and penalties that may bring your mark down, and fair application of these penalties

• balanced and relevant assessment tasks • fair and consistent assessment with appropriate workloads and deadlines

• written consultation before the halfway point of the unit if assessment requirements need to change

• changes must not disadvantage students • adequate arrangements to cater for disabilities

and other requirements (must be registered with Disabilities Unit)

• access to staff out of class time at reasonable hours

• fair and relevant marking procedures • anonymous posting of results How DARE you question my decision. Your mark is FINAL (Ha -Ha, they’re actually buying this)


• timely return of assessments • helpful feedback

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• access to exams up to four months after the result • the right to appeal up to 15 days after an academic decision

• enough time for remedial learning when there is reassessment

Appeals - University Procedures If you believe a mark or University decision is wrong and you want to appeal you must lodge an appeal within 15 working days. The first step is to talk to the person who made the decision – often your lecturer. See if you can go through the assessment and discuss your performance with them. Your examination scripts will be kept for 4 months after a mark was given. But be aware, appeals should normally be started within 15 working days of an academic decision. Make sure you know how the mark was worked out – including any scaling or marks deducted or changed for reasons not directly related to that particular assessment. Your questions and concerns may be resolved at this stage, helping you understand how you can improve in the future. Alternatively, you may feel the matter is still unresolved and wish to continue with your appeal.

• Make your appeal in writing and make sure it is easy for other people to understand

• Listen to or read staff comments and reasons for

• Know who you are appealing to. That is your

Lecturer/Unit of study Coordinator; someone higher in the appeal chain within the Faculty; and then the University Student Appeals Body (Academic decisions only, and only where there has been a breach of process); You must be given reasons for each person’s decision.

• If you cannot resolve appeals internally, you may

be able to approach external bodies eg. NSW Ombudsman, the Anti-Discrimination Board etc. Administrative decisions made outside of the Faculty have appeals to different people. Speak to the SRC for advice.

Your Appeal Rights According to University policy, appeals should be dealt with:

• in a timely manner • with confidence • impartially and not disadvantage you in the future

• procedural fairness • free access to all documents concerning your appeal

Undergraduates can get advice, information and advocacy from the Student Representative Council (SRC). Postgraduates may approach the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA).

a decision closely. Keep these in mind when you write your appeal letter.

• Base an appeal on a process matter rather than an academic judgement.

• Know your desired outcome • Familiarise yourself with the relevant policies

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Special consideration Superpowers failing you? TIM MATTHEWS and AL CAMERON still think you’re special. SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: A policy to help you in your studies The University’s exact statement on special consideration is that “assessment practices are designed to ensure that conditions are fair to all students”. Therefore, special consideration is available to students who experience illness or misadventure immediately before or during an exam or assessment. We’re going to say it now – there is NO guarantee that you will be granted special consideration. This is only a basic guide to special consideration as each faculty have their own policy. So make sure you are familiar with the one that is relevant to you. You must apply for special consideration within 5 working days of the exam or assessment deadline. You fill out the special consideration form and give it to the relevant person in the faculty. Your application must include proof of your situation; eg something from your doctor, a police report or a statutory declaration by yourself. In the rare occasion where your supporting documentation cannot be obtained within 5 working days, hand in your application on time with an explanation about the supporting documentation and an estimation of when it will be available. The outcome of a successful exam special consideration application may vary. Some faculties offer successful applicants a supplementary exam; others look at adjusting the previous exam (if you sat it). It is a good idea to know what your faculty may do, but not essential. The important part is getting the application in within 5 working days.

for special arrangements include: if you sustain an injury which prevents you from writing or if you have a sporting, cultural or political commitments. Remember that any application MUST have supporting documentation to prove the veracity of your claim. Special arrangements for assessments or exams usually result in one of the following outcomes:

• Alternative dates for submission of assessments (extension)

• Provision of alternative assessment tasks • Alternative examination times/arrangements If you’re unsure about whether you’re eligible for special arrangements, come down and see the SRC caseworkers – they are the most qualified people to deal with Uni admin.

Long Term Illness or Disability Any ongoing disability, illness or health problem (including things like depression and severe anxiety as well as temporary incapacity, (i.e. a broken arm) may allow you to register with Disability Services. This registration will mean that a Disability Services Officer can help assess what needs to be put in place to ensure that you can study on an equal playing field. Possible arrangements may include specialised help such as computer software, extra time in exams, sitting in a smaller exam room, having breaks during exams, longer due dates for assignments, access to resting rooms on campus. Contact Disability Services at 8627 8422.

Special Arrangements Special arrangements are available for students who are unable to meet assessment requirements or attend examinations. Applications for special arrangements have to be lodged BEFORE the date of the assessment or exam – how long before varies from department to department, but naturally a good rule is to have your application in as early as possible. Some situations that you may qualify you

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Your Rights at Work Because even superheroes need a lunch break! Students are often desperate for work and have very little power over the type of work they fall into. With rent looming, you may be quite averse to rocking the boat, and may choose to stay quiet and watch your rights thrown away. Whatever your situation, it is important to know your rights. Most importantly, you must recognize that you are never alone.

Your rights at work Your minimum rights and conditions at work may be set by a legal document like a federal or state award, a collective agreement, or an individual transitional employment agreement. Ask your employer which one will apply to you and your job. If an agreement or an award does not apply, federal laws apply. The current federal minimum wage is $15 per hour for part time or full time employees and $18 for casual employees. Part – time and full time employees are entitled to the same rights, including annual leave and sick leave. Casual employees do not enjoy these rights, but have a higher minimum wage for compensation.

When you get screwed Employers often feel that they can exploit students much more easily than full time workers. Don’t’ take this treatment. The follwing are some common practices you may encounter as a student.

• Unpaid work trials • Being paid ‘off the books’ • Having money taken out of your pay to cover customers who have left without paying;

• Being sent home from work early – you should start and finish your shift at the rostered time no matter how busy or quite it is.

If you feel like any of these things are happening to you, you should contact the fair work ombudsman on 1300 724 200 for assistance. Furthermore, you should join your union and notify them of them of the situation. Talk to your colleagues outside of work hours about joining as well.

It’s not just superheroes that face dangers in their workplace

Joining Your Union Union’s are there to look out for you, and will always have your interests at hand. Unions will not contact your employer unless they have express permission from you. To find the union relevant to your job, go to

What to do if your getting paid ‘off the books.’ Being paid of the books is common among students, as many unscrupulous employers often prey on students’ inexperience and desperate situations. This is where your employer does not report your employment to the ATO and does not deduct tax. It is particularly widespread in the hospitality and construction industries. It is illegal, and should be reported immediately. If you are currently employed off the books, you are not the one at fault. It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that your pay is recorded and deducted for tax. Report your employer to the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australia Taxation Office. You may choose to remain anonymous. If you are uncomfortable or feel quite powerless making the complaint, contact your union, and they will make it for you.


INCOME SUPPORT Centrelink - linking all of your centres Payment Types

Dependent versus Independent

Youth Allowance – Full time students under 25 years old.


Austudy - Full-time students 25 or older. Abstudy – replaces Youth Allowance and Austudy for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students.

Being “independent” for Centrelink means your parents’ income is not assessed in determining your eligibility. If you are 22 years or over you are automatically independent. Other ways to be independent include:

Disability Support Pension – must satisfy strict assessment by Centrelink on disability. Do not need to be a student.

• “unreasonable to live at home” due to extreme

Newstart – Part time student (less than 20 hours study per week) who is looking for full time work.

• relationship – you are married or in a marriage

How To Apply Lodge an intention to claim with Centrelink: call 132 490, visit an office or go to their website ( You’ll have 14 days to get together all of your paperwork to be able to receive a back payment to this first day. Some delays may apply due to money saved, assets or date of arrival in Australia.

circumstances, including physical, emotional or sexual violence, or

like relationship for more than 12 months (same or different sex couples)

Check with the SRC’s Centrelink Independence leaflet for some less common ways.

How To Qualify You qualify if you satisfy ALL of the following conditions:

• “Australian resident” for two years or more and in Australia when you claim; and

• Studying an “Approved Course” (most undergraduate courses at Uni); and

• Have not previously “completed” a Doctorate;


• Studying “full-time” – usually a minimum of

If you cannot prove your “independence”, you will be treated as “dependent”, even if you are not getting any support from your parent/s. Parental income over $46,355 per year may start to reduce your Youth Allowance. Parental income over $150,000 per year may render you ineligible. For a more detailed look at your specific situation check the SRC How Parental Income Affects Youth Allowance leaflet.

0.375 HECS load

• (18 credit points) per semester (there are some exceptions); and

• Making “satisfactory progress” (you have

not exceeded the minimum time it takes to complete your current course, plus one semester). Exemptions exist.


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The SRC has a series of leaflets available on their website explaining more aspects of Centrelink payments including Parent Income Tests, Personal Income Tests, Partner Income Tests and Assets Tests.

Important Hint Keep a copy of everything that you send to Centrelink. Keep a diary of telephone conversations including the person you spoke to and the date and time. Sometimes they’ll be able to give you a receipt number too. Hang on to this information until after you’ve graduated.

Contact SRC Help If you have any questions about qualifying for Youth Allowance or Austudy or have problems with Centrelink, see the caseworkers at the SRC who can provide you with confidential assistance and advice. Level 1 Wentworth Building Email: Phone: 9660 5222




Jane Foss


DRUG USE Don’t Fall into a Vat of Chemicals A drug can be both a poison and a cure. The SRC does not encourage any illicit drug use. However, if you do plan on experimenting you should know how to stay safe and minimise harm. Repeated long term use of use of any substance can cause permanent harm.

Looking after yourself and others

up with serious long – term damage. Be especially careful if you’re on prescription medicine like antidepressants, as they tend not to like alcohol. Never hesitate to call an ambulance if you feel that either yours or someone else’s wellbeing is at risk. Hospitals will not notify the police on account of simple possession.

Drugs alter your brain and your body, meaning you are less able to make good judgments. If you’ve decided to have a big night, planning ahead is a good idea. Make sure you’re in the company of people you trust. Know how you’re going to get home, and ensure that you have no important decisions that you need to make over the next couple of days. Try to eat well and drink plenty of water well beforehand. Drugs like Ecstasy suppress your thirst while giving you the energy to dance all night. This can be a lethal combination. If a person is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, their judgment is cloudy and they aren’t able to clearly consent to sexual activity. If you believe someone to be under the influence of drugs or alchohol, you should leave it even if it appears that they have given consent. You can protect yourself further by making sure you tell your friends and family where you’re going. If you are leaving a party to go to someone’s private home, tell a friend and give them the address.

Decision making Depressents such as alcohol, cannabis and ketamine have a range of relaxing effects. Even when not using seriously debilitating depressants like ketamine, you are likely to be physically and mentally slower and more vulnerable. Just because you are friendlier than a puppy, doesn’t mean the world is too. So have your friends watch out for you. Stimulants such ecstasy, speed, cocaine and ritalin create a variety of feelings. Your heart rate will increase as will the speed with which you decide the stranger next to you is the most beautiful person you have ever met. As a general rule, mixing drugs can be very dangerous. At best you will vomit and at worst you will end

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What’s your poison?

Study Drugs Drug use is a persistent feature of some students’ study habits. Exams and essay deadlines create situations where normal patterns of wake and sleep are counterproductive. Stimulants, whether mild like coffee or heavy like amphetamines, delay sleep. Depending on dosage, amphetamines such pseudoephrine and dexamphetamine can often make it more difficult to work well. Remember that interfering with your sleep cylces for a long period poses serious health risks.

Further information NSW Alchohol and Drug Information Service (02) 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599

NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) (02) 8354 7300 or 1800 644 413

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MENTAL HEALTH Coming to university opens up a world of freedom and possibility for many. But the transition from high school can also be really stressful. Suddenly, the structure given to your life by 9 am to 3 pm classes ceases to exist. Your friends have scattered to the four corners of the earth and many of us must learn how to juggle employment with a demanding study schedule and a newly liberated social life. It’s hardly surprising then that as many as 1 in 3 students at university experience some sort of mental illness during their study. The major ones are depression and anxiety, or some combination thereof, but there are plenty of other disorders and they can develop in any number of ways. It’s important to monitor your moods and engage in activities that keep you happy and relaxed. It’s easy to feel lonely and isolated when you first get to university. Joining some of the clubs, societies and collectives available at university is a good way to meet people and keep active. You could also form a study group or meet people in your tutorials to make friends and cover course content at the same time.

dealing with Assessments Assessments can also be a little daunting when you first get stated. Most lecturers and tutors are more than happy to answer your questions either in person or by email. Don’t feel anxious about contacting them, most are lovely and it’s what they’re being paid for. Similarly, major essays (which all mysteriously seem to be due at the same time) and the exam period can unnerve even the most seasoned student. Try to take things one at a time and prepare in advance. If things are getting too much for you or you’re failing a course, there are many services available to you right here on campus. The SRC can help you with academic issues and the University Counseling Service is located in the Jane Foss Russell Building. The service provides free clinical psychologists who can help you in gaining special consideration.

Treatment It goes without saying that experiencing and being diagnosed with a mental illness can be a pretty scary experience. It’s important to remember that most conditions can be treated or effectively managed. As with other illnesses, it’s best to catch them early, so if you’re feeling particularly out of sorts please see a doctor or a counselor. If it’s nothing then there’s no harm done.

Sydney University Counselling service Location: Level 5 of the Wentworth Building Phone: 8627 8433 Don’t let it come to this


SSAF Tim Matthews explains the Student Services and Ammenities Fee What is the SSAF? Last year, the federal government passed the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities Act or ‘SSAF’), which allows Universities to collect a fee to be contributed to, as the name suggests, student services. But that isn’t where our story starts. Our story starts in the heady days of 2005 – clubs and societies were plentiful, the SRC had a multitude of well funded campaigns, the beer was cheap, and student organisations strong. This was soon to change. The Howard Government passed a law prohibiting student organisations and universities from charging any fees that were not academic in nature.

able to defer the payment with a SA-HELP loan. These loans work the same way as a HECS-HELP loan – you get an interest free chunk of cash from the federal government, and you pay it back in installments once your wage reaches a certain threshold.

Is this just a return to Compulsory Student Unionism (CSU)? No. Not entirely. Principally, the difference is that this fee is collected by the University, not your student organisations. SO, there is no guarantee that we, or our friends in your other hardworking student organisations will see a cent of it.

On many campuses – such as at the University of Newcastle or the University of Wollongong – this meant the end of student organisations. Here, the University agreed to fund our organisations (albeit at a lesser rate than previously) out of the general budget of the University. The SRC, USU, SUPRA and SUSF all underwent significant changes to cope with the loss of revenue. Services decreased. There was less beer. This is bad. That’s why this law was passed last year. And this is why it is so politically contentious.

Moreover, if you are a student with a political opposition to one or more of your student organisations, SSAF doesn’t actually compel you to be a member of those organisations any more than you were last year. So quit your bitching.

Where is my money going? Great question, hypothetical question asking person. I haven’t got a clue. SSAFMan to the rescue

How much do I have to pay? The SSAF Bill allows universities to charge up to $263 – which is what you will be paying at USyd. HOWEVER, you don’t have to pay it right away. You would have heard from the University that you are


The SRC, USU and other student organisations are currently in negotiations with the University as to where your money will be spent. They are refusing to agree to any amount until the University budget is finalised in March. So, your guess is as good as ours. This is a problem.

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Where should it be going? Student organisations desperately need more money to provide the valuable services that they do. Counselling services, casework services, legal services, clubs and societies, entertainment and social events and free beer all require the money that the SSAF represents. However, even if you are an anti-social studyholic who has never had any problems with the University, the law or your health and who doesn’t ever drink alcohol – you should STILL care about the allocation of this money. The SSAF is students’ money. It should rightly be spent on services and amenities that students believe to be important. This means that it should go to democratically elected student organisations. Students are best placed to decide what services are vital around campus – BECAUSE WE USE THE FUCKING SERVICES IN THE FIRST PLACE! /rant.

A good portion of the money from the Student Services and Ammentities Fee may go into captial upgrades, . . . like a brand new suite for Spence

What can I do? Hit up your education action group at Oweek, and get involved in our campaigns.


CAMPUS SAFETY CLEANING UP GOTHAM’S STREETS WITH YOUR SRC If you go on to the Universities page on safety around campus (which we suggest that you do), it instructs that, in order that you remain safe around campus, you should “Walk tall, be proud to be alive and don’t look scared.” What great life advice, USyd – were you trying to write the end of an American football drama movie, or safety advice? Perhaps we’ll never know. BUT, here are the SRC’s safety tips around campus. We all know that our campus isn’t in the safest of areas, so here are some of the SRC’s tips to keep you safe:

Shuttle Service If you are heading to the station at night, the University runs a free shuttle bus service. The bus runs from 4:30pm until 10:00pm every night during the week from a variety of locations. Information on the service, including when it runs and where you can get on and off can be found at au/facilities/security/bus.shtml.

Police If you are in serious danger, call 000. That one is a no brainer. Our local police station is the Newtown Police Station. They can be contacted at 9550 8199, or they can be found giving students a fine on city road.

The Streets of Gotham can be dark and dangerous. Know how to get in touch with campus security

Campus Security We have it on good authority that campus security do things other than give us parking fines around exam time (thanks guys, no really). They are frequently patrolling around campus, including after hours. Also, they have a free escort service – as in to your car, college or transport – after hours or between classes if you feel unsafe. It is pretty handy to keep their number around. If you feel unsafe, or need the assistance of campus security, their number is 9351 3333.


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SEXUAL HEALTH Be a superhero and get the laTex on Safe Sex Safe sex is any sex act that prevents semen, vaginal fluid and blood passing from one person to another. The Sexually Transmitted Diseases HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Cystitis, Clamydia, Gonhorea, Genital Warts and Herpes are all spread by direct contact with bodily fluid. While these diseases come in various shades of nasty, all are nasty.

Barrier methods

is inserted by a doctor and works for 3 weeks. You remove it for your period then insert a new one each month.

Morning After Pill Used as an emergency contraception, available over the counter at most pharmacies, and costing around $30. Don’t be bullied by a pharmacist who doesn’t want to sell emergency contraception. Use within 72 hours of unprotected sex, or if contraception is used imperfectly.

Condoms/diaphragms/cervical cap The diaphragm and cervical cap are placed inside the cervix by a doctor and work as a contraceptive to prevent some STIs. However, CONDOMS are THE ONLY WAY to best prevent against both pregnancy and transmission of STDs. When used correctly, they are almost 100% effective. Correct use includes these steps:

• use throughout sex, i.e. put on the condoms as soon as erection occurs and before any vaginal, anal or oral contact with the penis

• a new condom for each act of vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse

If a partner says they don’t like the feel of them, then maybe they should consider how they’d like the feel of herpes, or the feel of paying for unexpected parenthood. There are free condoms available at the SRC front desk, and an ambitious number in SRC show bags.

The Pill The pill offers no protection against sexually transmitted infection, but will prevent pregnancy most of the time – to be sure, use a condom as well. The pill is sometimes prescribed for other health problems. You can visit a doctor to get a script for the pill.

Contraception Ring/Hormone Patch These work by releasing estrogen and progestin, the hormones used in most birth control pills. They prevent pregnancy and block some STIs. The ring

Use Protection

Pap Test For women, it’s recommended you get a pap smear within six months of becoming sexually active, or at eighteen. If you repeat every two years, you can be confident you’ll detect any cervical cancer before it’s a problem. If you’re between 18 and 26 there’s also the Cervical Cancer vaccine Gardsil.

Consensual Sex Consensual Sex works by clearly communicating what you do and don’t want from a sex partner and respecting what they want or don’t want from a sex partner. The definition of consent can become blurred when drugs and alcohol are involved, but you must NEVER assume that because you have been kissing someone or engaging in heavy petting, you are entitled to further sexual activity. Learning to talk about what you do and don’t like prevents abuse, and makes for safer sex.


International Pages at the SRC for Mandarin and Cantonese, and can arrange a translator for a variety of languages. If you have trouble with English, don’t worry. Help is at hand.

Contents ISSU


Know your VISA




The SRC is also taking part in the fair fares for student campaigns. As international students, you pay over triple the tuition fees of domestic students. With the added burden of Sydney’s obscene accommodation costs, you deserve to be given a concession for public transport. The National Union of students

Clubs and Societies 46 Contacts

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Hey there. Welcome to the University of Sydney and to the City of Sydney. At the University of Sydney, you will be in the company of over 10,000 students who are studying from abroad. You bring the experiences and the diversity that enrich the student experience.

is currently collecting signatures to lobby the government for a national concession card that will include concession for international students. Sign the petition by visiting petitions/a-national-student-concession-card.html.

As international students, you are entitled to the same rights in class as domestic students. You have the right to receive special consideration for misadventure and to appeal your marks. The SRC is there to ensure that your rights are met. We provide caseworkers that can speak on your behalf and aide you in dealing with university administration. Caseworkers will also help you in any issues you have with your landlord. We have a translator available

If you want to find our more, please contact our international student officers on international. Our officers run campaigns to better you situation and make sure that you get a fair deal in your education. Yours, The handbook editors

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ISSU The International Student Support Unit (ISSU) aims to help international students develop successful strategies for coping with the challenges of living and studying in an unfamiliar culture. They also help students achieve success in their studies and to make the experience of being an international student rewarding and enjoyable. The ISSU provides support to International students through the provision of information, activities, advice and counseling. The service is open to all full degree and study abroad/exchange students and their families or partners. The counselors of ISSU have experience in helping people cope with many issues including cross-cultural concerns.

Individual Counselling

• Walk-in appointment (main campus) are available for students who have urgent issues which cannot wait for a booked appointment. These appointments are available Monday to Friday from 2pm to 3pm and last around 20 minutes. You do not need to make an appointment as they are offered on a first come, first served basis.

Contacts Main campus: To make an appointment please phone 86278437 or email: Cumberland campus: To make an appointment please phone 9351 9638 or email:

The ISSU provides free, confidential counseling to International students and their families. This support service can assist you to work through personal or academic concerns which may arise during your time at the University of Sydney. The ISSU has qualified counselors who:

• Are experienced in dealing with particular crosscultural issues;

• Have a broad knowledge of the academic system; • Understand the social and emotional issues that you may go throug

Helping International Students

• Can provide information about community and government services and facilities

How do you make an appointment? There are two types of appointments available:

• Booked appointment (main campus and

Cumberland campus) - scheduled 50 minute counselling sessions, available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.


KNOW YOUR VISA DIAC can be supervillains. know your stuff! As an international student, you will have a visa for the duration of your program of study. A student visa allows ‘multiple entries,’ meaning that you may leave and enter Australia as many times as you wish without having to obtain a new visa each time.

Rule 2: When in Doubt, Ask!

Rules to Avoid Deportation

Rule 3: Assume DIAC Knows All

By the time you have this handbook, you have already paid for your student visa that allows you to remain in Australia to study. As an international student, you must abide by certain rules set by the government, or they have the power to cancel your visa.

University of Sydney has a legal obligation to report you to the government if you fail to meet your degree requirements. Furthermore, do not think you can get away with working more than 20 hours per week when uni is in session. The DIAC make visits to various workplaces to ensure international students are not breaching their work limitation condition.

The specific government body that deals with visas, residency and citizenship is the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. From this point forward, we will refer to them as ‘DIAC’ for simplicity. Here are some basic rules to avoid immediate deportation:

If you are not sure of anything, you should doublecheck with the DIAC. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Rule 1: Meet Your Visa Conditions If you have a look in the visa label in your passport it has a list of conditions that you must meet while studying in Australia. Each condition listed has a 4-digit number (for example, 8105 for work limitations), and you can look up the details of that condition on this website: www. Some of the most common conditions include:

• Must meet course requirements: You must

remain enrolled in a registered course, and you must achieve satisfactory attendance in your course and course progress for each semester;

• Work limitation: For certain categories of visas

granted on or after 26 April 2008, you will have permission to work no more than 20 hours per week while your course is in session (unlimited during holidays).

• Health cover: You must maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Visa regulations change frequently, and it is your responsibility to keep up with those changes and understand your visa conditions. The government has no sympathy.

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Assume that DIAC knows EVERYTHING that is going on in gotham city.

Rule 4: Don’t Fail. Don’t Panic. If you are an international student, failing your University degree is a bad idea all around – your visa will most likely be cancelled and you are deported without having achieved any academic credit while staying in Australia. But in some cases, you may have a fair explanation or there has been some form of mistake. If you recieve a notice from the DIAC about any unsatisfactory progress, make sure you follow the instructions contained in the letter and visit the DIAC office by the date specified. The SRC has caseworkers who can help you in these situations – don’t panic, just give us a call on 9660 5222.

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Permanent Residency Applying for permanent residency is more complicated than student visas. There are a lot more documents involved and the regulations are updated quite often. Depending on your area of study, there are different pathways to gaining permanent residency. The best place to start is to read through the various visa options available on the DIAC website. Most required forms can be downloaded from this website. Before lodging an application for permanent residency, you usually have to obtain a set of documents such as Health Examination report from Health Services Australia, IELTS scores, police clearance certificate, skills assessment and many more. Gathering paperwork can become very confusing and it is often very hard to determine exactly which visa is right for you. To make your life easier, you may want to consult a Registered Migration Agent to discuss your options – THERE’S ONE ON CAMPUS! Call the SRC – 9660 5222. You do not have to use a migration agent to lodge your application. If you do choose to use one, make sure that they are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. You can find more information about migration agents on the DIAC website by visiting migration-agents/.

Contact DIAC You may contact the DIAC by calling 131 881 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm). The DIAC homepage is www.

STOP! THE SRC CAN HELP YOU! The SRC has a LOT of services that can assist you in dealing with visa issues. Just some of these include: SRC Caseworkers can help you with University problems. Are you having difficulties in class? Have you been graded unfairly in an assessment? Do you feel that your final marks are wrong? WE CAN HELP. The Student Legal Service can help you with visa related legal issues. AND, if they don’t know the answer, they know people who will help you out cheaply. The SRC International Student Officers can hook you up with other students who may be, or may have been, in a similar problem to you. They also run campaigns to get a fair deal for international students.

SO CONTACT US! 9660 5222

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Accomodation Hopefully by the time you’ve recieved this orientation handbook, you’ll have already found a place to live. If not, below is a breif guid to what is available in Sydney. The Accomodation Office at USYD can provide general advice on student accomodation, as can the ISSU.

International House The International House is one of the many residential colleges on campus at USyd. It is dedicated to providing accomodation services primarily for international students, as its name would suggest. With residents from all over the world, including Australia, the International House is truly cross cultural.

Residential Colleges Apart from International House, there are a number of residential colleges for a small number of lucky individuals. Colleges function independently from the university, so the application process is seperate. Meals are provided and college students have the luxury of waking up about five minutes before class. If you are okay with the cost ($350 or more per week) and all the conditions that come with living in college, it may be worthwile exploring the opportunity.

Sydney University Village SUV is a residential facility that opened in 2003 and is located near the main campus on the corner of Missenden Rd, Carrilon Ave and Campbell St in Newtown. It provides a range of accomodations options such as single-bedroom studios and multibedroom apartments. All accomodation is fully furnished with kitchens and bathrooms provided. All registered students at the University of Sydney are eligible to apply for a place at SUV. For further information, visit

Student Housing The University also provides student housing that is managed by University staff. On the main campus, students from both overseas and interstate may apply to live in Darlington House or University Terraces for a cost of under $200 per week. Darlington House consists of 12 units, each of which can accomodate 4 - 5 students of the same gender

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in single study bedrooms. The University Terraces are mildy ancient (over 100 years old) but have been recently refurbished and can usually accomodate 4 - 5 mixed-gender students in single or twin-share bedrooms. University owned student housing also exists on the Camden and Cumberland campuses. For more information, visit au/invest_capital_mgmt/housing.

Off-Campus Although living on campus is rather convenient, placement is also highly competetive given the limited number of available positions. Off Campus accomodation tends to be cheaper than staying in colleges, but the search for the right home (and the right housemates) can take a long time, and the paperwork involved is complicated. Many students choose to share accomodation with other housemates, mainly because sharing is cheaper than living alone. For example, a twobedroom house usually costs around $400 per week (divided between two people), whereas it is quite hard to find a single-bedroom apartment or studio for under $300 per week. Further, living with friends, or even new people, can be a rewarding social experience. You should choose your housemates carefully and make sure they are trustworthy and compatible with your style of living. You can also check out the sharehousing suvival guide provided by the SRC and the Redfern Legal Centre at www.rlc.

Beware Many internatinoal students come to study in Australia for only a short period of time depending on the length of their chosen program. Some calculating landlords take advantage fo this, soliciting fines or unfair charges, as many students tend to put up with unfair treatment if it is for a short time. The SRC caseworkers have a list of blacklisted accomodation providers, so if you have been mistreated or you are concerned, come and speak with us immediately. Our free legal service can also help you with your troubles.

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CLUBS AND SOCIETIES SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A GOOD SIDE-KICK University life is not all about studying, there are more than 200 societies and clubs which form an essential part of your campus life. All Clubs and Societies organise their own activities and events and they focused on politics, culture, the arts, religion, hobbies, departments, faculties and socializing.

Arab Students Association Raises awareness, support and understanding of the Arab world and Arab culture. They aim to provide an outlet for students to experience and celebrate Arab culture in the educational, social, cultural and political realms. Email:

It is an association that acts as a platform where Malaysian students can initiate their social and educational journey in Sydney as well as to promote the Malaysian culture to non-Malaysians at the university. Contact: Andrew Ng. Email:

Australasian Union of Jewish Students AUJS USYD’s mission is to promote Jewish identity and unite Jewish students in Australasia; open to all interested USU members.

Contact: Han Yan Websit:

Circolo universitario Italiano You can also join the University of Sydney Italian Society! They are a non-exclusive society that is passionate about Italian food, film, culture and language.

French society The French Society is not only for speakers of French (all language levels welcome), it is for anyone who is passionate about anything French! Contact: Kay Pengelly Email:

Indonesian students association PPIA is a non-profit organisation aiming to help Indonesian students at the University to cope with the culture shock of a new country and to extend and build a strong bond among Indonesian students studying at USYD. Contact: Gerardu Gerry Yuwono Email:

Contact: Daniel Cohen Email:

Australian Korean association Aims to develop a uni-wide nexus of students and to foster a vibrant campus culture of participation and involvement through our regular social events and helpful study programs

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Organises many exciting and valuable activities, and various sports and cultural interests groups. All welcome!


Association of Malaysian Students


Chinese Students Association

Muslim Students Association The Muslim Students Association (SUMSA) is the official representative body of muslim students at the University of Sydney. Anyone can join SUMSA and take part in their social and cultural activities. Email:

SR C O R I E N TAT I O N h A N d b O O k 2 012

OM; The Hindu Society


The HinduSoc is a community of Hindu’s and nonHindu students involved in learning and sharing this culture, its faith and traditions, by understanding and practicing the messages of our Scriptures, while applying it to their everyday lives.

They organise lots of social events to give you the opportunity to meet international, exchange and Australian students. join us, meet people from different countries and them cultures, make new friends and have a great time together.


Contact: Zareth Lim Email:

Singapore students’ society They organise talks by distinguished business leaders and potential employers throughout the year, as well as a careers forum in Singapore during every summer break as part of the NSSA. Contact: Charmaine Kwee Website:

Spanish society The Spanish Society aims to enhance your knowledge of the Spanish speaking world and facilitate your participation in Sydney-based Hispanic cultural activities. Contact: Fernanda Miranda Email:

Taiwanese students association With hundreds of members and loads of events, TSA is the place to extend your network of friends and enjoy life. So if it is fun you are looking for then do not hesitate to join them!

Vietnamese students association Their past events have included regular nem nuong and Corn barbecues, restaurant outings, exclusive movie screenings, an annual cruise, the Vietnamese Language and Cultural school and HEAPS MORE Contact: Ronald Nguyen: Website:

WASABI-Japanese cultural exchange society Through special events such as karaoke nights, tea ceremonies, calligraphy classes and conversation workshops, they hope to give everybody an opportunity to experience Japanese culture firsthand. Website:

Contact: Hsuan Li. Website:

Tamil society They aim to bring students of Tamil or those who are interested in Tamil culture to a fun and friendly social environment. Contact: Chrisha Karunainathan Email:

Thai students association The society aims to provide an interactive environment by promoting and supporting social, educational, cultural and recreational activities and events that enrich the student experience throughout the year. Email:



OFFICE Bearers’ Es

Phone: 02 9660 5222


Facsimile: 02 9660 4260

Vice President

SRC HELP and Legal Contact

General Secretary

Phone: 02 9660 5222

Education Off cer

Welfare Offcer

SRC HELP on Sattellite Campuses Phone: 0466 169 664

Women’s Offcer

SRC Secondhand Bookshop

Queer Offcer

02 9660 4756

Indigenous Off cer International Off cer Inter-Campus Off cer Environment Off cer Global Solidarity Off cer Ethnic Affairs Off cer Social Justice Off cer

PAGE 4 8

SR C O R I E N TAT I O N h A N d b O O k 2 012

Get your



Don’t pay full price for textbooks... buy them at SRC books.

• • • Search for text books online Call 02 9660 4756 to check availability and reserve a book.

We buy & sell textbooks according to demand You can sell your books on consignment. Please phone us before bringing in your books. We are open to USYD students & the public NEW Location! Level 4, Wentworth Bldg (Next to the International Lounge) Hours: Mondays to Fridays 9am - 4.30pm Phone: (02) 9660 4756 Email:

Students Representative Council University of Sydney

epre r ’ s t n e d u ST

USYD , l i c n u o C sentative


• Centrelink • Academic Appeals • Discontinuing/Withdrawing • Show Cause • Exclusion • Tenancy • Fee Refunds • Harassment & Discrimination • International Students • Plagiarism & misconduct

Free Legal Advice

• Referrals • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity • Employment law • Minor criminal matters/traffic offences/ fines • Victims of violence • Debts

SRC Books - Buy your textbooks cheap! • Buy & sell your textbooks • Search for books online SRC website Wentworth Level 4 (next to the International Lounge)

Emergency Loans

$50 emergency loans for students in need

Student Publications

• Honi Soit weekly newspaper • International Students Handbook • Orientation Handbook • Counter Course Handbook • Growing Strong - Women’s Handbook

Student Rights & Representation

SRC Representatives are directly elected by students each year to stand up for students’ rights on campus and in the wider community.

Find the SRC at...

The SRC’s operational costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney.

Level 1 Wentworth Building (under City Rd footbridge) Ph: 02 9660 5222 If you are at another campus, email:



n Sta


Student Central wentworth building

SRC Orientation Handbook 2012  

Sydney University Students guide to the Students Representative Council.

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