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Not The University of Sydney The no-bullshit guide

Students’ Representative Council


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Not The University of Sydney The no-bullshit guide

Students’ Representative Council


Attributions

Every staff member at the SRC, you’re beautiful and we love you more than words could write; every single contributor, you’re all beautiful and we love you even more than your words could write (and, trust us, they’re Very Good Words); the good people of UberEats, don’t let Deliveroo get you down; meat boxes, and the University Brothers in the Wentworth building; all puppies everywhere; Bernie Sanders; Eden, for copy-editing and; you, for reading this far. You’re amazing. Let me know you actually read it this far (0488 629 555), you’ll get a free* one-time only** and exclusive*** prize.

No thanks to Tories; tree Tories; the haterz; Ali Baba and its suppliers; Brexit; SUSF; defamation lawsuits; Indesign; the Restructure; Stephen Garton; Michael Spence; in fact, all of the University management; Malcolm Turnbull; Donald Trump; Nickleback; AskJeeves; statutory declarations; the colleges; canceling my degree midway through; pro-lifers; the need for vitamin D; Specsavers; climate change; sweat; bad coffee; heroin; UberEats making me pay a $5 delivery fee; the patriarchy; volunteerism, and; ibises. Death to all ibises.

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Not The University of Sydney

Thanks to

Students’ Representative Council

Spence’s welcome and ‘Why study here?’ (pgs. 2–4) – Adam Chalmers A-Z of Uni (pg. 5) – Aidy Magro Editorial (pg. 5), Campus map (pg. 6–7) – Daniel Ergas Student accommodation (pg. 8) – Roy Elder How to: Centrelink (pg. 8) – SRC caseworkers (bless) Student life (pg. 9) – Bella Pytka Surviving University administration (pg. 10) – Courtney Thompson LGBTQIA 101 (pg. 14) – Queer Collective OBs, Andrea Zephyr, Connor Parissis and Will Edwards Sustainability on and off campus (pg. 15) – Maushmi Powar, Seth Ben Dias, Jodie Pall and Andy Mason Why students need to fight (pg. 16) – April Holcombe Restructure infographic (pg. 17) – Kim Murphy Don’t discount a protest (pg. 18) - April Holcombe An early radical history of our University (pg. 19) - Lily Campbell Saving our Sydney College of the Arts (pg. 20) - Thandi Bethune Students’ rights on and off campus (pg. 20) - Caitie McMenamin Our curriculum is a (white) washing machine (pg. 21) - Sophia Chung, Maddy Ward, Radha Wahyuwidayat Why students must continue to support Aboriginal communities (pg. 22) - Shayma Taweel, Andy Mason and Jessica Syed Comprehensive High School Network (pg. 23) - Jenna Schroder When you’re the first (pg. 23) - Shayma Taweel Arts and Social Science (pgs. 26–29) - Finn Keogh, Aidy Magro, Caitie McMenamin Law (pg. 30) - Patrick Ryan Agriculture and Environment (pg. 31) - Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes Architecture Design and Planning (pg. 32) - Roy Elder Pharmacy (pg. 33), Dentistry (p. 34), Nursing and Midwifery (pg. 50), Veterinary Science (pg. 51), Health Sciences (pg. 52), The Con (pg. 53) - Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes Commerce (pgs. 35–37), Engineering and Information Techonology (pgs. 38–42) - Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes and Bella Pykta Science (pgs. 43–49) – Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes and Jake Williams How to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault (pg. 54) – Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia

* not free ** as many times as you like *** for anyone

[Insert Name Here]

You want a list of the best people ever? You’ve found it. Thank you to all our authors, you’re collectively and individually the best.


Students’ Representative Council Page 1

Spence’s ‘welcome’...........................................2 Editorial....................................................5 Student accommodation...................................8 How to: Centrelink.............................................8 Student life.......................................................9 Surviving University administration....................10 Collectives.............................................12 LGBTQIA 101.....................................................14 Sustainability on and off campus......................15 Education Action Group...................................16 Saving our Sydney College of the Arts..........20 Students’ rights on and off campus..............20 Our curriculum is a (white)washing machine......21 Why students must continue to support Aboriginal communities...................................................22 Comprehensive High School Network.............23 When you’re the first........................................23 Arts and Social Science..................................26 Law...............................................................30 Agriculture and Environment..........................31 Architecture, Design and Planning.....................32 Pharmacy.....................................................33 Dentistry.....................................................34 Commerce............................................35 Engineering and Information Technology...........39 Science....................................................43 Nursing and Midwifery.....................................50 Veterinary Science..........................................51 Health Sciences...............................................52 The Con..........................................................53 How to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault..54


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Not The University of Sydney The no-bullshit guide


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Students’ Representative Council


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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Why study here? The University is not just about teaching. It’s about us making bank, too. We make so much money. We’re rolling in money. We make Gina Rinehart look like a pauper. Sad!

-- We funnel your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) into our sports union, where it will be directly spent on nonstudents who happen to be affiliated with our gyms* -- We attract and then trap international students with aggressive marketing campaigns and Kafkaesque university bureaucracy** -- We refuse to grant students extensions on their work when they are sexually assaulted or suffering from terminal illnesses*** -- We fire large numbers of staff (bye bye tenure! So long, academic freedom!) -- We cancel your degree midway through your studies, just like we tried to do with the Bachelor of Visual Arts last year (we learnt a lot from that experience and promise to be successful next time) -- We close down your campus midway through your studies as we are trying to do with the Sydney College of the Arts -- We end your scholarship midway through your studies (for example, if you are an international student)****

* Sydney University Sports and Fitness received 30% of your SSAF fee last year. (That’s $4.6 million.) Try and vote in their elections... the ones you fund. Just try. ** Katfkaesque (adjective) – really fucking difficult and confusing, like being trapped in the body of a cockroach. *** This actually happened. See honisoit.com/2016/07/inhumanenew-special-consideration-system-rejects-students-sufferingcancer-and-bereavement/. **** This also actually happened. Very evil. See honisoit. com/2016/08/international-students-left-in-dark-as-sydney-unicancels-scholarships-without-warning/.


Strap in, reader – this isn’t your nan’s O-Week handbook. As you may have already guessed this is not a guide officially produced by the University. We’re from the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), and this is our no-bullshit guide on how to survive and succeed at University. Unlike the Uni’s guide, ours is actually useful. We’re also going to take the piss while we do it. Most of the images – particularly the bland, uninspiring and insipid ones – come from the University’s own guide. All of the formatting is stolen, too. We’re lucky (and grateful) that they’ve made themselves so easy to mock.

Students’ Representative Council

Editorial

We aren’t so grateful, however, that our University makes this necessary. While this guide is (hopefully!) funny, so much of what the University’s administration does is anything but. From their shameless exploitation of international students, to their treatment of students at Sydney College of the Arts to their vocal activism for fee deregulation, the University administration is not your friend. It doesn’t need to be this way. It’s only a rather recent thing. Thanks to the replacement of the University Senate’s academic staff and student representatives with corporate hacks – and the elevation of bureaucrats who work in the University admin for life, without ever teaching students – our University has lost touch with those who make it what it is. That’s you. If you take one thing from this Handbook, let it be this. Don’t just come here to study. Get involved in the bits of the University that the University doesn’t value. Join one of the SRC’s collectives (on pg. 12-13), come with your mates fighting for our education (on pg. 16), and, above all, don’t give up on building a better Uni. We’ll get there.

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arrive early on your first day. A isIt isforeasy to get lost at USyd, it’s so big! Blackboard, the online portal B isforforcourse materials and assignments! for carry a water bottle. You’ll need it! C isThere are many bubbles around campus. don’t buy textbooks until after D isyourforfirst week. You may not need them! for eventually you’ll get the swing of E isthings. Trust us. We believe in you! for free legal service. Evil landlord? F isScummy boss? The SRC can help! for get cheap coffee. Your USU G isAccess card gets you a 10% discount! Soit, the student newspaper H isatforUSyd.HoniRead it! Contribute to it! is no ‘I’ in team! You will I ishaveforathere group assignment. Don’t be shit. join clubs at O-Week. You can J isgetforawesome perks – like friends! for keep it cheap. SRC’s second-hand K isbookshop is cheaper than the Co-Op. for the Lost on Campus app. L isIt will help you locate all your rooms! for make a change! Join SRC M iscollectives and be an activist. for no plagiarism: everything goes N isthrough ‘Turnitin’, and it’ll catch you. is really cool: get a feel O isforforUniO-Week life, and take all the free stuff. for picking subjects: check out your P isfaculty’s textbook (it’ll help). Queer (and LGBTQI+). Check out Q istheforQueer Space in the Holme building. remove a unit before the census R isdatefor(31/3): you won’t be charged! for special consideration and simple S isextensions: check out this on pg. 10. for tutorials: these are mandatory! T isIf you miss one, email your tutor. for University of Sydney management U isis shit... if in doubt, read this handbook. recordings: these V iswillforsavevideoyourlecture life (ask your lecturer). for where can help be found? W isCheck out all you need on this on pg. 10. Xerox! (Hear me out.) Check out X istheforlibrary for all your printing needs. is for yum. Check out the best Y food options around at pg. 9. for don’t be a zebra. Be you. Z isThat’s what Uni is all about.

Your eds.


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Not The University of Sydney The no-bullshit guide


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Students’ Representative Council


Student accommodation The University of Sydney offers few affordable options for student accommodation. (Surprise.) There’s Stucco, a student-run cooperative, flatmates.com.au, and the University portal (at accommodationservice. sydney.edu.au). Read about Stucco below!

The no-bullshit guide

Do you need an affordable public transport and an even shorter place to stay? Don’t be priced stroll to shops and bars on King out of an education because Street. Stucco is an LGBTQI+ friendly of accommodation expenses! safe space which prides itself on The University of Sydney, in being democratically run. At Stucco, partnership with Housing NSW, the residents act as landlords, provides Stucco, a low-cost holding regular meetings discussing shared living co-operative. We all things relating to the Co-Op. All STUCCO residents, looking cute,. are a sustainable community living residents are expected to regularly experience for students at USYD attend Co-Op meetings which discuss and we offer long-term and temp accommodation. news, upcoming events, and projects being undertaken by the Co-Op. Located close to the main Camperdown campus, Stucco provides accommodation for $92 a week for domestic To find out more about the nitty-gritty and to apply, visit students. Emergency housing is also available. Situated stucco.org.au or on Facebook go to /stuccohousingcoop in Newtown, Stucco is an easy 10 minute walk to campus, (we’re cute).

How to: Centrelink Applying for Centrelink payments Full-time students twenty-five years of age or older should apply for Austudy. Under twenty-five should apply for Youth Allowance.

Not The University of Sydney

You will stay on this payment even after you turn twentyfive. Lodge an intention to claim with the Centrelink call centre (132 490) – bear in mind that the average waittime is over 90 minutes – or the easiest option is to go to the website. If you speak to someone on the phone, ask them for a receipt number for the conversation. Maximum payable on Austudy and Youth Allowance The maximum payment if you live away from the parental home is about $4435 per fortnight, plus rent assistance of at most $130 (which obviously only applies if you’re renting from someone other than your parents). To get Austudy or Youth Allowance you must “qualify” and then be “payable” each fortnight.

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The amount that is payable depends on any income test reductions. Which income test applies will depend on whether you are ‘independent’ or not, or have a partner. 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 courses at the University of Sydney), and; -- Studying “full-time” – usually a minimum of 0.375 HECS load (18 credit points) per semester, and; -- Making “satisfactory progress” (you have not exceeded the minimum time it takes to complete your current course, plus one semester). Dependent or independent, parental income Being “independent” for Centrelink means your parents’ income is not assessed in determining your eligibility. If you are twenty-two years old or over, you are automatically independent. The other main ways to be considered independent are: -- that it is “unreasonable to live at home” due to extreme circumstances, including physical, emotional or sexual violence, or; -- if you are from a very remote community, previous income may also be considered. -- if you are in a marriage, or in a marriage-like relationship. Parental income over $48 837 per year may start to reduce your Youth Allowance. Parental income over $150 000 per year may render you ineligible.


Student life

Saab Weer $7.50 lunch? Who can go wrong with that? They also have a killer Massaman Beef Curry.

go at least once in first semester. Italian Bowl Massively popular in Newtown; most likely due to their cheap prices and huuuuuuge serving sizes.

Thai La Ong 1 & 2 / Newtown Thai 1 & 2/ Cute mural in Newtown, credit to sydneyexpert.com (see their Newtown walking tour, it’s v good) Alice’s Thai Cheap as chips and delicious Thai food, what King St. does best. (For the avoidance of doubt, Thai La Ong 1 is objectively superior to Thai La Ong 2.) Lentil as Anything A Not-for-Profit restaurant serving up wholesome Drinks Vegetarian food, where you pay as much as you feel. Kuletos Two-for-one cocktails during happy hour: Coffee Monday–Saturday, 5:30pm–7:30pm. Toby’s Estate P.S. Get the Red Corvette and a Long Island Iced Tea. Consider yourself a coffee connoisseur? Toby’s Estate is always a safe bet for high quality coffee. Corridor $10 Cocktails during Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday, Café Shenkin 5:00–7:00pm. Not only do they serve great coffee, their IsraeliEuropean menu consistently delivers the goods. Blacksheep They stock local brews and you can play board games. Black Star Pastry Drunk Jenga anyone? Grab a slice of the famous Strawberry-Watermelon cake and thank me later. Treats Gelato Messina Dinner Have a sugar craving? Head to Messina and you won’t Mary’s be disappointed. Take yourself into the world of rock’n’roll and enjoy one of Sydney’s best burgers. Gelato Blue For any Vegans or anyone allergic to dairy, all Gelato Two Wolves Cantina Blue gelato is plant based (and incredibly delicious). A South American style eatery and bar where every sale helps fund global volunteering initiatives. Pie Tin If you are a fruit/dessert pie fan, Pie Tin does killer Marlborough Bar / Miss Peaches dessert pies. Top favourites include the Oreo pie or Want a pub feed and a dance? Head to the Marly. your more traditional Lemon Meringue. Want cocktails? Go upstairs to Miss Peaches. Marly consistently goes off on a Wednesday so you have to

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Cheap eats Dumpling King Always has a fresh lunch deal going, plus you cannot go past their PanFried Dumplings.

Students’ Representative Council

Situated in the hipster heart of Sydney’s inner-city, our humble University is right next door to places you’ll actually enjoy. These places do have a propensity to close early and overcharge you obscenely, so enjoy this guide to where you can eat, drink and enjoy a bespoke chai latte in Newtown.


Surviving university administration Managing your academic life is increasingly more difficult and you need help, but you’ve got no clue where to go for it. To make things a bit easier, we’ve rounded up the terms you should get to know to make your university experience exponentially better. What you will conquer with our advice.

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Special Consideration and Special Arrangements If you experience illness or misadventure on the day, or days leading up to, an assessment or exam, you can apply for Special Consideration (due to ‘illness’ – ie. you’re sick – or ‘misadventure’ – ie. a shit circumstance outside of your control). If you have an ongoing issue that affects your academic performance and/or ability to complete assessments, such a physical disability or mental illness, then you should instead register with Disability Services. A central administration unit handles these requests. To apply for Special Consideration, you will need to use the online Special Consideration form. In your application you’ll be required to also submit Supporting Documentation. If you are applying under the grounds of illness, you’ll need a Professional Practitioners Certificate (PPC) from your doctor. When filling out the PPC, your doctor should include a brief description of what you are unable to do due to your illness, for example, going to university or sitting up for longer than 10 minutes. This description is crucial as it is what helps in assessing your application and thus, eligibility for Special Consideration. You should hear back within four working days. If you had a written assessment or exam, it is likely you’ll receive a supplementary assessment at a later date, or an extension of the original date. Another possibility is that instead of sitting the exam, the weightings of your other assessments for the course will be adjusted. In some cases, the Faculty will give you a Discontinue Not Fail grade and you will have the chance to do the subject over again later. If your application for Special Consideration is rejected, but you believe you have plausible grounds, you should lodge an academic appeal with the relevant administrative unit. You should seek advice from an SRC caseworker (details on the back of the guide). Simple (Informal) Extension If you have a lecturer who isn’t shit, you’re eligible to apply for a Simple Extension. Simple Extensions award

students a small extension – up to five working days – on written assessments for any reason for which you could reason Special Consideration (eg. sickness). These are ‘informal’ extensions agreed to by you and your Unit of Study coordinator – so develop a good relationship with them (and your lecturers and tutors). It’ll come in handy. Discontinuation (DC) Discontinuation allows you to discontinue one or more units of student without receiving an academic penalty, if this is within twelve months of receiving the DC grade. You may be eligible if, throughout the semester, an illness or adverse circumstance has repeatedly affected your ability to complete a course. To apply, go to your Faculty website & download the DC application form. Similar to Special Consideration applications, Supporting Documentation that clearly illustrates your reasons for applying must be submitted. Other than a PPC or a police report, this might be a letter from your doctor, a statutory declaration or other medical records. Academic Appeals Process You can lodge an Academic Appeal if you are dissatisfied with an assessment mark and/or you believe it to be incorrect. Before you lodge an appeal, request to see your examination paper or assessment to see where you lost marks. If you aren’t happy with the outcome, lodge an Academic Appeal to your Faculty. To apply, you must appeal with your course coordinator within fifteen working days of when the result was published. Sydney Student Sydney Student is the online administration system you used to complete your enrolment through each year. You’ll do most Uni admin here. This includes enrolment variations, Special Permission, course transfers, credit applications, suspension and recommencement, discontinuation from your degree, and much more! If you are experiencing difficulties, contact the University Helpline or schedule an appointment with an SRC caseworker (our phone number’s on the cover).


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Students’ Representative Council


Collectives The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) convenes groups of students united around issues and identities – we call them ‘collectives’! They are the best way to get involved in activism on campus, and meet new (and consistently lovely) people. In the next ten pages, we’ll have articles from our collectives and other groups on campus you can join. Below is a crib sheet of our SRC collectives and the contact details for their convenors – contact them and get amongst it! Education Action Group (EAG) We are a group of activists who organise protests, actions and advocacy on campus around education issues. We’ve helped stop Fee Deregulation, save your favourite teachers’ jobs, and keep Simple Extensions. Join us! Come to one of our weekly meetings, and search for ‘Sydney University Education Action Group (EAG) - Organising’ on Facebook.

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Wom*n’s Collective (WoCo) We represent and advocate for women on campus and in the broader community. We are passionate activists fighting for intersectional feminism, and aim to centre the experience of women of diverse sexualities, races, ethnicities, abilities. Come join us, we meet each week in the Wom*n’s Room on Level 1 of Manning House! Like us on Facebook for campaign updates or email us at usydwomenscollective@gmail.com if you’d like any more information.

Disabilities & Carers Collective The Disabilities & Carers collective supports and advocates for the rights of students with disabilities and young carers to ensure that the campus is more accessible and socially inclusive. Please contact us at disabilities.officers@src.usyd.edu.au, we’d love you get involved! Search for ‘Disabilities and Carers Collective USYD’ on Facebook.

Environment Collective (Enviro) The Enviro Collective is an open space for students to gather, discuss and organise events and projects concerning environmental and social justice. The Enviro Collective has a wide scope of ongoing projects including the USyd Community Garden, USyd Food CoOp, Fossil Free USyd (a campaign to get the university to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry). We also support a number of ongoing environmental campaigns in the broader community throughout Sydney and Australia. Meet us at O-Week! Search for ‘USYD Enviro Collective 2017!!’ on Facebook.


You don’t have to be a gender studies major, and you don’t need to be out either. We collectively work to make individual and structural improvements so that our community is better placed to achieving their goals during and post studies. We have regular get-togethers like reading groups, social events, picnics, political organising spaces and parties. Search ‘USyd Queer’ on Facebook or twitter, and email queer.officers@src.usyd.edu.au to get in touch.

Students’ Representative Council

Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR) The Autonomous Collective Against Racism is a collective for students who identify as a person of colour, Indigenous, or coming from an ethnocultural minority background. ACAR is proactive, positive, and inclusive space on campus for students to share their experience with race, racism, white supremacy and other intersecting issues. Additionally, ACAR raises awareness about racism, white supremacy and its manifestations on and off campus through a variety of projects and initiatives. Please join our Facebook group, ‘Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR)’. We also have meetings and organise events; we’d love to see you there.

Queer Collective Want to meet other gay, lesbian and bisexual people? Are you transgender, or questioning your gender? Feel like the only intersex person in your class? There’s a level of stigma and oppression attached to being a minority based on your gender, sexuality or sex that can affect your studies at the University of Sydney. We are an active collective for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Pansexual, Transgender and Transsexual, Queer and Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Aromantic people at USyd...

Indigenous Collective To all Indigenous students, please come along to our Indigenous Collective meetings where we discuss current topical Indigenous issues and you’ll meet more of the mob. Additionally, the collective offers a place to learn about the services USyd offers to support you. Contact Jackson at indigenous.officers@src.usyd.edu.au, and search for ‘USYD Indigenous Collective’ on Facebook.

Campus Refugee Action Collective (CRAC) The USYD Campus Refugee Action Collective (CRAC) is a group of activists who meet regularly to discuss and debate the refugee crisis. We hold events to educate the student body about refugee rights and show our support for the detainees by attending rallies. Join our Facebook group by searching for ‘USYD CRAC Organising Group’, and find us at O-Week! International Students’ Collective We are a group of international students fighting for a more fair University for all students. Please contact us at international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.

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Join us on Facebook at ‘USYD International Students Collective.’


LGBTQIA 101: not just gay, but the whole alphabet There is a lot of diversity in the world, but it’s disappointing when parts are ignored, silenced, erased and not celebrated. The Rainbow community goes by a lot of different names, acronyms and titles, writes the Queer Collective. What’s important is that we recognise no matter how small a community is, all people should be supported, valued and treated fairly. On campus, the Rainbow community attempts to achieve equality under the law, within our culture, economically and socially. There are groups who don’t face discrimination based on their sexuality, gender or sex. If you’re a straight man, you’re attracted to women sexually and romantically. If you’re a straight woman, you’re attracted to men sexually and romantically.

The no-bullshit guide

There are distinctions between romantic and sexual attraction, and people who don’t meet both criteria do face discrimination because of it. We also have the term cisgender, which is used as a term to mean “not transgender”, classifying the large amount of people who don’t experience any need for transition. Giving a term to cisgender means it becomes an identity rather than an assumption or norm.

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Not The University of Sydney

LGBTQIA is a common acronym used as an umbrella term for our community. Let’s put aside arguments for how long the acronym is or how much we should expand it, and look at what’s defined so far. These are the colloquial definitions, not the academic or nuanced ones.

Asexual: someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Aromantic: someone who does not experience romantic attraction. Having these labels and identities is valuable. Knowing the difference between (for example) someone who’s a transgender woman and a drag queen who’s a cis man that’s may be gay, bi or asexual will mean you are not only respecting them as individuals but can politically work to support them. If someone asks you to refer to them using they/them/ theirs pronouns instead of masculine identifiers, it’s not optional. Refer to them as they request. That is basic human respect. The Queer Collective has several aims, but one is to educate people on these identities, create awareness about structural disadvantage, and support those who face it. In the past year, we’ve had a strong focus on changing the University’s internal functions to stop misgendering, deadnaming and outing transgender students. We’ve fought for the university to increase staff training around LGBTQIA issues, and worked on establishing gender neutral bathrooms across campus.

In 2017, we won’t stop fighting for Marriage Equality, Lesbian: a woman who’s attracted to women. for a fully-funded Safe Schools Coalition across Australia, Gay: a man who’s attracted to men. and stand up against transphobia, intersexphobia and Bisexual: a person who is attracted to two genders. injustice against our community. Transgender: someone who doesn’t identify with the gender identity they were assigned at birth, based on If, at any point in your studies their sex. you have an aim that aligns with Queer Collective members at our O-Week stall last year! Queer: a political term us, or a problem in this realm, used to ascribe an don’t hesitate to get in touch. opposite to being straight We exist to make sure these or heterosexual. problems are eventually fixed, Questioning: when and that can only be done when someone rejects assumed you are aware and involved. straight or cisgender and Search USyd Queer on Facebook explores other possibilities. or twitter, and email queer. Intersex: a person whose officers@src.usyd.edu.au to body does not match male get in touch. or female qualities in part or full.


Sustainability on and off campus

groups and regular public forums on a wide range of environmental and social justice issues. We organised a public forum about and participated in a national day of action protesting against the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

The Enviro Collective has a wide scope of on-going projects including the USyd Community Garden, USyd Food Co-Op, citizen science and direct action road trips to places like East Gippsland’s old growth forests which are threatened with logging and the vital farmland of the Liverpool Plains which is threatened by coal and coal seam gas One of our campaigns, Fossil Free USyd, mining.

We supported local residents in their fight against WestConnex. We organised two road trips to the Leard State Forest in support of the local Gomeroi traditional owners and the farming community’s fight against the expansion of coal mining in the area, participating in direct action protests as well as community-run citizen science surveys is pressuring the University to stop to quantify the ecological investing in the fossil fuel industry. value of threatened areas The Enviro Collective and measure coal dust is affiliated with the pollution. Next year, we Australian Student will continue to campaign around these issues. Environment Network (ASEN), which connects University Enviro collectives across Australia. We will also focus energy on getting students to attend Students of Sustainability in Newcastle in July, and ASEN helps us to coordinate road trips, conferences, building a strong environmental justice community campaigns and events, as well as share resources on campus as well as beyond. between collectives. This makes the collective an opportune place to meet like-minded people, people The Collective runs solely on the energy put in by its who will challenge your worldview, and activists from all around Australia who care about the issues that face our members and its members get a lot out of being in it! We warmly welcome anybody interested to get involved planet, people and local ecosystems. It also serves as an by contacting us directly by emailing us: environment. optimal space for self-motivated environmental, social officers@src.usyd.edu.au, by joining and posting on and political education. our Facebook group: USyd Enviro Collective 2017 , and of course by coming to our regular Enviro Collective Together, we decide what campaigns we want to work meetings and events (e.g. film screenings, discussion on and how to spend our budget. In 2016 we continued groups) which can be ascertained via email or through the campaign to get our university to withdraw all its the Facebook group. investments from the fossil fuel industry and subsidised tickets for students to attend the Students There is no binding commitment to attend every meeting of Sustainability conference in Brisbane in July and or event, so please inquire further or come along to ASEN Training Camp just outside Sydney in January. check out who we are and what we’re all about! We organised several documentary screenings, reading

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The Enviro Collective is a non-hierarchical space for students who are passionate about the environment to gather and help each other organise events and projects concerning the environment and social justice.

Students’ Representative Council

The land on which we organise is the stolen land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We are committed to centring Aboriginal voices in our organising as well as supporting Aboriginal people’s struggles for sovereignty and justice, writes the Environment Collective.


Why students need to fight

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Students have a lot of challenges to face in the 2017. Australian universities are in a major funding crisis, fees for both domestic and international students increase year-in, year-out, and financial support for students has stagnated for more than twenty years, writes the Education Action Group. The Liberal government’s plan for this miserable state of affairs is simply to intensify it, and they have a firm friend in the Vice-Chancellors (or VCs) of each ‘Group of Eight’ university. Education activists have fought hard for the past four years to stop the situation getting worse, but the profit motive infects higher education like any other industry.

Nationwide demonstrations have been called for March 22; all major cities and campuses will take to the streets to stop Turnbull’s plot to make us pay more. In Sydney it’ll be right on our campus. Lock it into your diary, March 22. If you’ve got a class on, the staff union will make sure you aren’t penalised for skipping it. No one ever made the history books by going to class!

Don’t think of the University of Sydney as a ‘community of scholars’. Think of it instead like Apple or Nestlé; it has been gradually transformed into a ‘degree factory’ — we are the customers and the Vice-Chancellors drive staff to churn out the product of ‘knowledge’. Check out the graphic we made on the opposite page – that’s what the University is trying to do to our education. It’s our job to stop them.

And if you’re serious about student rights, you should join the Education Action Group (EAG) on Facebook. We organise all rallies and similar actions that happen on campus. Like our Facebook page – Sydney University Education Action Group – or email the Education Officers at education.officers@src.usyd.edu.au to get involved. See you on March 22 to Make Education Free Again!

We’ve fought to save our staff, protect Sydney College of the Arts, and protect the quality of our University...

We organise collectively – we show solidarity with students across the world, and fight for all our rights (and paint banners too)...

And we’ve even helped disrupt Q&A! Join us in 2017.


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Students’ Representative Council


Don’t discount a protest: a recent history on campus You might remember the horror budget of Tony Abbott in 2014. In it, Abbott and then education minister Christopher Pyne planned to deregulate undergraduate degrees so universities could charge students whatever they wanted.

Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Looking at the cost of Masters degrees that are already deregulated, this would have seen the price of Undergraduate degrees skyrocket. Furthermore, Abbott and Pyne planned to increase the interest on HECS loans. Not only would students be paying more upfront, they would then have drastically increased loans. This was an outright attack on the education sector and equal access to it for all. Our Vice Chancellor, Michael Spence, was one of the biggest champions of this plan (and still is). Students hit back against this attack; huge protests were held across the country, every few months. Our public opposition pressured the parliamentary opposition to block Abbott and Pyne’s plan to deregulate fees – not once, not twice, but thrice! In 2013, the University launched an assault on its staff. They wanted to cut sick leave, kick the staff union off campus and remove anti-discrimination protections. Staff responded with a year-long strike campaign that shut down the campus on seven

occasions – no WiFi, no library, no services, almost no classes. Students were there on the picket lines to show support and remind the university that staff working conditions are student learning conditions. Management conceded defeat and the workers didn't just stop the attacks, but won gains such as more leave and higher indigenous employment quotas. What you should take away from this is that protest movements have the power to make change. As students, we can band together, make our voices heard and ensure we receive the best education possible. In 2017 you will see that protests don’t just need to be used to prevent things getting worse, they can be used to make things better. In 2017 we will fight to be given free education that isn’t concerned with how much money we can bring to the table.

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Look over at the next page for a timeline of protests on campus.


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Students’ Representative Council

An early radical history of our University


Saving our Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) The campaign to ‘Let SCA Stay’ has been underway since the university announced the closure of SCA under the guise of a "merger" with UNSW Art and Design in mid-2016, writes the SCA Resistance. The ‘Let SCA Stay’ campaign was able to stop this badly conceived and callous plan that would have spelt the end of visual arts education in NSW. This was achieved through a range of successful actions including rallies, a vigil at the NSW Art Gallery during the opening of the Archibald Prize, and a one-day strike.

The no-bullshit guide

The collapse of the merger was followed by a proposal to “move” SCA to Camperdown campus. This plan involved cutting sixty percent of staff and closing the jewellery, glass and ceramics studios. The second attack was met with a sixty-five day occupation of the SCA Dean’s office and the entire upper floor of the SCA administration building, a forty-eight hour strike and occupation of the lawns in front of the Great Hall, and multiple on going law suits from both students and teachers. These further actions resulted in the removal of the Dean Colin Rhodes, who was the public face of the UNSW 'merger', and forced the university back to the drawing board securing another six months to fight. As well as this, the university have backed down on around thirty percent of the planned job cuts and conceded to the possibility of continuing glass, ceramics and jewellery in some “limited” form.

While these are incredible achievements the school is still very much under threat. There are no guarantees as to where SCA will be situated, to what degree it will retain its studio or the independent theoretical practice which is integral to the education offered. Furthermore, management have guaranteed at least forty percent staff cuts. This attack was announced as part of a university wide restructure to reduce sixteen faculties into 6. The Conservatorium of Music, Education and Social Work, Nursing, Pharmacy, Medicine and Dentistry (as well as many others) all face cuts and restructures. The fight to save SCA is part of a fight to defend every faculty. The success of the ‘Let SCA Stay’ campaign in 2016 was only made possible through collective organising, politicisation of art practices and collaborations between students, teachers, alumni, artists and others in the surrounding community. This movement will only grow further in 2017 until the university is forced to concede to SCA staff and student requests. For more information or to become involved visit Letscastay.com or join the SCA Resistance group (SCAR) on Facebook.

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Not The University of Sydney

Students’ rights on and off campus Leaving high school, and for some of you moving out as well, means that your support networks seem further away than ever before. On top of this, university brings new challenges such as an intense study load, a different social environment, and the threats to your education and welfare imposed by a Liberal government. The USYD Welfare Department works to guide students through these obstacles, acting as the main voice for student welfare issues on campus. Last year the Welfare Department campaigned alongside the National Union of Students (NUS) against the Liberal Party’s plans to deregulate university fees and cut healthcare services. In 2017 we will continue to work with the NUS Welfare team on their campaign ‘Your Rights at Work, Uni and Home’. Additionally we will be:

-- Working with the Wom*n’s Collective to spread awareness about the importance of contraceptives and consent; -- Adopting a harm-minimisation approach to drugs by providing free pill-testing kits for students; -- Campaigning for reformation of the Prepare Trial Hire (PaTH) program, which sees interns paid a meagre $4 per hour, and; -- Striving to make permanent the ability to pay off library fees through a donation to a local charity. If you’d like to join the fight for student welfare in 2017, please get involved by liking our Facebook page “USYD Welfare Department” and joining the USYD Welfare Action Group. You can also get in touch with us via email: welfare.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.


Our curriculum is a (white)washing machine

It involves that which has been made invisible the people, knowledge systems, texts, experiences and events that have been suppressed, marginalised, silenced, misread, written over, neglected, and tokenised. How does the curriculum work to foster both individual acts of racism, and systemic, institutional racism? The curriculum is a tool for creating networks of privilege and power. It influences promotions; research agendas; student peer support; research collaborations; support for award nominations; the investments in students going on to higher degree research; who gets notification of important opportunities; acquisition of personalised and impactful recommendation letters; work opportunities; early career support and promotion mentoring. What’s more, the curriculum follows students after their time on campus and graduation, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. It intensifies implicit biases and attitudes towards difference (understood intersectionally); it reinforces and perpetuates socially constructed racial categories and hierarchies.

Ultimately, the curriculum impacts the wellbeing and prospects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other racialised groups. It helps diminish scrutiny of the modern/colonial socio-political architecture students must navigate, drives them to internalise narratives of inferiority and deficit, and absorbs them into mechanisms that secure and celebrate whiteness. Re-envisioning of the curriculum For the offered curriculum to change, input by students, community leaders, cultural advocates, activists, non-academic staff, secondary schools, and systemimpacted individuals and groups would be required. It would prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander epistemologies and custodianship, acknowledge and integrate the exclusive insights and intuitions of displaced and exiled people, and deconstruct the organisational networks of knowledge practice that exclude and inhibit. A radical re-envisioning of the curriculum would recognise the university as a space and an ideology that has functioned as an organ of Western imperial expansion, and then work towards empowering new knowledges and counter-colonial ways of being. Let’s collaborate in order to liberate the curriculum and transform spaces of teaching, learning and research into more race-conscious and equitable knowledge ecologies.

Every year, ACAR runs a comedic revue. Here’s last year’s – jealous? You should be. You can work on and off stage!

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The curriculum goes beyond mere lecture and tutorial content. It‘s more than reading lists, the canon, and assessments.

Students’ Representative Council

Whiteness gives the appearance of neutrality, and the white curriculum is no different. The creation of the curriculum is a political act, an act that is presented as neutral; its contents taken for granted, writes the Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR).


Why students must support Aboriginal communities

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

In February 2015, University staff and students participated in a 50th anniversary commemoration of the seminal student-organised tour of rural NSW known as the ‘Freedom Rides’, writes Students Support Aboriginal Communities. Since its inception, SSAC has supported a number Led by student and Arrernte and Kalkadoon man Charlie of grassroots Aboriginal justice campaigns, including Perkins, the ‘Freedom Rides’ famously exposed ongoing SosBlakAustralia’s campaign against the closure of racial segregation and discrimination, and brought remote Aboriginal communities in Western Austrlaia, national media attention to the deplorable conditions Grandmothers Against Removal’s (GMAR) campaign imposed on the traditional owners of this country. against the ongoing removal of Aboriginal children from During the 2015 anniversary, many Aboriginal community their families, and most recently, the overrepresentation members from throughout rural NSW communicated to and abuse of Aboriginal children in the juvenile detention current USYD students that while some aspects of their lives had improved since 1965, ongoing discrimination and system. SSAC was also involved in supporting the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s (RATE) campaign lack of access to housing, employment, healthcare and for affordable Aboriginal social housing on the Block in services, as well as chronic underfunding of community Redfern. This campaign saw a positive result after fifteen initiatives and projects (especially those centred around months, where $5 million was promised to ensure the promoting Aboriginal culture and language) meant prioritisation of affordable housing that racism remains a for Aboriginal families in the significant issue. “We wish to support Aboriginal communities Block’s redevelopment. using whatever platforms we, as students, have As a result of this experience, access to. Primarily we see this as a process of a group amongst the student amplification for already established grassroots SSAC employs a range of tactics initiatives in communities. This might come to support these campaigns, participants established in the form of media attention, fundraising, including fundraising, occupations, a grassroots collective, or with our physical presence in camps, rallies, lobbying politicians, raising Students Support Aboriginal demonstrations, rallies, and meetings. We wish to give as much support as we can, without awareness and gaining media Communities (SSAC). SSAC inflecting our approach with any political attention. An example of this is founders drew on Perkins agendas: Aboriginal people know what is the campaign that was created and Student Action For best for their own communities.” by SSAC member and past Sydney Aborigines’s model of student Evelyn Corr, member of Students Support Aboriginal Communities, University SRC Indigenous Officer self-organisation without teacher of Indigenous Studies at the University of Sydney, activist. Georgia Mantle in early 2016 against relying on support from a videogame in which players political parties, the student were instructed to kill Aboriginal people. This campaign union, or the university. attracted widespread media coverage and ultimately lead to the game’s withdrawal from sale. By creating SSAC organises educational events such as reading a central space for student involvement in Aboriginal groups, workshops, discussion forums and film rights campaigns, the organisation has increased the screenings, sometimes in collaboration with other involvement of Sydney University students in these organisations. Many of the public forums and film movements, helped raise the profile of campaigns and screenings have also functioned as fundraisers for facilitated a consistent student presence at Aboriginal Aboriginal-led justice campaigns, and created spaces for Aboriginal elders, academics, activists and community rights demonstrations. members to share their knowledge with students. If you are interested in supporting These events are led with an Indigenous justice email us at understanding that progressive students4aboriginalcommunities@ movements often ignore gmail.com or check out our Facebook Aboriginal people’s rights, page (‘Students Support Aboriginal or treat Aboriginal people in Communities’), and request to join our paternalistic ways. As such, Facebook group of the same name to self-reflection amongst nonget involved in organising – no prior Aboriginal people about racism experience is necessary. and colonialism is crucial.


Comprehensive High School Network

Why this matters Comprehensive high school students may (1) find it harder to get involved in student life, (2) be less aware of study tips and tricks, (3) have less access to note sharing and (4) have less access to channels of opportunity commonly only known through word-of-mouth such as internships and scholarships particularly. As such, students face an unseen but structural disadvantage when going through university, that also impacts their careers and future success. How we will fix this These disadvantages are caused mostly due to the fact that comprehensive high school students just don’t know as many people in their year, in the years above and in the years that will come in after them. As you will soon learn,

networking and information sharing is intrinsic to having access to opportunities. Comprehensive high school students are therefore immediately on the back foot as they enter uni with a smaller network than students from other schools. The CHSN creates a space for students to meet each other and find friends by running fun social events - planned by older students who also went to comprehensive high schools. Additionally, these students are your mentors. They will give you their hard earned tips on all things academic, including exchange, scholarships and internships, and general uni life questions. This will ensure participants of the program start uni on the same foot as their private, independent, selective school student counterparts. If you went to a comprehensive public school and would like to be involved, please join the ‘USYD Comprehensive High School Network’ group on Facebook.

Students’ Representative Council

Comprehensive schools are those that are public and non-selective. There are very few of these students at USYD in comparison to private, independent and selective school students.

First in Family

A first generation student is generally defined as someone who is in the first generation of their family to go to university, and the fast-expanding literature on this group of students indicates that they face a series of unique challenges in university spaces. Some of these challenges include balancing greater work and family commitments alongside their studies, a lack of cultural capital leaving students feeling isolated, and missed opportunities (such as scholarships and network-building) due to unfamiliarity with university systems. To compound this, first generation students are often of rural/regional, low-SES, or ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The effects can be quite severe – attrition rates amongst first generation students are quite high, and not engaging in social, academic, and professional circles greatly reduces the quality of a student’s university experience. While American colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia are developing strategies to assist first

generation students, there are few equivalents in Australia. The University of Sydney is particularly notorious for over-representing the Eastern suburbs and North Shore within its student population, and 2012 figures indicated that USYD was amongst the most inaccessible universities in Australia to domestic students from lowSES backgrounds. To redress the lack of institutional commitment to this underrepresented group, a team of staff and students from the Department of History launched the ‘First in Family’ (FiF) group in late 2015. Open to students university wide, FiF fosters a community amongst students who share first generation experiences. FiF strives to support first-in-the-family students as they adjust to university life, as well as celebrate their achievements and the skills and perspectives that they bring to academia and beyond. By taking pride in first generation status and acknowledging the support that families and communities give students – even if they do not understand our aspirations and subject choices, or cannot help us navigate university environments – FiF hopes to tackle any stigma associated with a student being the first member of their family to study at university. To join FiF, find us on Facebook at ‘First in Family’.

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In the past few years, student unions and academic enrichment programs have sprung up across several US universities to support what was until recently an invisible identity: the first generation student.


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Not The University of Sydney The no-bullshit guide


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Students’ Representative Council


Arts and Social Sciences

The no-bullshit guide

The overwhelming majority of Arts students were very concerned about cuts to departments and staff in the faculty due to the University restructure. This is one of the largest faculties at the University and the most prone to attack from the University administration. Get ready for ever-larger classes, with lecturers and tutors stretched across an unmanagable number of courses. (If those courses continue to exist at all – just ask the ex-students of the Sydney College of the Arts!)

-- Wait, what? -- Oh. This is a bit sudden. -- I was hoping to pass on this. -- Just not think about it? -- At least for a little bit? -- OK, Mum, no need to be rude. -- I can be, ah, in advertising? -- Or, ah, an office... manager? -- Or intellectually satisfied? -- Do not bring Stephen into this. -- Mum, he did not leave me. -- OK, maybe he did. -- Well, it wasn’t due to Arts! -- I found myself in Arts!

You can’t account for a lot of this in your subject or course selection; so don’t try to. Do what works for you. Arts is a forgiving faculty. You can switch around units, majors and even degrees with relative ease. Try everything! Join societies and collectives! And lose anyone who tells you you’re unemployable: that’s just their jealousy speaking.

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Not The University of Sydney

Ah yes, real life students on our real life lawn in our real life quad. You will soon find that you actually cannot step foot on said lawns.


Inside view

Tell us about your course? The Bachelor of Visual Arts program was such an exciting experience for me. Every day was something different! Finding out Callan Park was expected to close, receiving news of a program merger and massive staff cuts, and my personal favorite: hearing from friends that my major was to be dropped, a fact which was announced at a meeting that occurred while I was overseas. These are just a few of the wonderfully unexpected aspects of my course. What do you find most interesting about your degree? I found it thoroughly fascinating that artists could create without any equipment or materials. Just ask Stephen Garton, our University’s Provost! I used to think ceramics required kilns, and that metalworking required space and proper ventilation, but USyd showed me that it’s in students’ best interest to move to a facility with none of these key pieces of equipment at all. After all, artists are nothing if not imaginative. We have the creativity and imagination to pretend we have tools, facilities, and instructors, so why stay at a well-equipped campus like Callan Park? What advice would you give to a student who is interested in fine arts? Before university, most students make art without a strong conceptual backing. I think a student interested in fine arts should focus primarily on conceptual works, especially protest art. If the Sydney College of the Arts has taught me anything, it’s that protest art can be powerful enough to warrant destruction by police and create havoc for an entire administration!

Students’ Representative Council

Why did you decide to do a Bachelor of Visual Arts? While I considered many options, I wanted a degree that would be discontinued before completion and without notice, and the Bachelor of Visual Arts seemed to have the most promise in that regard. I could count on the University of Sydney to go above and beyond, changing my course quickly and without proper notice. Sure, other programs offer stability and consistency, but why not take a risk and choose the one that abruptly attempts to transfer you to another campus, and by email no less?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Probably doing art somewhere. Possibly homeless.

Ada Eberlyn

Bachelor of Visual Arts (RIP, discontinued) Ada at her studio in the University of Oregon (at least they care about art).

It’s also a huge risk, with last year’s Education students voicing strong concerns about the merger of Education into the Arts faculty. One respondent slammed the university for putting “dollars over students, and trends over proper education”, reflecting the growing stress of students ahead of the faculty restructure. Another respondent simply stated, “I didn’t apply for a degree in the Arts faculty”. Although education students would warn you about the possibility of your favourite unit being cut, don’t be disheartened – the university provides plenty of support in finding work-placement. At the end of the day, to get the most out of an education degree at USYD you have to be enthusiastic and proactive.

You must also be prepared to spend copious amounts of money on textbooks which have been slammed as “not worth buying”. You might also want to refine your networking skills, as the university itself is average at best with career help. Nevertheless, studying education is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, and there has never been a more important time to become an educator. You’re not just teaching children about Maths, English, Science or Geography, you’re teaching them about the world. If you have doubts further down the line, “remember the reasons you chose to do this degree”, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with the SRC.

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Education and Social Work Studying education at USyd is a life-changing decision that sees up to five years of your life consumed by everything from seemingly irrelevant theory units to a nerve-wracking placement.


“I know I look like I’m smiling in this photo! I know I do! If you’re reading this, please help me! Send help! Michael Spence has kidnapped me, and promised to treat me like he treats the NTEU if I don’t raise an extra $500 000 for the University’s fundraising drive!”

Unidentified man by the sea. (see how successful our graduates are)

Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Bachelor of Arts (Posing) / Bachelor of Science ($$$)

International and Global Studies (INGS) If you like core units that are interesting and engaging, then don’t do INGS. Most respondents feel as though core units in this degree are merely add-ons that often overlap with electives. They are organised haphazardly with not much communication between departments. Many even go as far to say they wish they had done an Arts degree with a language major instead. It seems as though the mainstream units are better than core units but still mercilessly overlapped.

We have unfortunately discontinued our B.A. (White Saviour).

Some students have also flagged that extra money is often needed in order to access extra curricular activities for your career. Apart from debating, you’ll need to fork out money in order to get your career going. On this subject, students are not happy with the career help offered to INGS students. They complain that they have to do most of the work themselves, so be prepared! If you have an idea of where your career is going and have connections, then INGS is for you! If you are looking to do a combined INGS/ Law degree, students say “think again!” The exchange messes the order of your units up and most students seem to cut their losses and head over to an Arts/Law degree instead.

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All in all, respondents praised the dedication of the tutors and lecturers in INGS, and were mostly happy with the contact hours they received. This is asymmetrical because that’s how the Uni designed this book. Don’t worry, I think it’s ugly too.


Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences (BPESS): Many BPESS students are worried about the units available in their degree due to the current restructure. Units are being cut here, there and everywhere! Apart from this, students seem to love this degree and often say it is underrated. A word of advice from the students: picking your subjects is a vital and important part of this degree, make sure you’re picking the right subjects for your career path and degree progression!

MeCo has both practical and academics units. You will experience both in your course progression. By no surprise, practical units seem to be popular among students while the more academic units seem to not be as highly received. As internships are such a huge part of this degree, with most units encouraging internships in first year, it’s a bit grim that students are kept from actual intern units until third year. If you plan to go on exchange, this issue only gets worse as students have complained that it is hard to find MeCo approved internships overseas. Make sure you take extreme caution if you want to go on exchange and plan everything out.

Students’ Representative Council

Media and Communications (MeCo): MeCo students seem to be content with the level of contact hours they receive. However, many find that the career help service is not helpful at all. Beware that while this degree will offer you a plethora of knowledge about editing software and semiotics, it won’t matter unless you are ready to be disciplined and practice these by yourself.

Arts (Languages): If you desire to pursue a major in a language, please be aware that this entails pure language classes comprised of listening, speaking, comprehension and writing. Remember, if you’re having trouble with fluency or simply just want to get better at conversational skills, there are many language clubs on campus that are extremely useful. In terms of specific language majors, we’ll break it down easily for you with a simple table...

Spanish and Latin American Studies

Why should you do this?

Why shouldn’t you do this?

-- Good use of departmental resources. -- Confident and enthusiastic tutors.

-- All assignments pushed to the end of the course in senior units.

-- Excellent tutors; a “tricky language” made easy.

-- Weirdly, none (buyer beware).

-- Gradual approach to learning; you should be able to talk about life experiences by your third-year.

-- Overcrowded tutorials.

-- Low weighted assessments.

-- Second year seems to be not as fast paced. -- Lacks online resources.

-- Students say: “this is fun!” -- Interesting elective units, such as ‘German film’ (GRMN2633).

-- Overcrowded tutorials. -- Not enough emphasis on oral learning.

Arabic

-- Staff-to-student ratio is A+. -- Student driven learning. -- Progressive faculty.

-- Dedication required.

French

-- Small cohort in senior units. -- Interesting content offered. -- Excellent tutors.

-- Ridiculously high expectations in first-year. -- Students were critical of “useless marking of homework” (hello, high school).

Chinese

Japanese

Korean

Germanic Studies

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Language


Law Like the young antelope climbing up its first snowy slope, resilience is the key attribute that will get you through law school.

-- Law -- Misery -- Law -- Did I mention Law, I study Law

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

There will most likely be a lot of pain, enough tears to fill a small fish tank, and many a drunken night staring at the stars wishing you had formed a Cold Chisel tribute band that played at rural RSLs instead. This struggle doesn’t necessarily mean that your tutors are bad or the university is failing you, so try not to fall into the easy trap of blaming the university. Rather, it is instead a reflection of the fact that your cohort is very intelligent, your teachers want to push you, and for the first time in your life you may feel stressed and out of your depth. Keep in mind as well that, unlike school, the university is trying to make you self-sufficient, not dependent. Pep talk aside, in the Law School you have seventeen core units and seven electives, the latter of which you don’t touch until your later years. You can’t choose the core units, but electives with positive feedback have included ones involving international study (ie. the Himalayan Field School) or practical experience (ie. Social Justice Clinic).

Yes, we win moots. So many moots. So many that we’ve made mooting great again.

Another thing to keep in mind is deadlines and timetabling. Generally, it is a ten per-cent penalty for every late day, and often your assignments will be due at very similar times. Although it takes self-control, stay on top of your notes from the first weeks. If you can keep up to date for the first four to five weeks, it will make the rest of the semester incomparably less stressful. As another side tip, even if you think you are a student who learns best at home, going to lectures and actually listening to the lecturer explain the concepts in class will go a long way at the end of semester.

Get involved with SULS (Sydney University Law Society). This society is one of the most involved on campus. Sports, debates, revues, textbook exchanges (use these!) casual lemonades on a Wednesday afternoon – there is a lot to do, and plenty of people who want to meet you. Getting involved in SULS, or just making an effort to talk to people in class, won’t just add fun to your degree but also improve your marks. As law has a large workload, study groups will be vital to help you get through unscarred. There have been various issues raised about the law school. Special Consideration can be hard to get, and the Law School can also be very inflexible in helping you timetable classes to meet work/personal commitments. More so, instead of feedback coming directly to you, you will often have to make an effort to get any form of feedback (ie. completing past exams early and asking tutors for advice), which can be tough at busy times in the semester.


Agriculture and Environment

-- Wanting a wife -- Starring on ‘Farmer Wants A Wife’ -- More seriously: really important shit relating to our food and water security

As is usual with the smaller departments, Agriculture is renowned for having smaller class sizes, better contact hours and thus a generally nicer atmosphere as far as peers being able to chat together about course content.

Students’ Representative Council

Practical field trips paired with theoretical course work and small class sizes? Exactly what you can expect in this too-often forgotten faculty.

This nice sort of community makes learning a lot easier for students as less autonomy is needed and the contact you have with faculty staff is more inclusive and easier to get info about assessments settled outside of consultation hours. In order to get a good grasp of the agricultural environment sector of Australia, students strongly recommended the introductory units AFNR1001 ‘The Rural Environment’ and AFNR1002 ‘Climate and the Environment’. Their complication-resolution based assessments were highly recommended by students, as the field reports that are to be submitted to these units are similar to those that are expected in fields of work once students graduate. Peter Ampt and Dan Tan received praise for the second year in a row, with students citing their expertise and enthusiasm as qualities they hoped continued in the rest of their degree. Robyn McConchie also received glowing praise from students in later units such as HORT3005 “Research in Hort Science,” with students citing the small cohort and approachable lecturers as being the best thing about the course. Students also noted that assessments didn’t vary in form much from unit to unit, with a more formulaic approach to Ag being the preferred method of lecturers and students alike. The field-contact hours were one of the most praised things in this faculty, with students responding that it was some of their favourite time spent off campus in their whole degree.

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“Breaking Bad was super deceptive about greenhouses.”


Architecture, Design and Planning

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Welcome to Australia’s foremost architecture school! The faculty offers two streams of undergraduate architecture, and a design computing degree. What courses are offered? The two undergraduate architecture pathways offered are the Bachelor of Design in Architecture and the Bachelor of Architecture and Environments. Both courses teach essential core skills in architecture, including drafting, an understanding of building construction technology and creative design. The main difference between the two courses is Design in Architecture is a traditional, creative based design course, preparing students for a career as an architect, whereas the Architecture and Environments course approaches the built environment as a sciencebased course, with at least one architectural science subject per semester. The architectural science subjects include Empirical Thinking, Light and Sound, and Algorithmic Architecture. What are classes like? The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning is unique within the University of Sydney in that it has thankfully mostly avoided the University’s current restructuring scheme and subsequent compromises in education quality. The faculty is a stand alone, somewhat isolated school within the university distinguished by small tutorial class sizes and individual tutor attention for design projects. Lecture sizes vary enormously between the two degrees: Design in Architecture has lectures in the vicinity of 200 students, whereas Architecture and Environments classes are usually 40 students at most. What are the facilities like? The Faculty provides 24 hour access to studio space, study spaces and computer labs. These spaces are generally adequate, with vacant space available at any time of the day. The faculty also provides access at specific times to staffed workshop and fabrication facilities. The Faculty also boasts a number of specialist research facilities available by appointment, including acoustics and lighting laboratories.

-- You’re basically Ted Mosby now -- I am pretty jealous -- You get to point out buildings -- And be like “yep, that’s mine” -- What a conversation starter, and ender -- Also LendLease corporate drone

What don’t they tell you? COSTS! Architecture is an EXPENSIVE degree. There are no textbooks, however, this is more than made up for by material costs for design studio subjects. It is very difficult to put an exact cost on material costs, as they are specific to the design you produce, however, expect to spend up to $1000 per year on materials, printing and tools. Additionally, if you need to use the laser cutters (from 2nd year onward), be aware that this costs $50/hour PLUS materials. Printing a final presentation book, posters and other content will cost around $50 per time. TIME Architecture is a very time intensive course. The course coordinators tell you this, but absolutely nothing prepares you for the first all-nighter you do in first year. There’s really no crash course to prepare you for this, and it’s not entirely laziness either. It isn’t made clear to new students just how long each stage of the design process takes, especially with so many variables at each stage. You might want to keep experimenting with one design, or you might have never made a model before, and before you know it, it’s 4am on due date. Architecture students are known at the University for being hermits who often don’t engage with Uni life, for good reason: There. Isn’t. Enough. Time. Other recommendations? Environmental Sustainability is an elective available in second and third year for both architecture streams. Simply, do it. “Sustainable Architectural Practice” is consistently recommended by students and course coordinators alike as an elective as it teaches basic climate science and explores tangible architectural design strategies to significantly reduce the impact of the built environment on the natural environment.


Pharmacy

-- I’m kind of imagining that extra from ‘Scrubs’ -- Scratch that, I’m onto ‘Breaking Bad’ -- OK, more likely you’re the kind pharmacist -- Thanks for being there

In other words, if you are interested in Pharmacy (and not in the same way that the Ibrahim family are ‘interested’ in Pharmacy), you have a very simple choice to make: you can either have a life for four years or you can study Pharmacy. Unfortunately, you can’t have both.

Students’ Representative Council

Pharmacy hits students with the combined joy of obscenely high contact hours, coupled with a ridiculous workload. Good luck with that.

One thing that the Department of Pharmacy have made very simple for you is subject selection. In short, you don’t get any. All of your subjects are prescribed for you, which many of the students who responded to the Counter Course Survey viewed as a positive, saying that it made them “all integrated and all related to each other.” The course is split into four main streams: Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutics. While different areas appealed to different students, most responses said that the course content was, on the whole, interesting and engaging, if a little bit dense. Highest praise for any subject went to Lorraine Smith for PHAR1821, ‘Social Pharmacy,’ Pharmacy tip which students found interesting and Think long and hard about choosing engaging, and different to many of the your major; international or industrial, other subjects on offer in the Faculty. and don’t be afraid to ask tutors and older students for advice! It isn’t particularly helpful, but missing any of these classes can severely set you back. Students also complained a lot about the hidden ancillary fees in the Department of Pharmacy, “in first year you have to buy lots of text books, lab coats and dispensing weights in third year, they do cost a bit.” Pro-tip: the Sydney University Pharmacy Association (SUPA) sell some of this equipment at cheaper rates than you can find them elsewhere (dispensing weights for $120), but it is still a burden on students. However, you can borrow lab coats (for free!) from the SRC underneath the Wentworth building.

Yep, the University didn’t include a single photo of pharmacists or pharmacy in their entire guide. In the meantime, enjoy this stock image of People Looking At Things.

Exams are often highly weighted, and require a disproportionate amount of preparation of minute details within the course, so studying takes up a lot of your time. So, while lesser individuals may crumble and cry under the workload, true Pharmacy Students are made of sterner stuff. Students found this course rewarding and engaging, even with the massive workload and forfeiture of their social lives. If you can take this discipline, enjoy it and succeed, we salute you.

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Overcrowding is a perennial problem in prescribed units for degrees with large candidatures. According to survey responses, the place that it is really felt in Pharmacy is in labs, which some students reported as having as many as 60 students. This isn’t particularly useful for class participation, or having your questions answered, which is a shame, because most students rave about the practical elements of the course. Another common complaint was with regard to the assessment requirements in Pharmacy.


Dentistry Being aware of the level of commitment needed for a dentistry degree is paramount to you undertaking the specific and very mouthodoury subject area.

-- ‘That dentist’ from Little Shop of Horrors -- Actually saving people’s lives -- God I envy the purpose in your life

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

In order to wear a nice white medical apron and have a cute practice, clean silver tools for miles and millions of bucks, you have to be willing to be at university for up to forty-five hours a week for the next few years. First and second year are teamed with medicine subjects with more contact and lab hours than a lab rat sees in its few short weeks of life. One student commented “dentistry is very fiddly and time-needy, with a bunch of contact hours and exams. It’s difficult to make time I your schedule for anything else like university activities or society functions or time with your friends and family. It can be really stressful, though it’s usually worth it when you get the marks you need.” Students responded that complete face-to-face clinical placements were the most invaluable and important learning experience for their degree and all-round pleasers in the course. Students say that “a good example of this is the radiography department in the detail part of Westmead. If you have a bit of a problem comprehending the radiography course you can apply to have a consultation with them there and they take care to try and teach you as much as possible.” The difficulties that arise with the cost of dentistry however, averaging at about three thousand dollars a year, what with the long contact hours and frequent practical placements can really take a toll on student’s mental health. Participants report rarely having spare time to work to pay for lab materials and textbooks, however if you can manage it, dentistry students do recommend getting some occasional part time or casual work. One student confessed she was lucky enough to be hired as a dental nurse when she was in high school, however due to the fact that dental nursing doesn’t require any previous study or qualifications means that dental nursing jobs are quite rare and lucrative if one is lucky enough to bag one. Students were glowingly positive in their rating and responses to their tutors and lecturers, with one student writing “the tutors so far have been exceptionally helpful in getting the learning process going”. The Tooth Conservation course was highly recommended due to the “outstanding lecturers, Dr. Dracopoulos and Prof. Bryant”. Practical labs were also a massive hit with students, with many commenting that it enhanced their comprehension of theory and helped with the sometimes confusing assessment tasks. Exams were criticized for being oddlyheavily weighted (sometimes up to 80%!) and assessments were reported to have been lumped awkwardly together at the end of every semester - not something that really aids in preserving student’s stress levels but hey - as long as sugar remains one of the most highly consumed foods by university students, dentistry will keep consumers and dentists happy for years to come.

Eds note: this is literally my worst nightmare.


Business

-- Consultancy -- Consultancy -- Consultancy -- Start-up consultancy -- Start-up (dabbles in consultancy) -- Consultancy -- Non-profit consultancy

Students’ Representative Council

Commerce fosters an environment where getting a job at the ‘big 4’ (KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC) becomes the end goal for students but – buyer beware – these companies may not be the best fit for you. Make sure you pick a major you are passionate about. Students in all majors have noted that studying can be excruciating if you aren’t passionate about it.

Welcome to our obscure and bizarrely expensive building. Who needs a lecturer or tutor when you’re literally studying the art of $$$ in a building known only for its $$$?

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Marketing, for instance, is undertaken by many as it is perceived to give easy high-distinctions. But be wary. While students acknowledge the course will teach you a broad set of practical skills, group assignments are prevalent throughout.


Marketing Doing a marketing major at the University of Sydney is like walking around in a full-body black latex suit on a hot day: it’s great. Both marketing and black latex have a degree of social stigma attached to them, but if you can manage Philosophy major kids rolling their eyes after learning about what you are studying, this major can be a very useful thing that (just as latex) synchronises with almost anything. For whatever reasons one considers doing marketing at all, two things should be weighted on with utmost thoroughness. Firstly, this choice will result in three years of unavoidable group work. Secondly, marketing could be combined with almost any major from business How do marketing majors market themselves? Marketingception. to arts and although might it not be appealing at first, it would equip one with practical knowledge of how to make any idea likeable and sellable, which is quite a handy skill to have.

The no-bullshit guide

Although it requires a lot of sacrifices (obsession with textbooks costing princely sums happens to be a cancerous department-wide thing so sourcing some second hand copies should be done beforehand) this major will deliver exactly what it promises: a very practical skill set. Since marketing is not technically a science of any sort, the degree was designed to fuse some basic elements from other disciplines ranging from behavioural psychology to finance to business management to statistics... in order to compensate the ontological impotence of the core subject itself and also so to stretch it into a three-year long major.

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Not The University of Sydney

As a result, it might be quite insightful for non-business school students, like BAs who have slight entrepreneurial tendencies or wish to work in communications. For those majoring in Commerce, Finance, or else, marketing with Dual wielding pen AND highlighter. True efficiency. its vast range of practical subjects could be of help when studying business strategy from a bottom-up perspective. Not designed to be overly intellectually challenging but rather a useful supplementary major, marketing is often picked to improve one’s GPA. Since most of the assessments will be done in groups the GPAboosting process can turn into a nightmare, especially considering the fact that marking criteria for an ‘IMC campaign for a NFP organisation’ or assignments alike can be quite obscure. On the other hand, if you are into fancy abbreviations of all sorts, leadership and presentation skills are the two core aspects of your personality (or at least are something you wish to develop), this major will be all pleasure.


“Wait, so you want us to look like we’re working hard? How does this look?

Hmm, yes, laptop and highlighter. These are the traits of efficiency. I hope Deloitte sees this.”

Generic photo #2

Bachelor of Arts (Paid Actor) / Bachelor of Economics (Seems Legit)

Accounting and Finance As has been the tradition for these schools in the past couple of Counter-Courses, the Accounting and Finance departments yielded us very few survey responses (do the survey!) and so we have condensed the two schools into one article. So here we go. We’re glad to report that all seems well in the Accounting and Finance faculties, with almost every respondent reporting that they thoroughly enjoyed their subjects and lecturers alike, with most saying they had adequate assessments that weren’t too heavily weighted or overly difficult. So that’s a plus for the money men this time round! As usual, Business students firmly encouraged first years to talk to their teachers and other students if they needed to, especially concerning course content considering if you don’t have much of a background in Business apart from high school Business Studies you might need a little more help than others. Talking to your friends who do Business can also really help with planning your major, and students who have already completed the FINC and ACCO courses can give you advice on how to best pursue the area you’re interested in.

from those offered by the Sydney Uni department. Students cited that, although the work was often a little dry and expansive, it was worth it when passion pushed you through.

Students’ Representative Council

Oh, you want more of a puzzled expression? I can do that?

Work and Organisational Studies There is some debate of whether or not WORK units deserve to exist in the hallowed halls of the Business School. But don’t be fooled by the idea that WORK subjects are an ‘airy fairy major’ as the units are challenging. You may be able to get away with not doing your readings in first year subjects but – trust us – you may not be so lucky come semester two. It’s not all doom and gloom however. Compulsory units in the major are very straightforward and enjoyable. WORK units try not to make you do the same form of assessment over and over. The teachers aren’t afraid to mix it up and give different tasks to be assessed on (posters, essays, exams, and group presentations). WORK units are still work, so don’t go in expecting an easy course. Some students really seemed to have an issue with the electives, marking some of those units as “useless”. So proceed with caution.

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This is pretty important considering Accounting and Finance often branches into other areas of Business and degrees separate


Engineering and Information Technologies

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Unlike some other degrees we could name, Engineering is not a relaxing interlude between high school and wage slavery. It is hard work, with all degrees featuring high contact hours, heavy assessment schedules, compulsory subjects and more mathematics than you can shake a triple integral at. The upside of this is that the engineering cohort is closely knit by the shared suffering, with a very active set of societies.

-- Probably constructing a variety of evildoers lairs (think Dr. Evil, Bond villians, etc.); each good enough to seem legit, yet shit enough that generic hero #1 can always escape -- Going to Engo Grill. Sorry. That’s the USU, not our fault. -- You know I can only do this because you’re all so employable and destined to succeed. Please don’t be evil.

When the hands connect, you know you’re on a roll.

Students are, for the most part, happy with their lecturers and the content of their courses with degrees described as interesting as well as sufficient in providing a practical understanding of the industry and its required skills. However, the intense workload continues to be an issue for students, with some in aeronautical engineering having weeks that had more assessments than days in them.


Civil Engineering If there’s one thing civil engineering students hate, it is the chronic overcrowding of their degree. And architects. Alright, two things. 2nd and 3rd year tutorials consist largely of squeezing hundreds of people into the PNR Drawing Offices, allocating a smattering of tutors who may or may not know what they’re talking about to wander around and hoping that everyone has an absolutely top-notch learning experience as a result. Happily though, lecturers are by and large enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their subjects, with Tim Wilkinson attracting bouquets for his clear explanations of concepts in Structural Mechanics and Steel Structures 1. Richard Weber got plaudits for his real-world

practicality and Federico Maggi for being a chill dude. Hydrology features a substantial amount of mathematical derivation, but if that doesn’t float your boat do it anyway for the open book examinations, excellent (and available online) lecture notes. Numerical Methods was described as the most interesting and enjoyable of the 4th year units.

Students’ Representative Council

Oh, you think engineers don’t know how to party? Tell that to the 90 degree angle that I’m on! WILD.

Respondents who completed their thesis indicated that it was a lot of hard work, but very enjoyable if you were interested in the topic, although a note of caution was sounded about being supervised by an external lecturer, who may not have the same availability or enthusiasm as a full-time member of staff.

Engineering quick info-box

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-- 80% of respondents felt that they were not adequately supported by the faculty when trying to find a workplace to fulfill practical experience units -- Only 20% of students who answered the survey used the Flexible First Year Program -- However, 100% of students support the continuation of the Flexible First Year Program -- Students stated that the FFYP allowed First Year Engineering students to see all the different streams to engineering before making their final selection -- 80% of students said all additional costs were explained by the university prior to the beginning of the semester -- 80% of students were happy with the amount of contact hours -- All responders rated the Career Help initiative as above satisfactory


The no-bullshit guide

Electrical Engineering Tutors were Electrical also regarded as engineering is being helpful and based in one of supportive. the contenders for ugliest Students criticized Yes, this is a four-way tape-measure. I can measure four things at once. building on the assessment campus, and unlike architecture structure of the degree, with a common they can’t even revel in the irony. complaint that the assessments during semester were given an inappropriately low weighting and The one constant that electrical engineers face the final exam an excessively large weighting. is maths. So much maths. All of the maths, all of the time. Students felt that the upside of this Laboratory classes were criticized as teaching approach was that they were equipped “oversimplified and not stimulating”. with extremely strong theoretical knowledge that they would be able to put to practical use The broad range of units on offer in third and in industry. fourth years means that there’s something for every interest in electrical engineering, leading Lecturers were generally praised as to more senior students being quite happy with very knowledgeable. the content of the courses and their provision of relevant and specific knowledge. Craig Jin and his unit Electrical Devices and Circuits escaped censure and was praised as “fantastic, very engaging and generally helpful”.

Advanced engineering quick info-box The advanced engineering program can be taken in addition to the standard B.E., of whatever stream you’re doing, provided you have an ATAR > 98 for entry to first year advanced engineering and a distinction (or greater average) for second, third and fourth year courses.

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Not The University of Sydney

Take this course if:

-- you want be amongst the smarter people in your cohort, and have access to valuable subjects such as ‘Business Planning’, ‘Technology Education’ -- you want to learn how to deliver projects to clients professionally. -- you’re okay with dealing with consistently overcrowded lectures of over 300 students and tutorials of over 50 students. -- you can tolerate the fact that special considerations are hard to receive (exacerbated by the no late submission policy in place). -- you relish a hard marking system, such that students are failed in their unit of studies if they receive lower than 40% on any individual assessment. Penalties for incorrect answers has made this issue particularly stressful for students.


Chemical Engineering Chemical engineers are a close-knit group and they seem to be very positive about almost all aspects of their degree, which is a refreshing change from the other schools’ attempts at finding new and innovative ways of making students suffer. Class sizes are very reasonable, to be expected in a school of only 50-60 students per year. Computer science and tech quick info-box

-- All responders suggest that incoming First Year Students undertake the recommended First Year courses -- Only 1/3rd of responders felt that faculty made clear the differences between the Computer Science and Information Systems streams -- All responders indicated that there were no surprise additional fees -- 2/3rds of students are happy with the amount of contact hours -- On average, the Universities’ Career Help program was rated a 3 out of 5

Students’ Representative Council

Students were very keen on the content of the degree, finding it to offer a good range of material, from the heavily mathematical and theoretical courses, often featuring quite involved tasks and some programming, to broader and possibly gentler courses such as Industrial Systems and Sustainability that examines environmental issue in engineering practice, one student telling us “It’s the closest thing you get to doing an arts degree and a breath of fresh air”.

The tutors however, were well regarded and were tipped as the best sources of information on what electives to take in later years, depending on your personal interests. Respondents emphasized the importance of attending your classes and finding a good group to work with, both because many courses involved group assignments and as a way of reducing what would otherwise Information technology quick info-box be a heavy workload.

-- Only 50% of responders participated in the Special Studies Program -- 100% of Students said that there are additional fees that were not indicated originally by the University, like printing and software costs -- 50% of students want more contact hours with Lecturers and Tutors -- Responders unanimously rated the Universities’ Career Help as a 3 out of 5

Information Technology If you’re studying a BCST (Bachelor of Computer Science), a BCST (ADv) or a BIT (Bachelor of Information Technology), the school of Information Technologies is going to be pretty familiar to you. At the start of the year, you enrol in study for both semesters.

This degree has two streams: Computer Science and Information Systems, one or both of which must be specialised in. There are four compulsory units: INFO1103: Introduction to Programming, INFO1105: Data Structures or INFO1905: Data Structures (Adv), ENGG1805: Professionalism in Engineering and IT, and ELEC1601: Foundations of Computer Systems.

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The course itself received mixed reviews - people said tutorials were very useful, but the lectures less so. People said that you don’t need a great IT background to have success in the course.


Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering AMME contains three degrees, aeronautical, mechanical and mechatronic, each of which share some but not all units with the others. Engineers in this school were largely happy with their lecturers and the content of their courses, finding the degree interesting, informative and giving them a good practical understanding of the skills required for working in the industry.

This photo is almost comically generic.

The no-bullshit guide

However, they also universally complained about their workloads, and particularly the distribution of assignments, with some aeronautical engineers in particular experiencing weeks having more assessments than days in them. It was rare for any units to be panned. 3rd year units in particular worked people incredibly hard, with some students loving Aerodynamics 1 and Propulsion because of their content while others hated the combination on the basis of the incredible combined workload. Some students found the objective of assessments to be unclear in some units, adding to the already incredible workload and the number of all-nighters students had to suffer. The space engineering program is administered by AMME and can be taken as part of a mechanical, aeronautical or mechatronic degree. All of the respondents who mentioned its units praised them as interesting, challenging and crucially, with an appropriate workload.

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Not The University of Sydney

The only criticism made was that the AERO 2705 Space Engineering 1 assessments may be difficult, but apart from that, this program comes highly recommended.

OK, in fairness, this is pretty damn cool.


Science

-- You are doomed to a life of donning those ridiculous plastic eye-wear things on TV. -- You are also doomed to a life of relatively secure employability. -- You are also doomed to read the snark of Arts students, like myself (sorry)

Students’ Representative Council

Welcome to Science! This is a diverse faculty, full of all sorts of subjects and degrees, all of which are far more employable than our rival, the Arts and Social Sciences. (Kidding! We love all other faculties.) If you’re studying Science, you’re going to need to get to work – you’ll have lots of contact hours and small assignments to grapple with.

Throughout this section, you’ll see all sorts of degree options – don’t be too overwhelmed! Whenever in doubt, talk to your lecturers and tutors, almost all of whom will be super happy to help.

The only thing that could make this photo any more ‘science-y’ is a Bunsen Burner.

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Subjects will be tricky and time-intensive, particularly in later years. Find friends in your cohort and faculty societies, and you’ll get through it.


The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science (Advanced)

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

The Degrees If you take a normal, full-time load the BSc/BSc (Adv) will take you 3 years. However, this is flexible and can be extended if less units are taken each semester. You can also attempt to shorten it by overloading (taking more than 4 standard classes a semester) or by doing winter/summer school. However, you are likely to run into issues achieving this (explained in “The Units”). The only difference is students enrolled in the BSc (Adv) are required to enrol in a certain number of advanced units, and maintain a specific average grade. Regardless of whether you’re doing BSc/BSc (Adv), if you’re doing a full-time semester you are probably going to hate your timetable. There is no way out of this. You’re likely going to have 20+ hours a week, and this doesn’t get better in your second or third year - if anything it will get worse. But don’t worry too much, you’ll get used to it quick. The Majors Every student enrolled in one of these degrees must complete a major. The list of majors available to choose from is provided on the university website. Do not worry too much in your first year about your decision. You can change it whenever you like - assuming you can still meet the major’s requirements. Use this year to work out which broad areas of science you find most interesting and narrow your field of study. You have the option of completing two majors. Although this may limit your flexibility in unit choices, many students like being recognised for two related areas. You can read more about each of these in the next several pages. The Units In your first year i would strongly recommend you cover all your scientific bases. Not only will this give you a good understanding of the main fields, but it will leave your options open much wider in your second and third years. A very common enrolment for first years is: mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics or psychology. A common format for science units (the whole way through your degree) is to have difficulty levels. For example, junior maths and chemistry units can be taken at either the fundamental, normal or advanced level. This structure is the core difference between the BSc and BSc(Adv), and BSc (Adv) students will be required to enrol in a certain number of these advanced units. The difference in content and teaching style between the levels varies between the specific units. In general, advanced units may have additional lectures, more independent laboratory classes and harder assessments. Importantly, some of these advanced units have different entry requirements, such as a specific mark in an HSC subject or ATAR benchmark. An important thing to remember is that you do not have to be enrolled in the BSc (Adv) to take an advanced unit! If you are a BSc

student who is particularly good at Biology, you can absolutely just take an advanced unit in your degree. If you are unsure as to whether or not to take an advanced unit, contact the coordinator and they will be more than happy to assist you! First year maths is compulsory. It doesn’t matter what your major. My tip if you are dreading it: get them all out of the way in your first year and don’t look back. One issue with many science units is that they do not run in both semesters. This means that if you fail a unit in the first semester, you may have to wait until the next year to retake it. This is made even more difficult with Summer/ Winter School options. In your first year you are quite lucky, as many of the units you take will be offered over the summer and winter break. This can be used to lighten your load during semester or as a safety net in case you do fail something. However, do not depend on winter and summer school in your second and third year as the options for science courses drops dramatically. A final note about choosing your units - study what you are interested in. Just because you are in a science degree doesn’t mean you can’t take units from other faculties. If you love Mandarin, Film Studies, Politics, Business or History, take units in them! So long as you follow the rules of the degree and your chosen major don’t feel the need to only take science units. The Classes Many (if not most) of your science units will have a practical component. This may be a laboratory, tutorial or a computer based practical and will depend on the units you are taking. It is not uncommon for the practical course to be completely estranged in concepts to the theory course - essentially doubling the amount of knowledge you need to know. The best advice for tackling this is to attend your lectures or watch them regularly online. Do not assume that because you are attending your practicals, and doing well in them, that you will pass your theory course. They are often very different and demand knowledge of completely different things. The science faculty is usually pretty good with providing students with lecture slides and recordings. However, check each of your units at the start of the semester because the coordinator does not need to provide either! You’ll need to buy a lab coat, safety glasses and calculator for most of your first year classes. They should last you your whole degree and can be bought on campus. You can also loan all these things from the USyd SRC for free! So if you forget to bring them one day do not panic. The last thing you may need for your classes is a textbook. This is widely contested among students. Some say they bought them and never needed them and other swear by their usefulness. My tip is to not purchase them before you start the semester. Wait until you are a few weeks into it and have a better idea of if you need more resources.


8am classes (typically advanced streams) will be difficult, but the Carslaw coffee cart is your friend. A lot of lecturers will put their notes online, but staring at the numbers on a piece of paper is not quite the same as hearing it firsthand. If you’re not a morning person, you’re probably screwed either way. Maybe the normal stream is better for you. There are several options for majors in maths: pure, applied, and statistics. Differential equations and biomaths, both the advanced and normal streams, come highly recommended. The lecturers are good, and the subject matter is interesting. Beware though, advanced assessments can be “deceptively hard”. Other good lecturers include Daniel Daners, Holger Dullin (provided you don’t let him bore you), and Daniel Hauer. Basically, if you’re set on doing maths at University, challenge yourself in first year, probably try to avoid advanced statistics unless it’s really your thing, call out sexism when you see it, buy a lot of coffee, and prepare for tough exams. Sounds a bit shit, but really, nothing beats that feeling when that proof comes out neatly. QED.

“How is this Maths related?” said the Arts student, incredulously.

First semester first year starts you off with Concepts in Biology and Human Biology. Much of the popularity of Concepts is owed to School superstar Danny Liu, who has sadly been wooed away to Macquarie, but hopefully his enthusiasm will continue on with the new coordinator. Human Biology, similarly, is a fantastic subject and lots of fun. In second semester you’ll have a choice of Living Systems and MBLG 1001 ‘Molecular Biology and Genetics’. MBLG is renowned amongst Biology students as punishingly hard, with extra long pracs and an intense workload making it a lot to handle. Despite this, the enthusiasm and energy of the coordinator makes it a great course, but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart. The advanced unit (2902) was greatly recommended; no doubt due to its exponentially smaller cohort (100s rather than 1000s) and a field-trip and report replacing constant quizzes.

Students’ Representative Council

There are a few options when taking maths in first year: advanced, normal, and fundamental. Fundamental is often populated with Science students, taking their compulsory first year maths students. For the keen maths kids, our survey respondents recommended trying out advanced first, to put you in good stead for future years. If you find it’s too much work, dropping down to the normal stream shouldn’t be too difficult.

Biology If you’re captivated by this ‘living’ science, the School of Biology can quickly become your second home. Passionate and dedicated teaching staff are able to make even dry subjects palatable, and countless interesting research projects from all corners of the field enable students to explore and engage with practical research from the beginning of their degree.

Successive cuts to the School has meant entire fields of Biology have been consolidated into single subjects, which is what you get in first semester second year: Zoology, Botany and Cell Biology. Botany is without a doubt the standout of these three. Don’t be turned away due to lacking interest in plants! Many an ambivalent student has been converted by this phenomenal course and Murray Henwood’s beauuuutiful voice. Cell Biology, like MBLG, is hard but worthwhile, and Murray Thompson is a wonderful lecturer. Your necessary subject in second semester is Biology Experimental Design and Analysis. Though it sounds quite dry, the statistics course imparts you with vital knowledge about designing good experiments and statistically analysing results. Fieldwork units are not to be missed! With opportunities to go to places like Kakadu or the Great Barrier Reef, students have described them as some of the best weeks possible. Advanced units are recommended to anyone willing to put in extra effort to pursue a career in Biology. They give students a unique opportunity to get to know researches, run independent experiments, try different projects and potentially even publish papers.

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Maths It should come as no surprise that maths is a boys’ club. In one course I took, the lecturer tried to give the pink coloured quizzes only to the women, before quickly realising that he’d have a large surplus of pink quizzes, and not nearly enough blue ones. (I think he then started to give pink quizzes to the effeminate men in the room, taking his bigotry to the next level.) But this shouldn’t deter any budding female mathematicians, because solving that proof is all the more rewarding when there’s sexism involved.


Here are two more classic photos from our discontinued B.A. (White Saviour)

The no-bullshit guide

Physics As you should well know on approaching a three-year undergrad course in physics, the subject encompasses a wide-range of phenomena- from tiny molecules on planes to stars and cosmic wind tunnels, physics is “phun”. The standard and advanced streams that are the only ones available to students keen to embark on a major in physics allow students to explore a wide and varied array of subjects and phenomena all under the banner of physics, with more room for students to move after the mandatory subjects have been finished. The detail and range in these courses will keep you interested the further on you get into your degree, as it allows experts to focus on their area throughout a massive amount of lectures which is excellent for students as it really allows you to hone your skills in science and maths and develop ideas on what you want to do once you graduate.

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Not The University of Sydney

A little tip is that if you only have experience from physics and maths in high school is that if you need help you can always ask your lecturers for help. It’s their job and they’re always keen to help you out. Failing that – aka if your homework is due next period and you still haven’t finished it – wander around the Sci Tech library and have a look to see if anyone else is doing the same homework and ask them for help. I guarantee you won’t regret asking! Yes, this is literally in the University handbook.

Much-praised areas of the department include David Reilly’s interesting but deviating-prone third year subject Condensed Matter Physics, which focuses on stories and screw ups by historical physicists and the deplorably interesting Quantum Mechanics module taught by the superstar researcher Michael Biercuk. Biercuk might explode your brain a little as he tries to derive all of space and time ‘by pure thought’ but he’s absolutely fantastic and I love him. For subjects like Electrodynamics and Spacial Relativity, which build on junior-subject material immediately, it’s important that you revise continually. The incredibly competent lecturers will know if you don’t and it’ll only have a detrimental impact on your results.


Reviewers praised chemistry for the great deal of flexibility it offers first year students. CHEM 1001 and CHEM1002 are designed for students who have never taken chemistry at high school and students praised the quality of teaching in these units and the pace of their introduction to the science. For those more experienced chemists, CHEM1101 and 1102 are the standard first year units. Students who enrolled in the higher-level advanced CHEM1901 and 1902 and Special Studies Program (SSP) 1903 and 1904, also gave rave reviews about their courses. Lecturers Peter Rutledge, Lou Rendina and Tim Schmidt were all highly praised for their lectures and teaching style. First year coordinator Adam Bridgeman also deserves commendation for his timely feedback and his work to improve the quality of education within courses throughout the year. Having a variety of streams means students can pick the difficulty that best suits them. One useful piece of advice from reviewers was that if a student is interested in a particular stream, but may not have got the 95 ATAR for advanced: they should speak to their course coordinator.

Students’ Representative Council

Chemistry Something must be in the H2O in the Chemistry building because year after year students emerge raving about the quality of their teachers and courses. Despite that, future Heisenbergs should be aware that chemistry is no cakewalk. Get ready to fall in love with a building whose beauty rivals that of the UTS tour because you will be spending a lot of time there. Each first year chemistry course has three lectures, a tutorial and a three-hour lab each week. But if the end of Breaking Bad left you hankering for more chemical education, chemistry may be for you.

For senior and intermediate units, students gave positive reviews for the second year courses CHEM2401/2911(Ad vanced)/2915(SSP) and CHEM2402/2912/2916. Despite the 8am and 9am lectures, students found these courses engaging and interesting. Solid State Chemistry with Chris Ling was also very positively reviewed, but noted for its intense difficulty and speed. One important aspect of chemistry teaching at Sydney is its assessment program. Students sit a number of quizzes throughout the semester worth very little, which were seen by reviewers as a “rote-learning exercise”, and must then face the 70% final exam. This can be rather daunting given the sheer volume of content within each chemistry course, but some reviewers felt the exam “tested the ability to apply, rather than regurgitate.” Reviewers encouraged Yes, this is also in the University handbook. No, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. future students to ask questions in tutorials in order to ensure they were useful.

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If the prospect of a seriously weighty exam and a high number of contact hours does not throw you off, we’re positive that with teachers this dangerously competent and with an infectious love for pyrotechnics, chemistry is sure to be a blast.


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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

This delicious assortment of random photos is also in the University handbook. I wonder if they realise that the open-cut mine might be slightly incompatible with the solar panel. Oh well.

Geosciences The School of Geosciences offers units of study in the discipline areas of Geography, Geology and Geophysics. You’re able to major in Geography, Geology & Geophysics, Marine Sciences or Environmental Studies, so you’ve got some pretty good options in terms of degree progression. The first year Geosciences courses were really well-received by survey respondents, particularly GEOS1001 and GEOS1002. People said of GEOS1001: Earth, Environment and Society - “interesting case studies” “great basic understanding on both natural and human geography and geology” “mid-sem and end of sem exams were both multiple choice!!!” One respondent said that the lecture and tutorial content didn’t often seem to correlate, however. This was also the case in GEOS 1003: Introduction to Geology. Of GEOS1002: Introductory Geography - “Hands down the best subject I did this year” “content was super interesting”. Staff - both lecturers and tutors - were apparently easy to talk to and get in contact with. Lectures were great. Three lecturers brought different and valuable perspectives. One respondent thought that the course could have been structured better though, and didn’t think the one hour tutorial fortnightly with presentations was enough to keep up with course content. GEOS1902: Introductory Geography (Advanced) was similarly recommended.


Bachelor of Psychology Studying Psychology is many things – “interesting”, “challenging”, “inspiring” – but a bludge is one thing it definitely is not! Psychology, particularly in first year, has some of the most popular units of study at Sydney University. If you are one of the 2300 students choosing to take first year Psychology, then you will get to meet two of the School’s most exciting lecturers - Niko Tiliopoulos and Caleb Owens.

The greatest problem students faced was keeping on top of the content. For this reason, many students strongly recommended attending all lectures rather than simply using lecture slides. Final word of advice for first years is to not be fooled by the end of semester 100 multiple-choice exam – you will actually need to study. Just remember that these are multiple-choice questions written by psychologists so they will almost definitely play with your mind! For a Psychology major, second year will entail 4 compulsory Intermediate units. Overall, students positively reviewed these units. PSYC2911 (Brain and Behaviour Advanced) gets special mention for including animal experimentation in tutes. That’s right folks, rats!

Students’ Representative Council

The compulsory first year units for a Psychology major, PSYC1001 and PSYC1002, give a broad overview of the discipline, covering 6 key areas of Psychology in each unit.

Also of note is PSYC2011/2911’s lecturer, Ian Johnston, who is adored by students as “an amazing lecturer”. Again, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that “lecture material is pretty extensive and intense”.

This is the only photo that is in the Psychology section of the University handbook. Is this like a taunt or something? It is wierldy entrancing.

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Third year Psychology units of study got a lot of love. (Not surprising really, if you’re still doing psychology at this point, you can’t possibly be normal!) If you like challenging and stimulating topics and you can cope with an insane content load, then PSYC3010, 3016, 3017 and 3018 are for you. PSYC3020 (Applications of Psychological Science) got a good wrap for being an interesting yet relatively easy course.


Nursing and Midwifery Budget cuts have affected teachers’ capacity to deliver a world-class education for aspiring nurses and midwives.

-- No snark here, you are literally doing God’s work, thank you you kind souls -- Also, join your union, it’s super good – NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Though the Nursing and Midwifery department at Sydney University may sound like a somewhat exciting and prestigious faculty, the sad truth is that budgetary constraints have had a detrimental impact on the courses on offer for several years now. Responses varied from unit to unit, however the most concurrent was that the department of Nursing was both difficult to gain admission to as well as understaffed, not unlike nursing in the real world. Students admitted that class sizes were relatively small, making it easier to get more contact time with coordinators however there wasn’t much to select from as far as academic staff go. One student even complained “I had to apply three times before I got accepted. What is this, law? The world needs more nurses, not more lawyers- why are both schools so hard to get into?” The answer of which we may never know, suffice it to say that perhaps funding is being pulled from one school whilst being poured into another and nobody really seems to be able to explain why one is more important than the other. Nursing certainly seems to be one of those courses that many students have the wrong impression of when they apply. There were an abundance of students that responded with surprise that the learning process at Sydney University Nursing was a somewhat homebound and solitary one. Apart from clinical contact hours the majority of studying the theoretical side of nursing is done alone at home unless you’re lucky enough to organise a study circle in the brief time you get in the small yearly cohorts that frequent the school. The clinical hours and staff were, however, described as some of the department’s crowning jewels. Teachers were praised for their dedication to the subject as well as those they taught and worked with, always able to take extra classes if need be. Some students expressed concern that the teachers seemed overworked but happy, though frustration with university management abounded with students. Good god that mannequin baby is terrifying. NURS5085 ‘Mental Health’ was certainly one of the most popular courses, with the autonomous research week in July and Practice Lab hours both receiving high praise from students as well. One student nurse described the lab as overwhelmingly supportive during the trying assessment periods. There is also free dissecting kit and lab coat hire from the SRC, which you should definitely take advantage of. Nursing students also advised first years to keep notes throughout their degree and look for nursing assistant jobs later in their degree to help them improve and consolidate their skills.


Veterinary Science

-- You are Dr. Harry, Australian hero -- You are also Eddie Murphy from that film -- You’ve basically made it in life -- You are also one of the Bondi Vets (which I regularly confuse with Bondi Rescue)

More seriously, congratulations. As well as being one of the most soughtafter courses at Sydney University, Vet Science is distinguished as being one of the only courses in which the lecturer has a ‘Lizard of the Day’ segment to every tutorial. You’ve made it.

Students’ Representative Council

Why look, it’s you, Dr. Harry! Or are you the Bondi Vet? Or have I just exhausted literally all the veterinaries I know or have ever heard of?

People seem to assume that Vet Sci isn’t as competitive or difficult as Medicine or Law, but if you think about it- there are about a million different kinds of animals and only a bunch of laws an even less species of human. OK, there’s only one species of human but still. You get my point. Academic staff get a massive thumbs up in this department, with many praising their teaching styles as well as their ability to engage students and provide careful and rigorous analysis of theory and other course content that allows students more reliable info for assessments. You don’t really begin to start interacting with animals until much later in your degree but with lecturers like Corinna Klupeic “nice and interesting/interested in her students” as well as taking a few different approaches to teaching anatomy, a notoriously dry segment of the degree that I have no snark for this. I love kittens. All dog people, remains ongoing until grad. please stop reading. This handbook is not for you. Glenn Shea was also highly praised for his rapport with students, with many praising him for his friendly manner. Kate Bosward and Jacqui Norris were lauded for their thorough exploration of microbiological animal diseases, which many thought proved challenging but fulfilling.

Sadly, as it is competitive, some assessments in Vet Sci are really heavily weighted, including some exams of over 80% to be competed in a few short hours. Therefore, the resounding feedback was that although it’s challenging, Vet Sci is worth the effort. KITTIES!

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Cell Bio 1B was a more science-heavy subject but surprisingly was also enjoyed by students, with many saying they were glad they took it. The subject explores the more avant-garde cutting edge forms of molecular biotechnical developments that are in the works to help vets diagnose tricky diseases.


Health Sciences

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Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

Located deep in the city centre of Lidcombe (this is what the website actually says – not true) is home to that glorious strain of humans slaves to our bodies, intent on making the world a better place, one speech therapy lesson at a time: Health Science students.

-- I have literally no cultural references for health scientists -- Something, something, Dr. Oz show? -- If you’re reading this and pity me, please email me and offer guidance for next year

Now, although Cumberland (playfully dubbed ‘Cumbo’ by almost everyone), is lauded on its own website as being prestigious and wonderful, sadly many Health Sciences students feel alienated by the campus’s isolated location and many described feeling ‘left behind’ by the This is also super adorable. They both look really happy. God bless you Health Sciences students. main campus. Another thing you might be a little unprepared for as far as subjects go is just how intense the study loads and expectations are for student in their first year. This continues through the next four years unfortunately, with some students complaining about the large amount of compulsory subjects needed for a Health Sciences degree. This isn’t the case for all subjects but Cumbo students will be comforted by the fact that it is often the case for practical-based Science subjects, and that many Science students on main campus are going through the same rigorous study requirements. Students were enthusiastic about subjects BIOS1168 ‘Functional Musculoskeletal Anatomy A’ as well as BIOS1171 ‘Neuroscience’ and CSCD2606 ‘Introductory Practice II’ in the Speech Pathology and Physiotherapy schools. Clinical Educator Robyn Johnson was among the staff praised, with students OK, I’m pretty sure that shouldn’t bend like that. complementing her enthusiasm and ability to engage students in their coursework as well as providing timely feedback concerning student’s queries and assessments (an important quality!) CSCD2026 ‘Motor Speech and Dysphagia’ was a favourite subject, with students applauding the lecturer’s stimulating style and the fact that they practice in the area. So to finish you off: Cumbo may be a bit far away, but as with most satellite campuses, the strength is in the community of those who are all in it together out there, sweatin’ it in Lidcombe. (You will also get to move to USyd next year, so this is all subject to change.) Even the staff cohort is tight knit, with many described as passionate about their subject area and keen to get students involved in their field. Have at it!


The Conservatorium of Music

-- La La Land (jazz is in) -- Beethoven -- Coldplay (don’t judge me) -- Nickleback (apologies) -- The Beatles (not Yoko Ono)

Nobody really knows what this claim is based upon, but with a history of spending exorbitant amounts of money on publicity and marketing surely it has to be a first class institution?

Students’ Representative Council

Congratulations! You’ve made it into the Con – “one of the world’s leading tertiary musical institutions” – or as you will be constantly told by the institution’s PR department.

If you disregard the fact that budget cuts have been a recurring theme over the years (let’s see what they cut this year) or that many important student support services are inaccessible or non-existent at The Con - oh, and let’s not even get started on all of the controversy (to get up to speed on the drama, just trawl the archives of the SMH or Honi Soit). But don’t panic! If you learn to navigate your way through this mess - be sure to ask the Conservatorium Students’ Association (CSA) for tips and support! - you can get to the other end of your What... what even is this machine? degree reasonably unscathed. You still won’t have any career prospects, of course. I mean, you’re studying here purely for the love of music, right? (if not, run away now while you can!). In all seriousness, as former students will attest, the hard work and hours of practice you put in to your music degree will be fulfilling. And there are also great academic staff members who will help you along the way. Lewis Cornwell has received very positive evaluations from students. Which is lucky because you don’t really have a choice - you will all have him as a lecturer for 2 years of ‘Harmony and Analysis’ (unless if you’re a Jazz student). Another popular lecturer is David Larkin. This may be, in part, due to the fact that every second student has a crush on this Cambridge-educated Irish heartthrob. Apparently his lectures are also engaging, so consider taking his courses when selecting Music History subjects.

There are also additional costs involved in studying at The Con. Accompanist fees can be quite expensive, especially if you regularly require one for lessons. Composition students are expected to organise concerts and have their pieces performed each semester. Paying performers and hiring venues can be very costly. Be sure to look out for the many scholarships on offer to Conservatorium students - they’re not too well advertised but they are there, and many are equity-based.

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There are certain courses that you need to look out for. You could be asked to commit to more concert programmes than you need to. If you think this may be the case, but are unsure, contact the CSA for guidance. Honours is another grey area. Unlike most Honours programmes, Performance and Composition Honours requires students to complete a recital or composition portfolio in addition to submitting a thesis. Students have noted that the course is not structured well to allow you to juggle both major components.


How to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault* When someone says they have been sexually assaulted, the first response can define their healing process and greatly impact them following their assault. Your role as a supporter is critical. A response which is supportive, non-blaming and compassionate will help the person feel like they have chosen the right person to speak with. To be the person someone choses to tell the most awful story of their life is a very honourable place to be. It is also a place of great responsibility. Below are some examples of important things to do and say to someone who tells you they have been sexually assaulted.

Three key things to say... Say...

Not The University of Sydney

The no-bullshit guide

• I’m sorry for what happened. • What happened was a crime. • I will do what I can to help.

This is heard as... • I believe you. • This is not your fault. • You are not alone.

Initial response Do:

• Listen to the story. • Let them express how they feel. • Let them cry. • Encourage them. • Not worry if parts of the story don’t add up. • Tell them you are sorry for what happened. • Explain what you can do.

Do not:

• Tell them what to do or try to take over. • Ask them the ‘why’ questions; why they were there, why they trusted them. >> Why questions are blame questions. • Get angry on their behalf. >> They have enough to deal with without worrying about you. • Assume you know how they feel. >> Everyone experiences sexual assault differently.

If the sexual assault was recent • Consider options for preserving forensic evidence. • Help the person to access counselling and medical services. • Assist them to consider reporting to Police.

REMEMBER!

The decision about what to do is always with the person who has experienced sexual assault.

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* All information provided is from Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia (R&DVSA). Call NSW Rape Crisis Centre at 1800 424 017 to have direct access to trauma specialist councillors from the R&DVSA.


Attributions

Every staff member at the SRC, you’re beautiful and we love you more than words could write; every single contributor, you’re all beautiful and we love you even more than your words could write (and, trust us, they’re Very Good Words); the good people of UberEats, don’t let Deliveroo get you down; meat boxes, and the University Brothers in the Wentworth building; all puppies everywhere; Bernie Sanders; Eden, for copy-editing and; you, for reading this far. You’re amazing. Let me know you actually read it this far (0488 629 555), you’ll get a free* one-time only** and exclusive*** prize.

No thanks to Tories; tree Tories; the haterz; Ali Baba and its suppliers; Brexit; SUSF; defamation lawsuits; Indesign; the Restructure; Stephen Garton; Michael Spence; in fact, all of the University management; Malcolm Turnbull; Donald Trump; Nickleback; AskJeeves; statutory declarations; the colleges; canceling my degree midway through; pro-lifers; the need for vitamin D; Specsavers; climate change; sweat; bad coffee; heroin; UberEats making me pay a $5 delivery fee; the patriarchy; volunteerism, and; ibises. Death to all ibises.

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Not The University of Sydney

Thanks to

Students’ Representative Council

Spence’s welcome and ‘Why study here?’ (pgs. 2–4) – Adam Chalmers A-Z of Uni (pg. 5) – Aidy Magro Editorial (pg. 5), Campus map (pg. 6–7) – Daniel Ergas Student accommodation (pg. 8) – Roy Elder How to: Centrelink (pg. 8) – SRC caseworkers (bless) Student life (pg. 9) – Bella Pytka Surviving University administration (pg. 10) – Courtney Thompson LGBTQIA 101 (pg. 14) – Queer Collective OBs, Andrea Zephyr, Connor Parissis and Will Edwards Sustainability on and off campus (pg. 15) – Maushmi Powar, Seth Ben Dias, Jodie Pall and Andy Mason Why students need to fight (pg. 16) – April Holcombe Restructure infographic (pg. 17) – Kim Murphy Don’t discount a protest (pg. 18) - April Holcombe An early radical history of our University (pg. 19) - Lily Campbell Saving our Sydney College of the Arts (pg. 20) - Thandi Bethune Students’ rights on and off campus (pg. 20) - Caitie McMenamin Our curriculum is a (white) washing machine (pg. 21) - Sophia Chung, Maddy Ward, Radha Wahyuwidayat Why students must continue to support Aboriginal communities (pg. 22) - Shayma Taweel, Andy Mason and Jessica Syed Comprehensive High School Network (pg. 23) - Jenna Schroder When you’re the first (pg. 23) - Shayma Taweel Arts and Social Science (pgs. 26–29) - Finn Keogh, Aidy Magro, Caitie McMenamin Law (pg. 30) - Patrick Ryan Agriculture and Environment (pg. 31) - Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes Architecture Design and Planning (pg. 32) - Roy Elder Pharmacy (pg. 33), Dentistry (p. 34), Nursing and Midwifery (pg. 50), Veterinary Science (pg. 51), Health Sciences (pg. 52), The Con (pg. 53) - Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes Commerce (pgs. 35–37), Engineering and Information Techonology (pgs. 38–42) - Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes and Bella Pykta Science (pgs. 43–49) – Jenna Schroder, Blythe Worthy, David Shakes and Jake Williams How to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault (pg. 54) – Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia

* not free ** as many times as you like *** for anyone

[Insert Name Here]

You want a list of the best people ever? You’ve found it. Thank you to all our authors, you’re collectively and individually the best.


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Not The University of Sydney The no-bullshit guide

Students’ Representative Council


Countercourse2017 complete web