Published by the TUU State Council on behalf of the Tasmania University Union (henceforth â€œthe publishersâ€?) It is understood that all submissions to Togatus is still the intellectual property of the contributor. However, the publishers reserve the right to reproduce material on the Togatus website at togatus.com.au Togatus Team: Editor-in-Chief: Joe Brady Deputy Editor: Logan Linkston Creative Director: Maddie Burrows Publication Director: Monte Bovill Graphic Designer: Liam Johnson Togatus welcomes all your contributions. Please email your work and ideas to email@example.com The opinions expressed herein are not those of the editors, the publishers, the University of Tasmania, or the Tasmania University Union. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that Togatus articles and other information are up-to-date and as accurate as possible at the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Togatus for any errors or omissions. Contact Togatus: Twitter & Instagram: @togatus_ Facebook: facebook.com/TogatusOnline Website: togatus.com.au Post: PO Box 5055, UTAS LPO, Sandy Bay 7005 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Togatus is printed by Monotone Art Printers.
A TUU Welcome
A Tog Manifesto
Four UTAS Websites That’ll Save Your Arse
Reading Your Student Timetable
Your Union and You
Life in Launnie
It’s All About Clubs & Societies
Life in Hobart
Sports @ UTAS
The Life of a Postgraduate
Being a Student Advocate
TUU Budget Breakdown
Misconceptions of the Union
Life in Cradle
A TUU Welcome Sharifah Syed-Rohan - TUU President
To commencing students, welcome to the University of Tasmania, for returning students, welcome back! The Tasmania University Union is here for two main reasons. First, we are here for when things don’t go according to plan. If you fail a course, feel that you have been aggrieved by a lecturer or university policy, are struggling to find accommodation, don’t have the money for textbooks, need to appeal a mark or struggle financially — we are here to help. We also provide representation for undergraduate and postgraduate students. We are elected annually and it’s our role to represent your views to the university, the government, the media and the broader community. So if you feel as though your voice isn’t being heard, or you would like to change something about the way the university operates, the TUU is the place to come. Secondly, the TUU is here to ensure that your university experience is fulfilling both in and beyond the confines of the classroom. We believe that university is not all about turning up, going to class, passing and getting a degree. Okay, well, it sort of is, but it is also much more multifaceted than that. #yourTUU affiliates over 100 clubs and societies, provide free student diaries, run your Welcome Weeks, publishes Togatus and hosts a myriad of events. So no matter what you’re into we will have something for you, so make sure you attend a few events and drop by the office to pick up some free stuff or just hang out.
Throughout 2019 the TUU will have a focus on: •
Ensuring the TUU and UTAS are more accountable for their decisions by encouraging consultation with students.
Promoting a ‘green university’ by placing the environment and sustainability at the top of our agenda.
Advocating for better support for student mental health and wellbeing.
Creating an inclusive and vibrant campus culture, with original, creative and new events occurring throughout the year.
Collaborating with UTAS and other stakeholders.
But if you think #yourTUU is not adequately representing you, then you need to tell us. My advice to new students and continuing students is to get involved. University is what you make of it and so is #yourTUU. If there is something we are not doing that you think we should, get in here, tell us and we will see what we can do! Get active while you are here, become a member of a sports team, join a myriad of clubs & societies, come along to our events, and of course, make sure you read Togatus! Stay safe, have fun and welcome to the University of Tasmania!
A Tog Manifesto Joe Brady - Togatus Editor-in-Chief To commencing students — hoo boy! Sorry to hear you weren’t accepted into a mainland university. For returning students, welcome back! Togatus is one of the distinguished cultural institutions of the TUU. Always editorially independent and passionate about student journalism, it was our team that brought you groundbreaking stories such as ‘How to Make Blackberry Muffins’ and ‘I’m An Adult Now, Mum: I’m Allowed to Swear’. Self-indulgent and not that funny, we distinguish ourselves from drab university publications, who are self-serious and not that funny. We take submissions from students. Make them interesting, or funny, please. The Tog Team is stocked with cultured folk with mature creative palettes — we love good student art, stories about your life and family, mockery, and sharp intersectional critique. We also like movies, books, and good cheer. Bring them to us, and unto you we shalleth bestow the title ‘Officially Published’, followed by ‘Congrats, You’ve Peaked: A Student Magazine Accepted Your Submission’. We might be a rag, but we’re Tassie’s rag, and we’re the best student mag in Australia. Sure, we’ve certainly had our ups and downs, but, uh… that’s better than flat-lining out the door.
We carry on in this tradition, bound by our sacred mission statement: •
To mock and sully the good names of honest people with poorly-drawn and ill-conceived cartoons.
To degenerate the cultural fabric of the proud UTAS institution.
To expand our illustrious recipe and poetry sections to eventually dominate all content in the magazine.
To do the fashionable millennial thing of writing ironic editorials in the face of the looming mass-extinction climate disaster and economic collapse.
So don’t be a square. Please read our rag. Even better — send us what you’ve got, and you will be able to show your parents back home that your writing career is, at last, finally going somewhere (a free periodical attached to a real-estate developer disguised as a university). See you in the stands and the streets.
(To those of you who keep mailing the editor-in-chief about the poor working conditions of Togatus staff: they will unionise over my dead body, and writing at me only makes my opinions worse).
Commencing Students What You Need to Know The start of semester is alway crazy, so sit back, relax and we’ll guide you through it. Imagine you’re going through a pre-flight checklist and you’ve got no idea how to the fly the plane. Also, the plane has no wings, and two buttons for every function. And much like the uni internet infrastructure, the plane is also on fire. But like we said, we’ll guide you through it. So here is a Tog crash-course on how not to crash your plane (or mess up the start of your semester).
What to Check 1.
Make sure you’ve completed your enrolment in eStudent by the end of week one. Since undergrad units often have their first tutorials in week two, if you switch around your units, you’re less likely to get into your preferred tutorial group and the more content you will have missed.
But if you do change your mind, you’ll need to withdraw from a unit before the census date (March 22) or else you may have to pay for the unit. If you withdraw after April 15, you’ll receive a failure (NN) rating for that unit. A fail appears in your academic records, and you really don’t want that.
You can check your class timetable at student-timetable.utas.edu.au and hopefully your units should be finalised by the end Orientation Week. If you work while studying, you can start planning your availability in advance.
Before the onslaught of semester one, check that you are able to log into and know your way around UTAS systems, including your UTAS Webmail, MyLO, UTAS Library and eStudent. We have a guide for these websites that you’ll need to familiarise yourself with on page 12.
If you are unsure about your units, contact your unit coordinator. Their names can usually be found in the Course and Unit Handbook: utas.edu. au/courses (under the unit summary, look for coordinator). Once you find their name, look for their email address at secure.utas.edu.au/staff/index
Who to Contact 1.
If you are already enrolled in a course (eg. a Bachelor of Science) and need more information, contact the lecturer, tutor or coordinator for a particular unit, or contact the coordinator if you need to change your units. Any lecturer teaching the course should be able to tell you who is the unit coordinator.
If you have not enrolled in a course and would like to know more, contact Student Services. They are located in the Morris Miller Library in Sandy Bay, or the Student Centre in Newnham. You can also call them on 1300 361 928, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are having trouble with your eStudent, contact Student Services.
Likewise, if MyLO is playing up, such as not having access to a certain lecture video or module, contact your lecturer or tutor for that unit.
If you are unable to log into any of the UTAS systems you can always contact IT services. They’re available at utas1.service-now.com/selfservice from 8am to 6pm weekdays. If you need to report a problem online do so via the self service portal and select ‘Support’ and from there you can create a request or enquiry.
But it Isn’t Working 1.
If your computer is not working as it should, have you tried turning it off and on again? You’ll need to turn it off entirely, not just put it to sleep, close the lid or hibernate.
If you need to reset your password go to utas.edu.au/mypassword and click on ‘Set your Password’ then enter your username and click ‘Next’. A security code will be sent to your mobile phone. Enter the code and continue in order to set a new password.
Make sure you read the prompts on UTAS websites carefully because some sites like MyLO require your email address as a username (example@utas. edu.au), while others may just ask for your generic UTAS username.
If you have not been provided with a username or password, or are unable to login after attempting to reset your password, contact IT Services. Have your Student ID number on hand, as well as information such as your date of birth and mobile number for identification purposes.
Did You Know? 1.
The Launceston, Cradle Coast and Morris Miller Library offer 24/7 access. You’ll need to obtain a swipe card for the respective library. You may need to go to the Student Centre on that campus to receive one.
On the Sandy Bay campus, the Student Lounge is across from Morris Miller. It’s a space for students to relax and/or do their homework, albeit in a rather noisy environment. You can also access the lounge after hours if you have the same swipe card.
There are study rooms available to book for groups of at least two people. Visit utas.libcal.com and make sure you double check which room you’re booking. Some people have accidentally booked a room in the Launceston library and then rocked up at a room on the Sandy Bay campus!
Four UTAS Websites
That’ll Save Your Arse .
Your first year of university (and every subsequent year) as a student can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do you need to know your way around the campus, but you’ll also need to learn how to navigate the uni websites. To ease your worries, here’s a list of UTAS websites that you need to be checking regularly.
1: UTAS Webmail
Your UTAS email is the primary form of electronic communication between staff and students. University-wide announcements and the Student Services weekly newsletter are both sent to your inbox. It’s a good habit to check your UTAS email consistently to ensure you remain up-to-date, especially as last minute class cancellations are usually announced here. When your password is due for an update, you will also be reminded through your UTAS email.
MyLO (My Learning Online) is where virtually anything related to your units is located. This is where you find lecture recordings, lecture slides, required readings and quizzes. Most units require assignments to be submitted through MyLO. More often than not, signing up for tutorials is done on this site as well.
3: UTAS Library
The UTAS Library website is a valuable resource, especially when it comes to assessments. It boasts a large collection of journals, papers, articles and other content that may otherwise be restricted outside of the university. The Library also archives previous exam papers, that can be incredibly useful for revision.
While you donâ€™t need to check eStudent every week, itâ€™s still something that you need to check during specific periods throughout the year. Your exam timetable and unit results will be released through eStudent. You can find the HECS-HELP Loan form on this website as well as request your academic transcript too.
Understanding Enrolments Are you a first-year student who has been traumatised by eStudent’s study planner? Or are you a third year who just continually fails at a smooth enrolment? Below is a simple guide on how to achieve a stress-free start to semester. To begin, go to estudent.utas.edu.au and log in. You can enrol in undergrad and postgrad courses online through eStudent. eStudent is not only where you enrol, but where you manage your payments/fees and personal details.
Once you’ve logged in, head straight to the ‘Study’ tab, then ‘Manage Study Plan’. Certain degrees will have a personalised study plan with a selection of preplanned units. Otherwise you’ll have to manually select which units to study.
Next you can finally begin choosing and enrolling in your units. Note that you must accept the terms and conditions and complete any additional forms to activate your study plan. Your study plan will identify your units as the following: Planned: The unit is required in your degree, but you have not yet enrolled. Enrolled: You are currently enrolled in this unit. Passed: You have successfully passed the unit. Some units are only offered during certain semesters and others may only be available by distance and/or on-campus. You can check and select these at utas.edu.au/courses or on your study plan. When you’ve decided which units you want to take, click ‘Add to Study Planner’ and then ‘Save Changes on Study Planner’ before returning back to the study plan to officially enrol.
You will have to choose the correct availability from the drop-down menu before ticking the enrol box on the right for all of your desired units,. Then scroll to the bottom and click ‘Confirm Enrolment’. It will ask you to confirm once more before submitting, and then you’re done! Ensure you fulfil the correct amount of credit points for your semester because this may differ based on your degree structure. The most common structure is full time — four units worth 12.50 credit points per semester.
Reading Your Student Timetable Your student timetable can be found at student-timetable.utas.edu.au To find your courses, select the study period you wish to view, your campus and either ‘All Classes’ (tutorials, seminars and practicals) or ‘Lectures Only’. Enter either your Student ID number to see all of your classes or alternatively, you can enter any individual course code. Each box on the timetable will display the unit code, class type, the venue and weeks in which it is offered. You may have multiple classes at the same time. Most units only require you to attend one tutorial a week, but your student timetable will display all of the possible tutorial time slots. You will need to join a tutorial
group by visiting the ‘Groups’ tab in MyLO once they open, usually following the first lecture. Tutorials generally begin in the second week of semester. Also check to see if your lectures are recorded as they can be found on MyLO too. The red hyperlink under the word ‘venue’ in each box, opens a separate window featuring additional details and another red hyperlink to UTAS Maps to help you find your class. This page shows you a floorplan of the building and will often show photos of the rooms if you hover your mouse around. You can also print your timetable. But before we get to that, read the instructions under ‘Customising Your Timetable’ and ‘Printing Your Timetable’ at the top of the page. The most important part of these directions is the print button, which can be toggled on and off in each of the boxes. When you go to print, the boxes you have disabled printing for will disappear and you’ll be ready for the semester!
Your Union and You You are part of a union! So what does that mean?
There is power in a union. So congratulations are in order — as a student of the University of Tasmania, you are also a member of the Tasmania University Union. And that’s a great thing, particularly in the heat of study. At your disposal are clubs and societies, as well as notorious events. But when it matters the Union will also have your back. So what does that mean exactly? It means that everything the TUU does — events, clubs and societies, counselling, and yes, Togatus — is at your fingertips. The TUU talks with the university about problems that students may face and when it comes down to it, will fight for your rights as a student. So where can you find the TUU? At the Sandy Bay campus, you’ll find a whole lot of helpful staff, as well as parenting, queer, and women’s rooms, a student kitchen, study space and a bunch of meeting rooms.
At Cradle Coast, you can drop into the TUU office and chat to representatives and staff, sneak free tea and coffee (and advocacy support!) as well as take up space in the student lounge. Launnie has a student lounge too, featuring warm beverages containing leaves and/or caffeine, and the option to talk to some friendly staff members. The Sydney campus also boasts all of the above, in addition to incredibly reasonable housing prices compared to Hobart. And if you happen to be living in the bush as a distance student, completely driven out of civilisation by said housing prices, you can always call your nearest TUU contact centre on 6226 2495 (Sandy Bay) or 6324 3757 (Newnham).
Make sure you take advantage of the services the TUU offers to support your transition into university.
Life in Launnie Dillon Ong – Campus President North Hey guys, I’m Dillon and I’ve been on the State Council for a couple of years. This year, I’m glad to be your Campus President North together with the community which I’ve loved since starting university. Since most students in Launceston (Launnie) aren’t originally from here, moving to a new city may be quite a challenge. Especially being away from family and friends you’ve had for years! Fret not; I was little intimidated at first, but once you get to know some people on campus, university life becomes a breeze! Here’s a few pointers to get you started: Get Involved: Student-led societies like the AMCSA and TUU organise great activities. If you’re anything like me and love hanging with friends with free food, they’re the ones to look for. The TUU also supports a whole list of societies, which you can find out more on their website or by swinging by the TUU Contact Centre.
Eat: The Walk serves up a good lunch, but if you’re on a budget, $5 meals at Saltz are a lifesaver. Trust me, if it wasn’t for the $5 meals I literally wouldn’t be here. If you brought your own lunch, many microwaves are scattered around the campus. Play: Unigym hosts Social Sports that are free to register! It’s a great way to meet new people and play a sport socially. A pool table and table tennis are located next to the Seafarer’s Bar at the AMC, which are great to hang out between classes with a couple of friends.
Drink: Coffee is a staple in University (trust me), and the TUU provides free coffee and tea if you bring your KeepCup to the Student Lounge. The free coffee has been the backbone of my degree (and my wallet) for the last three years. If you’re up for a proper coffee, The Walk makes a solid coffee and definitely turns around the dreadful weekly 9am Monday Morning Lecture. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but hopefully these pointers will get you started at your amazing experience in uni. If you’d like more tips and tricks to help you survive study, the staff and representatives at the TUU would love to have a chat with you at any point and will gladly help you any way we can. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I do (or even more)!
It’s All About Clubs & Societies Gabrielle Carswell - Societies President Where to begin?! From the first day I started at UTAS, Societies Day was the talk of the town. Joining a society is a must, and the best part about it is you can join multiple clubs or societies. Not just for the benefit of socialising — they provide you with a well-balanced university experience. Uni is all about finding life-long friends, figuring out who you want to be, and most importantly, understanding what you are passionate about. Whether it be expressing your artistic side, experiencing the great outdoors, or playing a social sport… you name it, we have you covered! But remember, the society you join doesn’t have to be related to what you’re studying, it can just be about interacting with like-minded people in a relaxed manner. Here at the TUU, each club and society serves a purpose for your benefit. With new societies cropping up every year, we now have a whopping 150 to choose from. All thanks to University of Tasmania students. The TUU Societies are here to guide everyone through a happy and safe 2019. I am looking forward to a bigger and much better year of engaging with all the students around the Tasmanian campuses. Definitely don’t forget to sign up to a club or society!
Life in Cradle Davina Smith - Campus President Cradle Coast We have a vibrant and energetic program planned to get Cradle Coast’s first semester off to a fun start. Welcome Monday (February 25) kicks off with a huge buffet breakfast outside the TUU office near Graze Café at 8am. The buffet boasts croissants, cereals, fresh fruit and Banjo’s pastries, along with hot and cold drinks available at the café. Drop by, eat, and meet up with new and returning students. Join us the following Wednesday (February 27) for a walk on the wild side at our Market Day ‘Marvel-ous Mayhem’ where you can mingle with the intoxicating Harley Quinn and her deadpan companion, Deadpool. While you’re feeling naughty brand yourself a glitter tattoo from our resident pirate artist. Grab a BBQ lunch of gourmet sausages, veggie burgers and fresh salad while listening to the sounds provided by Hobart’s very own independent youth station, Edge Radio. Fiona Hilder will teach a yin yoga class and local networking group, the Coasters, are also holding a stall. If all that isn’t convincing enough, there will be several giveaways to help students start their academic year, including reusable items such as cutlery sets and metal straws to help us keep our campus green and sustainable. Look out northwest coast, this year we’re going to be a big deal! The fun continues well into the second week of the semester. On Tuesday (March 5) we will be celebrating Carnevale, also known as Pancake Tuesday, with masks and a pancake lunch in the courtyard from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Bring your appetite and your creative streak! On Thursday (March 7) the Cradle Coast Campus will be launching its part of the ‘Find the Right Blend’ campaign, a TUU/ SRC initiative aimed at the creation and promotion of a holistically balanced university community environment for all.
Life in Hobart Harry Fawcett - Campus President South
I am sure much of this guide is about what you can expect from the academic year you are about to tackle. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the not-so academic things that Hobart has to offer… many of which have helped keep me sane. It really is an easy place to live, and there is much to love about our city. I’m delighted to welcome you to it! Whilst there are four spots to grab a quick coffee on campus, namely the Trade Table, Lazenby’s, Source and Suzy Lee (the Ref) — Sandy Bay has a few gems which are critical to campus culture. My two personal favourite coffee distributors are Brew and Sash Coffee. Coincidentally, they are directly opposite one another; you’ve got to make peace with the fact that you’re either a Brew person or a Sash person. Saunter in with your off-brand Keep Cup, have a yarn with the baristas and draw your line in the sand. If you are as bad at Sunday arvo meal prep as me, I have some comforting news in the way of a cheap bite to eat. The Hotel Soho on Davey St has what is called ‘Round the Clock’ every Monday and Wednesday night. At 5pm, a chicken parmi and chips will only set you back $5. If that’s not enough, a stein of beer will set you back the same amount. If you’ve got a late lecture, no stress — $6 at 6pm! However, if you’re after a bit more variety in eating options, I cannot recommend the Elizabeth St strip in North Hobart highly enough.
If you’re a bit better at meal prep than I am, the Farm Gate Market on Bathurst St is every Sunday morning. Go pick up some fresh produce and enjoy some of the cuisine that Hobart has to offer, all whilst embracing the bustling farmer’s market vibes. My favourite brunch place in town would have to be Machine Laundry Café down in Salamanca Square. The extra haloumi is worth every cent. If I’m not grabbing some exquisite Hobart fare, you can catch me at Chandler’s Plant Nursery in Sandy Bay. Their staggering houseplant greenhouse room changes up regularly, and there is no better way to breathe a bit of life into your working hours. Don’t forget to break up your grueling study routine and check out some of the TUU events! My sole piece of academic advice for you is don’t be afraid of changing things up. I started a science degree, jumped ship to ICT and then combined that with law. There are no rules, and there is no set pathway. Don’t be scared to change up your course if things aren’t going the way you wanted! This is your degree and you get to make it what you want. Looking forward to running into you in any (or all) of my local haunts, and I’m sure you will enjoy studying on our campus at the end of the world.
SPORTS @ UTAS Alex Guibord - Sports President
From swimming to skiing, footy, futsal and every other way to play ball, your Tasmania University Union has a sports club for every student. If you can’t find what you want, we’re happy to help you launch the next best UTAS sports team. Who says student life has to be all work and no play? The TUU supports over 30 affiliated clubs across the Uni’s north and south campuses. The Sports Council, chaired by the TUU’s Sports President, also offers financial and administrative assistance so all athletes receive equitable resources to own the podium. What’s more, UTAS Sport oversees the Elite Athlete Program, Team UTAS competing at the University Nationals, the Unigym and heaps of activities to keep students fit. There’s a wealth of UTAS Sport and the TUU programs, so work off that cup-noodle and stay active in extracurricular campus life. That said, playing sports at UTAS will enhance your university life in at least six self-explanatory ways: Active Living: All of a sudden you’re out of home and you’re cooking for yourself. For most of you, this is a terrible turn of events. After starting uni, it makes sense that students typically fall out of exercise because physical education isn’t mandatory anymore. If this fits your description, then you might want to consider finding a gym buddy or buying a membership to a uni sporting club. Joining a team and doing social sport activities will keep you motivated and in good health.
Wellbeing: Besides improving your vitality and strength, your overall wellness should improve after joining a club sports team because UTAS athletes can receive physical health and injury prevention training. Most importantly, your body will love you for it and it just feels good. Socialising: Being a student can be a lonely experience. It’s okay — we’ve all been there. Many of you have come from far and wide to study here, and it can be hard to be make friends in a strange town (let’s face it — between Launnie, Cradle Coast and Hobart, they don’t come much stranger). But you’re not alone! Work off your worries, feel good, make new mates and have fun by joining a UTAS sporting club. Unigym Launceston hosts social sport competitions for basketball, netball and Ultimate frisbee each semester. Mateship: Develop a culture of camaraderie through the love of sport. There’s no solidarity like sweaty solidarity. Whether you’re playing for bragging rights, a trophy, or a scholarship, you’ll build lasting friendships with your teammates as you compete against the odds together — especially after earning achievements, building trust and sharing mutual respect. Personal Growth: Seize opportunities to cultivate soft skills outside your weekly lectures and study sessions. Develop valuable leadership and teamwork skills with your peers by joining a club sports team. Make a worthwhile investment in your long-term personal and professional success. Recognition: Every year, Team UTAS competes at the University Nationals presented by UniSport Australia. The State’s finest student-athletes and sports clubs get celebrated at UTAS’ annual Sports Awards Night. The accolades include Sports Council Awards, Full and Half Blues for outstanding athletic achievements in chosen sports, sports scholarship recipients, sports council awards, sports club of the year, and the North vs. South Trophy. The UTAS Sports Fund also supports deserving student-athletes with their sporting and academic careers. Are you ready to enjoy these benefits? Visit the TUU’s website to get in the game. For a how-to guide and frequently asked questions, refer to the Sports Handbook 2018 on the TUU website’s Sports Resource Portal. If you need more help with your sports club email email@example.com for advice.
The Life of a Postgraduate Ali Ghahremanlou - Postgraduate President When I started the journey of higher degree research in Tasmania I didn’t know what to expect. I arrived from overseas after studying economics for seven years as part of my university degrees in a country that was far from home. Life in another country taught me about different cultures and languages and forced me to adjust to a new and different lifestyle. I made many lifelong friends, and had experiences that shaped me into the person I am today. Moving to Australia meant I had to start all over again. I was welcomed to Tasmania by a UTAS member who took me to my accommodation and the next day I met my new family — a supervisory team who embraced me into this new way of life. I was expected to feel lonely and isolated because I didn’t know a single person, but the welcome I received gave me an immediate sense of belonging and a great way of starting my new research life. What made the transition into a postgraduate degree easier for me was I did some research before I arrived and read a lot on what to expect from being a postgrad student in Australia. Postgraduate life is incredibly rewarding, but you have to be patient. There are many students who walk straight into a postgraduate degree without knowing what awaits them. This can lead to some awkward situations. It’s hard to maintain a social life as a postgraduate student, particularly if you are a master by research or a PhD student. You’re expected to work independently
and sometimes to come up with bright and unique research ideas. Obviously, to achieve this youâ€™ll need to invest many hours into researching and you might miss out on some of the social aspects of your previous, undergrad life. Postgraduate studies can be isolating because they encourage a greater autonomy. Now, how to get around this con? Plan your studies in advance â€” set aside specific time during your day to just study. If you have coursework then make sure to go through your notes after each lecture to brush up what you learnt. Never procrastinate, otherwise your studies and your assignments will build up like an avalanche. If you are a researcher then make sure to keep your supervisors updated about your progress so they can hold you accountable about your study plan and keep you on the right track. Join a club or a society â€” take advantage of all available resources before you. No matter what club or society you join, there will be the opportunity to socialise and usually the club events planned to accommodate student life and the semester time-frame. Chances are there will be many instances where you feel discombobulated by postgrad life. Never hesitate to get in touch with me or the postgraduate advocate for support and advice.
Being a Student Advocate Helen Thomas - Postgraduate Student Advocate Isnâ€™t it great when you can say how much you love the work you do. I must admit I didnâ€™t know what to expect when I came to work as a Postgraduate Student Advocate at the Tasmania University Union. I knew what the job entailed, and I knew I had the skills and expertise to do it well, but nothing prepared me for how much joy I would get from working with students who are experiencing problems. I can honestly say it is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs I have ever had. When students come to seek support from an advocate they are usually feeling distressed, lost, frustrated, scared, confused or unsupported. Something has happened to them that has affected their ability to study. It could be that they have received an allegation of academic misconduct, or they are experiencing financial hardship or a relationship breakdown with their lecturer or supervisor, or they are facing exclusion. Perhaps they feel the University has not fulfilled its responsibilities according to their policies or procedures and as a result feel severely disadvantaged.
When a student comes to me with a problem, my first job is to listen carefully so I can gain a full understanding of their situation. This means sitting with them for however long it takes and supporting them in whatever way I can so they feel comfortable sharing their story with me. Sometimes it will be the first time the student has shared their problem or issue with someone, so it can be quite an emotional and difficult time for them. But once they share their story they often feel a lot lighter, as though a huge burden has been lifted from their shoulders. They also feel reassured to know that there is someone who has their back. Being an advocate means I mostly see students who only have problems and who can be very stressed and anxious. While this may seem depressing or hard work, I see it as a real opportunity to make a difference to someone elseâ€™s life. Being able to put my skills and expertise to good use and help a student solve their problem is incredibly rewarding and uplifting. The best reward is seeing a student go from feeling down and out to seeing them with a big smile on their face because their study life is back on track and they are able to move forward in a positive way. While many large institutions are moving away from face-to-face interactions and encouraging us to go online for all of our goods and services, I love how we as student advocates continue to offer students a human connection, a compassionate listening ear and our time. I believe this goes a long way towards making a better world for everyone.
TUU Budget Breakdown Every year, a thousand UTAS students cry out in darkness — a $300 SSAF fee has been deducted from their account. Misunderstood and shrouded in mystery, this fee has long been a source of confusion for UTAS students already encumbered with uni debts. So let’s talk about SSAF, budgets, and break out those pie charts. The TUU gets some SSAF money from the University, but also receives Baseline Funding. It return, the TUU provides services to students without charge — things like societies, clubs, student media and important counselling services. In the 2019 budget, the TUU will receive about $900,000 in SSAF funds from the University. That’s a lot of moolah, so you should know where it’s being spent. While drafting this budget, the TUU has been conscious of providing accountable and transparent communication to the people they represent — UTAS students. We are also dedicated to creating an inclusive and vibrant community which has safety, fairness, wellbeing and sustainability at the top of our agenda. We are also committed to strengthening our partnership with UTAS and key stakeholders. As in previous years, TUU Clubs and Societies received a large proportion of the 2019 budget, with a total of $500,000 allocated. This funding provides for events which are the cornerstones of an inclusive and connected university community. Furthermore, $75,000 has been allocated to support the production and publication of TUU student media publications such as Togatus and also put toward the maintenance of the TUU website for the purpose of providing accessible information to a broad range of students including information about TUU events, initiatives and Clubs and Societies. $105,000 was set aside to support the provision of information to students, which is facilitated through the Contact Centres in Hobart, Launceston and Cradle Coast. $30,000 was allocated toward the provision of free independent legal advice for students in relation to migration issues. Furthermore, an additional
$40,000 was allocated for the provision of a student financial referral assistance on the Hobart, Launceston and Cradle Coast campuses. The remaining $150,000 is allocated to TUU/SRC led initiatives, events, resources and facilities. In 2019 this includes (but is not limited to) activities for commencing and continuing students throughout the academic year, a range of events and activities to enhance the student experience on campus and online and initiatives for specific student cohorts. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have allocated $20,000 to the Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS). This program provides meaningful opportunities for students to apply their learning to real world sustainability challenges (and to be paid or gain course credit while doing so) and further assist the University of Tasmania to have a positive environmental impact on the world and to be a leader in sustainable campus management. We have also allocated $5,000 toward the Metro bus initiative which encourages students to save money, fight congestion, and travel sustainably by using public transport. Through this initiative UTAS students can redeem a free Greencard and $5 bonus fare credit from the Metro Shop and Metro depots from 18 February to 31 March 2019. The promotion will be offered while stocks last, with between 800 and 1700 students expected to benefit. Furthermore, in line with our commitment toward the establishment of a safe, fair and healthy university community we have allocated $10,000 to the training and upskilling of Clubs and Societies executives so that they have the relevant knowledge for mitigating instances of sexual assault and harassment. This training will also include mental health first aid and cultural competency training. Finally, we have allocated $5,000 toward the launch of our â€˜Find the Right Blendâ€™ campaign which is focussed on how we can all work together to create a safe, fair and well university community. This year #yourTUU is committed to representing you, your interests and delivering what you want to see us provide.
Misconceptions of the Union The TUU collects and receives all of my SSAF. Your SSAF money goes first to the university, and then a portion of it gets passed on to the TUU. This year, we’ll receive about 15%, or $900,000, of the total SSAF pool that the university receives each year. $900,000 is at least a year’s rent. What do you do with the money? A decent chunk (about half a million) goes towards keeping your clubs and societies running on all campuses. The remaining $400,000 funds all the other projects of the TUU — this includes Togatus, free financial counselling and migration services, contact and referral services, promotions, the TUU website, and so on. It also finances the TUU/SRC events and activities you see on-campus and online. Sounds to me like I’m paying for a whole lot of salaries. Depends on who it is. Student Representatives are paid from Baseline Funding, which is separate from SSAF. Some TUU staff salaries are paid from SSAF, and some from Baseline Funding, Board and other income. So what’s the difference between the TUU and UTASLife? Both the TUU and UTASLife put on great events for students, but the TUU is independent from the University, and supports many student-led organisations, like Sports Clubs and Societies. At the heart of the TUU is the student representatives that advocate for student interests. Both serve snags.
Are TUU Advocates independent? Advocates are employed by the TUU, as a student union, and not the University. Student Advocates provide free, independent and confidential advice and support to students who have problems that affect their ability to study. They can represent or advocate for you in meetings with University staff and committees. They can guide you through University processes like appeals, complaints or misconduct findings. They can assist students experiencing financial difficulties and link you to relevant community help organisations. Most of all, they’re a passionate, dedicated group of people that are there for you in trying academic times. Well, TUU representatives push their own political agendas. In 2019 the team of TUU student representatives are passionate about working with and for students and will remain apolitical. It’s true that in previous years we’ve seen the Union used by representatives as a mere vehicle for political career, but we’ve come a long way in recent years. Our team believes that the representation of students should be impeccable, and that comes through an impartial union focused solely on representation and accountability. So how does it represent me? At the heart of it, the TUU is here to protect student rights. Students don’t usually have much money, but they’ve got a lot of worries. So when it comes to things like voice and representation, a student union is the best way to protect your interests as a student, no matter where you’re from or what you’re studying. Through student representatives, who are elected each year, the TUU participates in every level of University governance and helps form Uni policy that impacts you. And unlike the Uni, you can vote for the people you want to lead the TUU. So how do I become a member, and how much does it cost? You don’t have to join the TUU; as a student of the University of Tasmania you are automatically entitled to access all our services at no cost. If you’d like to get more involved, keep an eye out for your student reps at one of our regular on-campus events, and say hello. Alternatively send us a message through the TUU website at tuu.com.au or our Facebook pages: • • •
Tasmania University Union – TUU TUU North TUU Cradle Coast
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Togatus is the independent student media at the UTAS, and simply wouldnâ€™t exist without the contributions of our fellow students. We are always looking out for new students to contribute. Togatus showcases UTAS talent, news, and discussion across every campus. As well as publishing four print editions each year, we also report on student news through our social media channels and website. If youâ€™re keen to contribute, feel free to shoot us an email or message us on one of our social media pages. All students are invited to join the team! If you want to talk about or submit an article contribution, email Togatus, Joe or Logan. Likewise, for artistic contributions talk to Maddie and for advertising inquiries talk to Monte. We look forward to hearing from you! Togatus Joe Brady Logan Linkston Maddie Burrows Monte Bovill
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