GUIDE the TOGTRAVELLERS
Published by State Council on Behalf of the Tasmania University Union (henceforth “the publishers”) Togatus Staff: Editor-in-Chief: April Cuison Deputy Editor: Joe Brady Creative Director: Maddie Burrows Content Editors: Steph Morrison, Steph Palmer, Logan Linkston, Nathan Hennessy Marketing & Advertising Manager: Monte Bovill Website Manager: Ella Carrington Editorial Assistants: Richard Siu, Morgan Fürst, Bethany Green, Cameron Allen, Chris Ham Designer: Liam Johnson Togatus Contributors: April Cuison, Dan Prichard, Ella Carrington, Liam Johnson, Maddie Burrows, Mollie Berry, Monte Bovill, Morgan Fürst, Richard Siu, Steph Palmer Togatus welcomes all your contributions. Please email your work and ideas to email@example.com It is understood that any contributions sent to Togatus may be used for publication in either the magazine or the website, and that the final decision on whether to publish submissions resides with the editors. The editors reserve the right to make changes to submitted material as required. Togatus staff reserve the right to use submitted content for Togatus-related promotional material. It is understood that all submissions to Togatus is still the intellectual property of the contributor. The opinions expressed herein are not those of the Togatus staff or the publishers. Contact Togatus: Twitter & Instagram: @togatus_ Facebook: facebook.com/TogatusOnline Website: www.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.
Five UTas Websites Thatâ€™ll Save Your Arse
Reading Your Student Timetable
Paying Your SSAF Fees
Play, Study, Rinse, Repeat
What is HECS-HELP?
How to Stay Sane
The Union and You
Finding the Keys to a Stress-Free First Year
Campus Map 3
Commencing Students What You Need to Know For a commencing student, the start of semester can be a bit overwhelming, especially for those who may have to relocate for their studies, adjust to university life, or get used to a new culture (or language!). To make your life easier, Togatus has compiled the following checklist to make things a bit easier.
What to Check 1.
Ensure you have completed your enrolment in eStudent by the end of the first week of semester (4th of March in 2018). Since undergrad units have their first tutorials in week 2, the later you change your mind and switch units, the less likely you are to get into your preferred tutorial group and the more content you will have missed.
If you do change your mind, you need to withdraw from a unit before the census date (23rd of March) or else you will be financially liable for that unit. If you withdraw after the 16th of April, you will receive a failure (NN) rating for that unit (which appears in your academic records).
Check your student timetable at student-timetable.utas.edu.au. Usually your unit timetable should be fully finalised on Tuesday of Orientation Week. If you work while studying, you can start planning your time allocation in advance.
Before the onslaught of Semester 1, check that you are able to log into and know your way around UTas systems, including MyLO, eStudent, and your UTas email. We have a guide for the various UTas websites you need to familiarise yourself with.
If you are unsure about your unit(s), contact your unit coordinator – their names can usually be found in the Course and Unit Handbook: www.utas. edu.au/courses (Under 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 (see point 5 under “What to Check”), or contact the Course Coordinator if you need to change your units (any lecturer teaching within that course should be able to tell you who the Course Coordinator is).
If you have not enrolled in a course, and would like to know more about a course or unit, 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 6226 6111 or 1300 363 864, or email them at student. firstname.lastname@example.org.
If certain things are not working in eStudent, contact Student Services (see above).
If certain things are not working in MyLO, for example you are unable to see a particular lecture video or a module, contact your lecturer/tutor for that unit.
If you are unable to log into a UTas system, try the steps under “But it Isn’t Working!!!”; if it is still not working, contact IT Services:
If it is urgent, phone 6226 1818. Open 8am – 6pm weekdays, and 10am – 1pm weekends/public holidays.
Chat with IT, which open 8am – 6pm weekdays via utas.edu.au/selfservice.
Report a problem online anytime via our portal utas.edu.au/selfservice and select ‘Submit a Request or Enquiry’.
Please note that the priority for IT support response is (in descending order): Phone calls, chat, and then service portal.
But it Isn’t Working!!! 1.
If your computer is not working as it should, have you tried turning it off and on again? (Please note, you need to turn it off entirely, not just sleep, close the lid, or hibernate).
If you cannot log in, are you sure your username/password is correct? If you are unable to log into MyLO, try logging into eStudent or your UTas email, and vice versa.
If you provided your mobile phone number when you enrolled, you should be able to reset your password online: Go to www.utas.edu.au/mypassword; Click on Set Your Password; Enter your username and click Next; A security code should be sent to your mobile phone. Enter that code and continue to set a new password.
Ensure you read prompts on webpages carefully. For example, MyLO now asks for your email address (with the prompt email@example.com). Your email address is usually firstname.lastname@example.org. eStudent asks for your username – it will NOT work if you put in email@example.com.
If you have not been provided with your username/password, or are unable to login after attempting to reset your password, contact IT Services before it is too late (see details above). Please have your Student ID number, as well as other information such as date of birth, mobile phone number, etc. ready for identification purposes.
Where to Eat Studying and looking after your wellbeing is a huge part of university life. Eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you learn and focus better. These are some of the on-campus eateries: 1.
Source Community Wholefoods Shop & Café, uphill behind the TUU building in Sandy Bay, has great coffee and lunches and a beautiful garden setting.
Lazenby’s is in a prominent location on the Sandy Bay campus (just across from the Morris Miller Library). It is convenient and close by, but it is relatively expensive. A not-so-expensive option is a bowl of wedges.
Behind the TUU Building on the Sandy Bay campus is The Ref. It’s cheaper than Lazenby’s and the food is reasonable (prices are going up though).
If you don’t mind a good 15 minute walk, you can go to the top of College Road, Sandy Bay, where you will find Pepperz. The food is usually really nice and affordable. They also change the menu every day during semester – you can check the menu online.
If you are on the Newnham campus, there is The Walk which is reasonably priced, across from Kerslake Hall. There is also Saltz (which is the same as Pepperz in Sandy Bay) close to AMC.
The Trade Table Café is just under the Centenary Building, in between the ICT and Business areas. It is a small café, but it has good, fresh sushi.
There is also a number of smaller cafés, such as the School of Creative Arts (Hunter St) cafeteria. For more information, visit www.utas.edu.au/ campuses (on the left hand side, click on the campus and you will be able to see campus facilities).
Did You Know? 1.
The Morris Miller Library (Sandy Bay), the Launceston Campus Library and the Cradle Coast Campus Library offer 24/7 access. You need to obtain a swipe card at the respective libraries (some may ask you to go to the Student Centre on that campus to receive one).
On the Sandy Bay campus, there is the Student Lounge right across from Morris Miller Library, which is a space for students to relax and/or do their homework (in a rather noisy environment). It also offers 24/7 access if you have access to the library.
If you are based on the Sandy Bay campus, the Student Centre (Student Services) is merged with the library service desk. There is no sign saying it is the Student Centre.
There are study rooms available for booking (for groups of at least 2 people). Visit utas.libcal.com and double check which room you are booking. (Some people have accidentally booked a room in the Launceston library and then rocked up at a room on the Sandy Bay campus!)
Five UTas Websites Thatâ€™ll Save Your Arse .
Your first year of university as a student can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do you need to know how to know your way around the campus, you also need to learn how to navigate the university websites. The university has many websites and portals, so it can be difficult to figure out which ones you need to check regularly. To help ease your worries, we have a list of five UTas websites that you need to be regularly checking throughout the year. Before we begin, remember that your UTas username/password combination is the same across all UTas websites. You will be required to update your password four times a year. You can update your password through MyPassword: www. utas.edu.au/mypassword.
1. UTas Webmail
The UTas webmail is the main form of electronic communication between staff and students. University-wide announcements are also sent to your UTas email. Student Services sends a weekly newsletter to your inbox, where you can learn more about, well, student services. Itâ€™s a good habit to check your UTas email every day to make sure you remain up-to-date, especially regarding changes in your unit schedule such as last minute class cancellations. When your password is due for an update, you will also be reminded through your UTas email.
MyLO (short for My Learning Online), is where everything related to your units is located. This is where you find lecture recordings, lecture slides, and required readings. Many units require assignments to be submitted through MyLO. More often than not, signing up for tutorials is also done here. In short, virtually anything you need to know about your classes can be found on MyLO.
1 3. UTas Library
The UTas Library website is a valuable resource, especially when it comes to assessments. The online library boasts a large collection of journals, papers, articles, and other content that may otherwise be restricted outside the UTas Network. UTas Library also stores previous exam papers, that can be incredibly useful for revision.
While you don’t need to check eStudent every week, it still is something that you need to check during specific times throughout the year. Your exam timetable and unit results will be released through eStudent. You can also find the HECS-HELP Loan form on this website as well as request an academic transcript.
5. Service Portal
The self-service portal is for all your IT-related woes. You can do the following through this portal: Log an IT job. For example, if you find that a UTas system is not working as it should, you can log a service ticket here. You can do so 24/7. Chat with IT. For things that are more urgent, you can start a live chat session with IT Services to report or resolve your issues. This is open 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 1pm weekends and public holidays (closed on Christmas Day). Check FAQs. On the home page, there is a search bar that you can type in any enquiries. You never know, someone else might have asked the same question previously. You can also access this 24/7.
Understanding Enrolments Are you a first-year student who has been traumatised by the eStudent Study Plan? Or are you a third year who just continually fails at a smooth enrolment? Well, below is a simple guide on what to do and where to go to achieve a stressfree enrolment. To begin, you can enrol in undergrad and postgrad courses online outside of the University on eStudent. eStudent is not only where you enrol, but where you can manage your payments/fees and personal details. Your login details will be your UTas username, as well as a password either created for you or whatever you last updated it to. Once you’ve logged in, head straight to the ‘Study Plans’ tab at the top right of the page. If you’re a new student commencing in 2018, you will have a personalised study plan that will guide you through a selection of pre-planned units. You may also have to manually select which units you will study.
When you’ve selected your desired Study Plan and it’s considered active, you can begin choosing and enrolling in your units. Please note that you may have to accept the Terms and Conditions of the Institute, complete a Commonwealth Assistance Form and confirm a parent/guardian survey to activate your Study Plan. Your Study Plan will identify your units as followed: 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. Credit/Exempt: You have received credit for this unit based on previous study. Advanced Standing: You have received credit for an elective (or choice) based on previous study.
There will be parts of your Study Plan that require you to choose units. When choosing which units you will do and when make sure you check the study period and the form in which it is offered. Some units are only offered in certain semesters, and some are offered just on-campus or off-campus. You can check and select these on your Study Plan or at www.utas.edu.au/courses. When you’ve decided which units you want to take, click ‘Add to Study Planner’ at the top of the page, and then ‘Save Changes on Study Planner’ at the bottom before returning back to the Study Plan to officially enrol. To enrol in your units, you will have to choose the correct availability from the drop-down menu before ticking the enrol box on the right. After ticking the enrol box for all of your desired units, scroll to the bottom and click ‘Confirm Enrolment’. It will ask you to confirm once more before submitting - and then you’re done! You will need to ensure you fulfil the correct amount of credit points for the semester. This will differ based on your degree structure. A common structure is four units worth 12.50 credit points per semester. Your Study Plan will tell you how many credit points remain in each section when choosing units and should notify you if you have an incorrect number of credit points.
Reading Your Student Timetable Your student timetable can be found at student-timetable.utas.edu.au. It can also be accessed through the links on the bottom left of your MyLO homepage or under the ‘Classes’ tab of eStudent. To find your courses, select the study period you wish to view, your campus and either ‘All classes’ (which includes tutorials, seminars and pracs) or ‘Lectures only’. Enter either your Student ID number to see all of your classes, or a complete or partial unit code to see individual courses or the entire faculty respectively (eg. HEN101 for English 1A, HEN for all English units). Each box on the timetable will display the unit code, class type (lecture, tutorial, prac, etc.), venue and weeks offered. In the given example, multiple classes appear at the same time. If you have a clash, check to see if your lectures are recorded (most of them are) as you can catch up on recordings on MyLO. 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 begin in the second week of semester for most units.
The red venue hyperlink in each box will open a smaller window when clicked, featuring more details and a second 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.
To print your timetable or to just view the classes you have to attend, click on the printer icon within each box to hide any extra units that don’t apply to you. Press ‘CTRL+P’ on Windows machines, or ‘Command+P’ on Macintosh, to save your timetable as a PDF and print if you wish. The other units will disappear entirely and you’ll be ready for the semester!
Paying Your SSAF Fees The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) helps to provide services of a non-academic nature to UTas students. This can include funding campus barbecues, clubs and societies, health and welfare services, legal services, career advice, provision of study spaces and, very importantly, Togatus! If you are a domestic Commonwealth supported student (i.e. supported by the HECS-HELP scheme), you will need to pay SSAF. If you have a scholarship which covers tuition fees, you will most likely still need to pay SSAF fees. If you are an international student or a domestic full fee paying student, you do not need to pay any additional fees as SSAF is included in your annual tuition fees. SSAF fees should be paid before census date each semester (23rd of March for semester 1 and 10th of August for semester 2 in 2018) or else they will attract a sanction which prevents you from accessing your results. You can still pay your fee after this date to see your results. SSAF fees are generally $44.70 per unit you undertake but the total amount is capped per year. This figure is indexed annually and will be a maximum of $298 in 2018. To view your current SSAF balance, log in to eStudent with your UTas username
and password and click on the Fees and Scholarships tab. Click the red button which says ‘Generate my Tax Invoice / Statement for the last 14 days’ to send an invoice to your UTas email. This will also display your unit fees. UTas biller codes for BPoint (1002533) and BPay (373027) will show up on the bottom of your statement. You can pay through either by quoting your personal Customer Reference Number (CRN) on the top of your statement. Details for alternative payment options through Western Union or a money order can be found at www.utas.edu.au/fees/fees-and-charges/how-to-pay. It is advisable to record the receipt number at the end of your transaction as evidence that your payment has been confirmed. You can double check that the payment has gone through by returning to eStudent’s Fees and Scholarships tab (although it may take a few days to process). It may be possible to defer your SSAF by applying for an SA-HELP loan (before census date), which adds SSAF costs to your HECS-HELP debt. Visit studyassist.gov.au/sites/studyassist/helppayingmyfees/sa-help for eligibility and application details. If you have further questions or encounter any issues, visit askus.utas.edu.au for FAQs or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Play, Study, Rinse, Repeat Finding Your Way Through First Year Your time as a first-year can end up being the easiest or the hardest year you have at UTas. You’ll find the experience of starting uni liberating, interesting, and if everything goes well, a lot of fun. University is such a monumental stage in your life, it’s important to make sure you enjoy it as much as possible. In the hope of trying to help you avoid the pitfalls of starting uni, this list has been prepared with the experience of your fellow UTas students, who were asked to give advice they would have liked to have had in their first year. With luck, you’ll find some wisdom that will help you navigate your first year at UTas.
1. Try and Meet New People and Make New Friends After sitting through thousands of school assemblies over the years, you’ve probably made so many friends you don’t know what to do with them. But if all of those friends all go into Medical Research and you’re going into Law, or you’re doing uni and they’re working, you’re probably going to have completely different timetables. Don’t worry, you’ll still have time to see your friends, but for most of the year you’ll find yourself sitting in a class full of strangers. By the time second semester comes around, the drag from the drop in your social life will definitely start making itself known. If you’re looking for a starting point, try scoping out those strangers from your tutorials; you’re doing similar classes so chances are you might have something in common. Clubs and societies are another great place to meet like-minded people.
2. It’s Easier To Keep Up Than it is to Catch Up There comes a time at uni where you’ll eventually have to do some learning and coursework. This is an unfortunate side-effect of university. To stay on top of things you’ll need to keep up with the coursework. Because you have the luxury of living in the internet age, many of the lectures are recorded and uploaded to MyLO. This is especially useful if you get sick or you ‘miss’ your alarm. If you have other responsibilities and need to reduce the time you spend on campus, the recordings are a good safety net. If you’re a distance student, you’ll likely be relying on these as your primary source of information. If you’re like most people (and you most likely are), you’ll probably find it easier to pay attention and understand the topics of the lecture if you go in person. Everyone has their own preferred method of studying. Our advice is to work hard in a way that is comfortable for you; don’t be afraid to try different ways of studying if you think it’ll work well for you. Lectures slides are also uploaded either before or after the lecture itself; checking them can help you if there are any gaps left in your notes.
Other important points about coursework: Do the readings. Skim reading can make this easier. Several lecturers recommend it for when you have a lot to read and several units to manage. This is how you do it: read the introduction of the reading, then the first and last sentence of every following paragraph (if the paragraph doesn’t make sense, read more of it until you have more context), then read the conclusion. Go to every tutorial. This is often where you learn important practical knowledge for your course. Your attendance is usually marked, so keep on top of them. Missing more than a certain number of tutorials can lead to you being ineligible to sit your exam for that unit. Depending on the unit, these may also be called seminars, workshops, or lab sessions. If you have to choose between the lecture and the tutorial, go to the tutorial. You can always catch up on the lecture.
3. The Independence Can Catch You Off Guard Many of the students we talked to mentioned the independence of uni getting the better of them. It’s easy for online tests and coursework deadlines to slip your mind when you have four different subjects to maintain and you don’t have someone monitoring your missed deadlines. You have to try to be as selfmotivated as possible. University is a time of change, and it’s okay to have growing pains. Taking responsibility for your timetable and managing your time effectively is a way to mitigate those pains. A lot of people are good at staying organised, but few are very good.
4. Manage Your Time This brings us to an important piece of advice: manage your time and remind yourself of important unit dates to keep on top of your work. Write important dates down. It doesn’t have to be a perfect calendar, but if you can’t keep track of deadlines you’ll find yourself unnecessarily stressed. Google Calendar is free to use and will copy your dates across your computer and phone, meaning you can easily access it anywhere. Apple Calendar and Outlook Calendar are also great digital options. Going offline, you have a variety of diaries, bullet journals, and things you can stick on your fridge. It helps keep down the stress if you know you haven’t forgotten to hand in an important assignment. Doing the schoolwork is supposed to be the stressful part. Use a calendar.
5. Join a Society Societies are student-run groups registered with the university. Various societies exist at UTas, built around everything from faculties, to religious denominations, to particular sports and recreation activities. There’s bound to be one that piques your interest; it just depends on what you’re interested in. Societies hold the majority of student-run social events throughout the year, starting on the 28th of February with Societies Day, where you can check them out for yourself. On the day, the societies set up stalls near the UTas Student Union building (the TUU), and offer annual memberships, information about each society, and cheap drinks as well. While there is no limit to the number of societies you may join, some have membership fees. Quite a few societies have a membership card which will give you discounts for different restaurants and bars around Hobart, so paying a membership fee may save you money if you like to go out. Societies also have committee meetings open to all members, where you can voice suggestions and potentially join your society’s executive group. The meetings are another useful way to meet new friends and put something on your resume at the same time!
Hopefully these suggestions are useful to you as you start your time at UTas! Remember that there are resources to help support students encountering any number of problems. We’ve included contact details for a number of student services, including administration contacts and counselling, in this guide. If you’re a student with a restless pen, Togatus would love to hear from you and your experiences at uni. As your student magazine, we’re interested in how university feels for first-years. We’re always open to new submissions from our fellow students, and we’d love to hear from you. Good luck with your first year, and we hope you enjoy life at UTas!
What is HECS-HELP? The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) was introduced in 1989 to make university financially accessible for Australian citizens. In 2005, it was replaced with the Higher Education Loans Program (HELP) and can be referred to by either or both acronyms. HECS-HELP applies only to tuition fees and cannot be claimed for additional costs such as accommodation and textbooks. Given that up-front payment discounts are no longer offered and there is no interest rate charged on HECS-HELP (the debt is indexed each financial year with inflation), it is a useful resource for students to utilise. Commonwealth-supported students (the majority of domestic undergraduate students) are provided with a subsidy from the Australian Government, which pays for part of university fees and does not need to be paid back. Students do, however, pay the remainder of the fees, known as the Student Contribution Amount, for each unit they are enrolled in. HECS-HELP provides students with loans for these fees. Domestic students who pay full fees (those who are not supported and subsidised by the Commonwealth, often postgraduates) can apply for FEE-HELP: see studyassist.gov.au for more details.
Bachelor degree contribution amount figures are divided into three bands: Band 1 applies to students studying nursing, education, humanities and social sciences (arts), psychology, behavioural science and visual and performing arts. Band 1 students will pay $6,444 in 2018 for a full-time study load (eight units). Band 2 applies to students studying science, engineering, health sciences, agricultural science, computing and AMC courses. Band 2 students will pay $9,185 in 2018 for a full-time study load. Band 3 applies to students studying medicine, law, economics and business. Band 3 students will pay $10,754 in 2018 for a full-time study load.
From July 1st, 2018, the Australian Government will introduce lower repayment rate thresholds. Those with an annual income of $45,000 will be charged a 1 per cent repayment rate (or less than $9 per week) on repayment income. The second threshold will stand at $51,957 with a 2 per cent repayment rate. The rates will proportionally increase with income, with a maximum repayment rate of 10 per cent for those earning $131,989 or more. All brackets can be viewed on the Department of Education website. As of January 1st, 2019, the HELP repayment thresholds will be indexed to the consumer price index (CPI). The ATO will calculate your compulsory annual repayment rate and it will be appear on your tax notice of assessment (you can always make additional voluntary repayments). If you earn less than $45,000 per year, you wonâ€™t have to pay anything just yet. From January 1st, 2019, a cap will also be placed on the total amount of tertiary education assistance each student can access. The new lifetime HELP limit will be $150,000 for students studying medicine, dentistry* and veterinary science*, and $104,440 for all other students. Any HECS-HELP debt you accrue in 2018 will not count towards the limit.
*Courses not offered at UTas
How to Stay Sane Understanding the UTas Mental Health Services Adjusting to university life after the holidays can be a struggle, whether you’re a returning student, a recent year twelve graduate or you’ve just returned from a travelling gap year for your Instagram. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed as you learn to adapt to the demands of university life. Because of this, if you struggle to maintain good mental health, it’s worth being aware of the variety of services the university offers. UTas students are extremely lucky because on-campus counselling services are free. You’ll no longer have to wait awkwardly in the disturbingly green Headspace foyer. Forget having your bank card denied at the private counsellor’s reception desk because you spent all your pay on smashed avocado this week. So, let’s learn a bit more about the mental health services at UTas so we can keep feeling great this year. I’m starting to lose it. I can’t afford my TULS membership to get free burgers at Cargo. So who helps me stay sane? The counsellors are members of the Student Wellbeing team. Counselling staff all have relevant professional qualifications and are eligible for membership in their respective professional associations. Hold up. Here’s a free service to help me stay sane? How can they help me? What do they do? The personal and professional counsellors at UTas are here to help with a wide variety of mental health and other issues including stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, life crises and traumas, in addition to study and academic issues. The counsellors can also provide students with information regarding UTas systems and procedures as well as refer them to other helpful resources on campus or in the wider community.
On average, UTas counsellors see students two or three times. Regular reviews of your case will occur if more than six sessions are required. If you need longerterm support, the counsellor may refer you to an external agency. This sounds like a better option than coping by wasting my days away staring at the notes on the TUU toilet cubicle walls. How do I contact and book an appointment with one of these counsellors? Appointments can be made online at careerhub.utas.edu.au/students/login by calling 1800 817 675, or in person at the Student Services desk (depending on your campus). The best way to make an appointment is by following the link above to the Career Hub, where you can choose which practitioner you would like, what time, and the location. Through this portal you can also send relevant attachments to your chosen counselor, such as letters from your doctor that you want them to read before meeting you. Appointments are available between 9am and 5pm on weekdays and are generally 50 minutes in length. There is a well-known mental health crisis occurring among university students across the globe, and a waiting list usually exists for appointments, especially in peak times of the semester. So, we advise booking several sessions in advance. While limited sessions are available on the day, there is a “first come, first served” basis for urgent issues. If you realise you’re unable to make it to an appointment, you can cancel online, or you can call Student Services on the day. I’m uncomfortable seeing someone in person. What are my options for online and over the phone assistance? Telephone or online counselling is available if you are unable to attend an appointment on your campus, or would like to speak with an available counsellor on another campus. If you would prefer to connect with a counsellor and receive support online, you can try eCounselling. eCounselling provides a confidential, safe, and free way for you to develop management strategies for a range of personal issues and is available to current UTas students. Appointments are booked for telephone and eCounselling in the same way as face-to-face counselling (see “how do I contact and book an appointment?” above).
Beginning your university life doesn’t have to be a struggle. Personal counselling is just one of the many services that UTas provides to help students through their degrees. For more information about support and resources for new students go to www.utas.edu.au/students/starting-uni.
The Union and You Congratulations, you are now part of a union!
Yes, that’s right. As a student at the University of Tasmania (UTas), you are automatically a member of the Tasmania University Union (TUU). The TUU is “the peak body of student representation for tertiary students attending UTas,” and you are entitled to all the services the student union offers. At the Sandy Bay campus, there is a parenting room, women’s room, queer space, kitchen facilities, study spaces and meeting rooms all maintained by the TUU for students to utilise. The TUU has contact centres at both Sandy Bay (phone: 6226 2495) and Newnham (phone: 6324 3757) with staff that can answer questions about the university and the services the TUU provides. Annual elections are held around September each year to elect student representatives to the TUU. You can run for a position and every student has the opportunity to take part in the voting process – keep an eye out for announcements throughout the year.
These student representatives sit on key UTas committees and are involved in protecting student rights and participate in university governance. Events are hosted and funded by the TUU throughout the year, and the union facilitates the operation of TUU-affiliated student clubs and societies. The activities provided by the TUU are largely funded by the compulsory Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) paid by all students. In 2017, Jess Robinson was elected President of the TUU for 2018 and said students should look forward to some exciting events throughout the year. “[There will be] clubs and societies barrels in Hobart, parties at the Seafarers Bar in Launceston and events celebrating our multicultural campuses,” she said. “The TUU is also committed to a number of sustainability initiatives this year, such as installing further solar panels to reduce our carbon footprint, and supporting the university’s Sustainability Integration Program for students.”
Make sure you take advantage of the services the TUU offers to support your transition into university.
Finding the Keys to a Stress-Free First Year Dan Prichard
If you’re reading this, it is likely you’re at the very beginning of your university experience. If this isn’t the case, and you’re back for more lectures, barrels, and overpriced coffee, feel free to keep reading, I hope my waffling doesn’t make you wish you’d unenrolled. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your journey through uni, welcome! I can remember when I first stepped foot on campus last year and just how nervous I was. Considering now I’m seeing many of my friends fret over the same hurdles leading up to their first orientation week, I thought I’d share what I have come to discover to be key steps to a stress-free first year.
STEP ONE: Turn Up First day butterflies are the worst. Lectures at 9am on a Monday morning can be too. ‘Thank God for online recordings and discussion boards!’ we may think. Whilst running uni in your own time and lecturing between naps and daily doses of sitcoms may be the very definition of convenience, the comfort of your own lounge room (and fridge) sadly cannot provide you with the best aspects of uni life: new people. If there’s one thing I recommend in your first weeks on campus, it’s to put in the extra effort and turn up – be it to lectures, tutorials or society events. Being around others makes the mid-sem blues bearable.
STEP TWO: Speak Up After the thrill of the first week, many of you will find yourselves with an unwelcome but expected headache in a bright, well air-conditioned room beside fifteen to twenty-five others, many of whom are likely strangers to you and this very situation. A tutor will introduce themselves, and begin the semester-long process of attempting to break the ice. Last year, I found the silence in early tutorials unbearable. I decided to take one for the team, and actually respond to questions, acknowledge the existence of my tutor and the fact that they too found the silence awful. Over following weeks I discovered that in speaking up, my peers then felt comfortable sharing their own opinions – if, and only if, others would be there to listen and respond. Preventing awkward silence doesn’t cost a thing, and makes life easier for everyone.
STEP THREE: BYO Fun Fact Ahead of exams, early tutorials will see you facing what can only be the most stressful and confronting, and outright terrifying moment of each semester: sharing a fun fact with the group. I’ll tell you from personal experience that leaving your fact at home is no excuse, and in no way is studying law considered ‘fun’ fact. Think of something original – the more embarrassing the better – and just remember that everyone else finds this drill as tedious as you do.
STEP FOUR: Talk to Strangers Contrary to what we’ve been taught since kindergarten, talking to strangers is what will make you thrive in first-year. At uni, most of us tend to keep to ourselves, which is of course fine, but isn’t going to make your time memorable. Taking off your headphones before the lecturer comes in, smiling at passers-by just because it’s Friday, or joining in on a conversation about the grim potential of the 2020 Kanye/Trump election – all prove that showing interest in those around you takes minimal effort, and can make your uni year much more bearable. Friends make time (and lectures) move faster. I don’t (and won’t) know if this short pep talk helps you on your trek through your first weeks at uni, but I hope that regardless of how you feel about the coming year, your time on campus convinces you that being present, showing interest, and talking to people can take you further than a Netflix binge could ever hope.
Disclaimer: This article is a personal account of their student experience.
GLOW Lounge Mollie Berry
Applying for my exchange in second semester 2017 began the year before, when I submitted my application to the GLOW Lounge to be a part of the exchange program. At first, I supplied my academic transcript, an academic reference that one of my lecturers was kind enough to provide, and a list of three preferred universities I would like to attend among other information. Choosing universities so early into the process was difficult as I only had a vague idea of where I wanted to be, and some universities didnâ€™t have much information available to the public. Throughout Semester 1 2017 I applied to my chosen host institution and completed scholarship applications, a visa application, flights, accommodation, and course approval. Course approval was the lengthiest part of the exchange approval process. The approval process is different depending on the school, so itâ€™s up to the student to chase up unit coordinators and get approval forms signed. With the business school, I emailed the units I wanted approved to the course counselling office and they forwarded them to the relevant unit coordinators at UTas. Once they were approved the office emailed them all back to me. This worked very well and was much faster than other units where students had to contact the unit coordinators directly.
Getting the right visa on time was also difficult as I had to have biometric scans taken and send my details and passport to Sydney for approval. I would recommend starting this step as early as possible. The GLOW Lounge provided information about what was involved in the exchange and provided good one-on-one support for my questions as they arose. They sent email reminders about when applications and approvals were due and advice on completing them. All the information can be quite overwhelming but it helped me to stay organised, keeping all the forms folders, double checking information and putting dates on a calendar. It took quite a lot of time to organise my exchange, but it was well worth it and benefited my organisation skills. Completing one task after another with the support of the GLOW Lounge and course counsellors was a good experience and it was satisfying to know that I had done the work to get there, from writing the applications to buying sheets for my flat. It was a very diverse experience, and I am proud to have completed both the application and the exchange itself.
Disclaimer: This article is a personal account of their student experience.
Bus Stops 30