On-campus living is a wonderful experience for students. Often, living in halls of residence entails not only having a home to retreat to at the end of the day, but a strong sense of community and shared experience. The MSA believes in and supports quality on campus accommodation, and when the MSA heard that Monash Residential Services (MRS) could be improved for new and perspective students, they started a petition “MRS: It’s Time to Impress”. This is part of a campaign to upgrade some of the services at MRS in order to improve functionality and comfort.
The proposed changes to the existing system include: extending the bus route behind MRS (742) so that students don’t need to pay for both Zone 1 and Zone 2 fares when travelling into Melbourne CBD, offering more affordable and better quality food at MRS dining hall, providing better quality toilet paper and improved wireless access, and establishing more lighting between campus and halls for the safety of students (in particular, female-identifying students).
Student volunteers and MSA office-bearers have been seen around campus educating students about the ways that MRS could be improved and gathering signatures as capital with which to open negotiations with the University.
Additionally, the MSA, and in particular the Education (Public Affairs) Department, have been working on a campaign entitled “Hey Byrne, Let Us Learn!” This aims to enlighten students about current problems with our university education and implement solutions. Objectives include making more copies of textbooks and course readers available for loan in the library, mandatory uploading of course readers to Moodle or Blackboard, compulsory recording of lectures (i.e., not entirely compulsory in Law and Engineering), smaller class sizes (e.g., Arts tutorials), and cheaper academic transcripts, especially when more than one is required (e.g., applying for internships).
Problems also exist in regards to disparities in educational quality, funding and administration in between faculties and courses (e.g. Gender Studies vs. Psychology funding). Information obtained from talking to students during the course of the campaign will be used to highlight to the University that these educational inequalities do exist, and that specific courses and educational amenities need to be rethought, reorganised and refunded.
This campaign involves multiple BBQs, campaign stalls, and petitioning events including a cosplay of Monash University Vice-Chancellor Ed Byrne. Gathered signatures will be presented to the University, in particular the Vice Chancellor.
The MSA hopes, through both of these campaigns, to achieve changes that will ensure that Monash remains a functional, inclusive, and student-centred institution. If you want to be involved in any of these campaigns, or want to run a campaign with the MSA, email MSA President Esther Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org.