Last week, Monash University released a new policy which allows units to get exemptions so assessments can be scheduled during SWOTVAC. As you are reading this article, Monash University’s academic and teaching staff are being permitted to schedule tests, presentations and assignments during your valuable one-week study period
Since the start of MSA’s 2006 campaign for reintroducing SWOTVAC to its later 2010 success in extending it to 5-days, it has been a tough and draining fight for the students. Monash University’s release of this new policy has added another blow to the diminishing relationship between administration and the students, says Nic Kimberley, MSA Education Officer (Academic Affairs).
Earlier in November, Nic, along with a group of other students were invited to attend a 30 minute ‘consultation’ with Professor Darrell Evans, the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and 2 members of the university policy team. The students were asked to comment on this policy. Nic articulated the views of a large number of students to whom he had spoken to prior to this consultation, and made it clear that the proposed changes to SWOTVAC were unacceptable to the students he represented.
“In the view of the students, any changes to the SWOTVAC policy in 2014 is non-negotiable”.
Upon such feedback, the University raised concerns about students who have to wait one week in order to complete their final assessments due to the SWOTVAC period. This sole reason can hardly justify why the majority of other students have to face increased pressure to complete additional assessments during SWOTVAC, whilst preparing for the upcoming crucial exam period.
SWOTVAC is more than merely a one-week break; it is a week where students can reprogram themselves from the usual university mayhem and and prepare themselves for the upcoming exam period.
So who will suffer the most due to this appalling policy change? Students living out of home, international students, students with limited support networks and students with unavoidable work commitments.
This policy places additional emotional, mental and physical pressure on each and every student who attends this University during an already stressful exam preparation period.
Nic said, “I cannot believe that Professor Evans and his Policy team have blatantly ignored such explicit views and needs of the students”. This shows Monash University’s limited understanding of the pressures associated with the current study load of each student based on the continuous changes of the curriculum and policies.
This is about student welfare and ensuring that those that are disadvantaged are not further disadvantaged by a knee-jerk decision made by Monash University without due consideration to its impact to students.
In order to support MSA’s snap campaign to these changes, please visit the Save SWOTVAC Campaign facebook page https://www.facebook.com/saveswotvacatmonash AND
Sign the petition: http://tinyurl.com/SaveSWOTVAC