Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 2. March 11, 1975
By this stage in the year, students should have a fair idea of what their courses are about, what their lecturers are like, and where the toilets are. Few however know very much about the Association set up to serve their interests in the University.
A cursory glance through the Orientation Handbook tells of the Executive, where the fees go, the various bureaucrats employed to keep the Union building going, and so on. There were a few references to SRC (Student Representative Council), though only scant attention was paid to its essential function in the running of the Association. Every student is a member of SRC, and can speak, move motions and vote. SRC is the body that decides all the non-financial policy of the Association-its reps having to accept its direstions if they do not, or are remiss in other ways. SRC has been quick to rebuke them.
Apart from deciding policy, SRC also elects students to serve as its representatives and enact its policy decisions.
The more important positions will be filled at the SRC meeting on Wednesday March 12 from 12 noon and a quick glance at the nature of the committees your representatives will be sitting on should be enough to convince you of the need to be there. These people will be your voice on all sorts of issues and university committees that directly affect your life as a student.
The Students' Association is not controlled by the executive. It is controlled by SRC, which means it can be controlled by you. Our student representatives are there to make the university correspond with your needs and your aspirations at all levels. To do that they have to know how students feel and what they want.
So on Wednesday, go along to the Union Hall and vote, ask questions, or stand for election yourself. Be there!
One of the new clubs to become affiliated to the Students Association this year is the Martial Arts Club. The Martial Arts Club is in fact a student branch of the Rembuden Martial Arts Institute which is situated at 131 Manners St., Members of the Varsity branch automatically become members of the main club and share in all the faclities and training opportunities of the main club, but at a much lower fee. Whereas members of the of the main club pay $88 p.a. members of the Varsity Martial Arts Club (i.e. students) pay only $18 p.a., an enormous saving. The club offers instruction in Karate, Judo, Kendo and Iaido under the direction of John Jarvis who holds 7 black belts in Karate, Judo and Iaido. The club aims for more Judo and Iaido. The club aims more for quality in the martial arts than numbers of members but if anyone is genuinely interested further details can be obtained from C. O'Connor 893-617.
The Professorial Board
The Professorial Board is the place where courses, methods of assessment, timetables, workloads and so on are discussed. The Board has considerable power, and its recommendations to Council on academic matters are rarely rejected. The Council is the supreme policy-making and controlling body of the university with jurisdiction over regulations, degree courses, buildings, finance and so on.
Professorial Board also has disciplinary powers and can 'fine suspend and expel' students who are naughty, as well as control who is admitted to the university.
There are three student representatives of the Board. On Wednesday two of these will be elected: one for a single year term and one for a two-year term. If you are interested, be warned that this is a job that if done properly, will involve a lot of time reading minutes and reports, reporting back to SRC, and of course, attending meetings (once a month, on Thursday mornings, for about three hours). Don't let this put you off though because at best being a Prof Board rep can be a curiously satisfying mixture of hard work, frustration and genuine achievement.
There are five Faculties at this university-Arts, Languages and Literature (which meet together). Science, Commerce and Administration and Law. All staff members are members of the appropriate Faculty and there are different numbers of student representatives on each. Arts and Languages and Literature have four each. Science and Law three and Commerce has five. The student representatives' job is to raise matters directly relating to the problems faced by students in their faculties. Increasingly, over the past year, these representatives have taken on duties of helping individual students battle the university bureaucracy and this is probably their most important role.
To be fully effective they must also understand the bureaucracy and keep up with faculty affairs generally. Again, time is needed to do the job properly, but the time spent is well worth it.
This is the committee which supervises and directs the running of the Union Building and its facilities including the catering facilities (see below).
The committee deals with a large number of boring and mundane matters which nevertheless affect the users of the Union Building in a bewildering variety of ways.
The student representatives hold an absolute majority on this committee, the remainder of which is made up of assorted university heavies, including the Vice-Chancellor (or his nominee), the Director of the Student Welfare services and the Managing Secretary of the University Union. The meetings are chaired by the President of the Students Association.
If you have ideas on how the building should be run, facilities that should be available, etc then this is the committee for you.
There are normally five people elected by SRC to the committee, but because of a strange situation involving this year's president also being an SRC rep on the committee, there will be six positions to be filled. Think about it.
As its name suggests, this committee meeting overseas the operation of the catering facilities within the Union Building. This year there will be three separate contractors working within the building and catering sub-committee will be working with each of them.
If you have strong views on the catering (and who doesn't!) then seriously consider standing for this committee. Apart from people appointed from Union Management Committee there are four direct SRC reps to be elected.
There are six SRC reps on the Publications Board, who are an absolute majority. The Publications Officer with a casting and deliberative vote is also bound by SRC decisions. The rest of the Board is made up of various Editors and others to do with the production of the various Association magazines. In recent years the Board has tended to be heavily (and sometimes purposefully) stacked by Salient workers and the SRC must be careful to bear in mind the fact that it is the SRCs wishes that are important in the Publications Field and to elect a group of people who will implement these wishes fully.
The Board meets monthly, with occasional special meetings to appoint editors, etc. and the time involved need not be great.
The SRC also elects representatives to implement SRC policy in four specific areas. Traditionally these officers have written their own work programme according to their general inclination and willingness to work. To do their jobs properly, officers should probably spend some four or five hours every week on their portfolio, although this will naturally vary according to the activities the officer organises.
The Education Officer
The Education Officer is responsible for Chairing the Education Committee of the SRC which consists of the Student Reps on Faculties, Prof Board and Council. The committee's job is to research the problems of assessment, workloads and so on that face students in the university and to discuss the best way to implement SRC policy on education and to take the cases of individual students and courses to the appropriate university body. The Education Officer is also responsible for maintaining contact with other education officers as NZUSA and tertiary institutes.
The education officer's job is a tremendously important one and requires a great deal of solid work to do properly.
National and International Affairs Officers
The International and National Affairs officers are responsible for implementing SRC policy on these areas. This could involve organising forums, debates, etc. showing visiting politicos around, arranging films and in general providing a focus for the long-standing campus debates on just about every issue and lost causes under the sun.
This job has often been described as 'what you make it' and to an extent this is true. With everything from student suicides to overcrowded lectures coming under his umbrella, the Welfare Officer has both room to concentrate on a few areas and overall responsibility for many. It is an important position and a good Welfare Officer can do a great deal for students.
A Few Last Words
Well, if you have read the job descriptions above and would like to find out more about the positions from those who know (or should!), there is a list below of people to contact. If you have any difficulty doing so, try your friendly neighbourhood SRC coordinator, who can be reached through the Students Association Office (ground floor, Union Building).
In between snarls he will, no doubt, do his best to help you. If you are still interested, we hope you will hand your name in at the office or just come along to the meeting on Wednesday.
Go on, do it.
|Prof Board and Union Management:|
|Trevor Mallard (Commerce)||767-992|
|Pip Desmond (Arts Lang/Lit||43-920|
|Ellen Forch (Science)||554-884|
—John Roseveare' SRC Coordinator
—Colin Feslier Publications Officer