The Undergraduates of UNE took a step towards a brighter future in student representation and have marked the student voice as important at this university. On the 21st March 2013 the Undergraduate New England Guild (UNEG) held a Special General Meeting to decide a new direction. The meeting was open to all and UNE external undergrad students could attend the meeting through Adobe Connect. All motions before the meeting were passed unanimously by undergrads at the meeting.Motions were as follows: 1. It was moved that the meeting endorse the proposed vision, values and purpose of the new student association. 2. It was moved that the meeting endorse the proposal for a unified student association representing all students at UNE. 3. It was moved that the current Executive committees of UNEG and Postgrads At UNE be authorised to do all things necessary to: - Prepare and approve the constitution of the new association; - Incorporate the new association to replace the two existing associations; and - Arrange the first elections of the new association at the start of Trimester 2, 2013. 4. It was moved that students acknowledge the current constitutions are unworkable and are constricting the associations from achieving their desired purpose, values and goals.
On the 16th April 2013 the UNE Postgrad association will meet to decide on at similar range of motions. The vision for a new UNE student representative council is: ‘To represent without fear or favour, the students of the University of New England. To encourage participation in a fair and just tertiary experience through shared higher thinking.’
The values are to: create an environment that respects and develops leadership; and respect and value diversity and understand difference is more.
The purpose of a unified student association is to: - Represent the interests and welfare of students; - Promote the social and intellectual life of the University; - Organise professional and social activities of students and encourage the development of organisations, clubs and societies for students at the University; - Operate as a recognised means of communication between students and the University; - Liaise, where appropriate, with other student organisations in the tertiary sector including other student bodies, guilds or associations in order to carry out these objectives; - Provide the University with advice with regard to expenditure, priorities and disbursement of funds collected by the University in accordance with the provisions of the Student Services and Amenities Fee Guidelines; - Promote the interests of students and the broader UNE community; and - Act in a transparent and accountable manner.
A unified single student organisation will also reduce the administrative duplication and make the case for recurrent funding from the university, essential should the SSAF disappear. Proper governance of one board will be easier, especially with an appropriate functional constitution. Having student needs and issues represented around one table will benefit the varied interests of students at UNE. UNE students will benefit from a unified student voice.
Undergrads aspire to be Postgrads, Postgrads were Undergrads; a synergy exists and should be capitalised on at UNE. The voice of a combined 20,000 students is hard to deny or ignore.
- David Mailler, UNEG President