Letters to the Editors - May 2013

To Whom it may concern When the UNE Student Union dissolved Services UNE was set up to provide the support and services once provided by the UNE union.

The CEO was employed through friends on the board, the position was not advertised and a suitable CEO hired on merit.

Food and Beverage Manager position was not advertised. The appointment was done in secret and nobody knew that the position was going to be refilled until a month before commencement date.

All student representation was removed from the Services UNE board.

Tune FM employs a manager who lives at the Gold Coast and has not been on campus for a year.

Services UNE has cut and/or reduced student services sighting lack of money, yet the CEO has continued to receive yearly pay increases.

Regards, Anonymous

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In response to Jeremy Turner,

I am wondering when the last time Jeremy did any of the things he suggested?

While I completely agree that those in college should car pool or something to reduce congestion, Jeremy’s suggestions just don’t strike me as comments from someone who is in touch with Students.

I this afternoon walked from the Wright Village Car Park to Booloominbah and it took me 15 minutes. Now I am not the fittest person, however neither is the average Uni student.

To bike ride from Town to the Colleges, would indeed be roughly 15 minutes - if you were a good biker. However the ascent from the colleges to the Campus would indeed take some time and make you smelly - and who wants to be smelly for class?

Finally the Bus - the true reason for my letter. I haven’t caught the bus this year (as we bought a car in December); however we (my partner and I) were getting the bus to Uni almost every day for classes. A single trip to the Uni anywhere from Girraween to town is $3. When I first came to UNE in 2008 it was $2. One way. So a return trip for the average student is $6 a day, $48 a week if you’re going to Uni 4 days a week. Yes, there is a card you can buy that discounts trips by a whopping $0.18 - but isn’t much of a saving. If you have the travel concession sticker on your student card, you can get a fare of $2.10 however you can’t use the discount card. The distance of Town (courthouse) to the northern car park UNE is 6 Kms. In Sydney this distance would be charged to a student at approx. $1.80.

The problem is that Edwards Coaches are running a bus service in a university town but not aimed at university customers. If they did, the bus service would run after 7:30pm during the week and would run on Sundays. College students and students who live in West Armidale need a good way of travelling to town (not to mention that students need a way to travel in winter when walking and bike riding are not friendly options).

Edwards need to get on board and offer more services and lower fares. Their clientele will increase rapidly if they do. Make a noise about this, if you don’t things will not change.

James Ellis

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In response to Jeremy Turner’s recent letter regarding public transport, I’d like to respond.

Firstly, there isn’t ample public transport options - I’ve looked into it. I live on the opposite side of town.

I’ve used the bus system and found that it isn’t anymore efficient or cheaper than driving to uni. There’s also those of us that go to/from uni straight to jobs, and other commitments. For those of us that have 8am lectures, there are no buses that run early enough to arrive on time. The buses that run are timetabled to mean you either arrive 45mins before your lecture or about 10 mins late. This is due to buses leaving town 5mins to 9 etc.

To encourage more people to use public transport, maybe the uni and the bus company should coordinate their timetable so that they are slightly more synchronised!!

Hannah

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Dear Editors,

I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the UNSW campus in Sydney recently, and apart from the obvious differences between our universities, one thing that really hit me was the enormous disparity in service and amenity. You can’t walk ten metres in any direction at UNSW without encountering a cafe or food outlet. And we’re not talking about the fried ‘food’ that tastes identical to the cardboard it’s packaged in, or the stale flavourless sandwiches that still somehow cost six dollars here, but fully stocked Indian/Chinese/Lebanese/Japanese/Deli/Burger places. I counted NINE different places on my first short walk around campus. And not only is it quality food, but the competition drives down the prices, so you can get enormous, satisfying (and great quality) meals with a drink for under $10, which at G&S will barely get you a sandwich and a bottle of water. Also, I never payed more than $3.70 for a coffee.

I’m not saying that we should have the same scale of amenity as a university like UNSW, we clearly have far less demand and far fewer on campus students, but damnit, some choice would be nice. And maybe if ServicesUNE were nudged out of complacency and monopoly by some competition, we might just see a reversal in the trend of prices-up/quality-down.

Regards, Anonymous

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Hey all,

On May 6th I’m gonna start eating like a poorer person because the medical school is making me, with their *judgmental little eyes*. I hate them and their “ethics” so very much.

But at least they’re not Rineharting it and keeping any money I raise, it will probably be blended and fed to orphans (hey, LBTL is an NGO thing, what can you say).

I know we’re all poor (and if you’re reading this and not then WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING this is poor people’s communication) but if we all pull together... well, we’ll be *really* poor (except me, as I’m going to *save* money doing this) but at least some Cambodian kid won’t become a child prostitute or live in a legit garbage tip (*poverty is not fucking funny*).

Ok, enough for now, give me money so I look good, or don’t, but keep in mind I’m going to eat *nothing but eggs* for five days, so if you want me to hide in Pete’s room and just...emit, then you have to give me money. (Pete, you too, but for the opposite thing. I love you, I would never hurt you. But I will give you pillow-shits if you do not give me money).

This is the link to do this: www.livebelowtheline.com.au ...and search: Chris Myers. I’m the only one that comes up to date, either because it’s an uncommon name, or there is a strong tendency for people with that name to be terrible people, we will never know.

Below is what Live Below the Line told me to send you. I would have deleted it, but you know... they’re always, always watching. DO NOT READ THIS BIT

Hey,

I’ve got some news!

For five days in May I’ll be eating on $2 a day -- the equivalent of the extreme poverty line in Australia. It’s part of a campaign called Live Below the Line. From May 6th- 10th, I’ll gain a window into the day-to-day lives of people who live in extreme poverty.

It’ll be tough, but it’ll be meaningful. Can you support me and donate $40 to my campaign? All you have to do is head to www.livebelowtheline.com.au, search for my profile page and donate to me. And of course, you can choose to make your donation tax-deductible.

Your generous support will help provide schools, teacher training, books and bicycles for young people living in extreme poverty. Could you chip in $37? It’s an amount that will provide a student scholarship for 6 months in Cambodia. (That bit sounds like lies though, I remember giving a guy in Phnom Penh $90 for his kid for a semester to go to school and he said it would only just get him through *oh goddammit I got screwed*. Never paid for tuktuks again though.)

Thanks for your support, Christopher (Christopher does not approve this communique in any way and retracts his name from its heinous, garbled message)

*P.S If you’re really up for a challenge, why not Live Below the Line with me? Head to: **www.livebelowtheline.com.au* * and we can start a team and compete for some great prizes! **DO NOT DO THAT *I want to be the only person who does this. It makes me special and I need to feel that way sometimes. Plus I don’t work well with *people*. My doctor calls this disorder “spectral” but I don’t think I’m a ghost.

Cool cool cool.

Seriously now give me money.

Chris

The University of New England and Sustainability

Med Beats