Wandering around the courtyards and concourse of this university is a far cry from the experience of just twelve months ago. For the benefit of those who care to read on, this University has in the past eight years had a checkered history in student engagement. Much of it of student making, if I believe the talk. I will take it on faith, I was not here. My impression is perception took over from reality for a period, and respect for students has been slow in returning. Students and staff have been reluctant to expend the energy to restore a credible voice and some have tried, with limited success.
This University exists for the purpose of education and there are three important facets of that purpose.
• Students (self explanatory) • Academics (self explanatory) • Administration (to facilitate the bringing together of the former)
If one of these three facets does not exist, UNE does not exist. If one of these three facets is out of sync, UNE is broken. There have been a number of good signs in the past twelve months. Life has returned to the courtyards and concourse of the university and in the collegiate atmosphere of the external on students in campus for intensive schools. The Nucleus is the student voice resurrected and it has been gaining momentum with each issue thanks to the commitment of the editors and the vital contributors to each edition. tUNE FM has a growing listenership under the guidance of Tania Court and the dedicated team of volunteers. The commitment of a dedicated group to see changes to the status quo of the past eight years has now brought to life an autonomous representative structure that is respected. The UNE Student Association (UNESA) has set about creating relationships that are built on respect and partnership.
Respect for the three important facets is fundamental to how a university exists. Through UNESA, the student body is now invited to participate in advising and guiding the future of UNE. It is the responsibility of UNESA to cooperate in building collegiate fraternity and amenity for students and there is no future in threats and demands. The student body must demonstrate respect and capability. There is always time to pause and reflect on the message. Respect is not reflected in childish tantrums of some students and indeed shows how little respect they have for themselves. Walking the talk is a vital component of any representation; to say it is so does not make it so!
The executive board members of UNESA hold the responsibility of representation with the respect that UNE students deserve. The board is an engaged and active advocate for you and the legacy of this university. Good luck with studies and assignments and say g’day as we cross paths at UNE.
- David Mailler UNESA President