The campus experience is off to a great start this year - with continuing students back wandering around and talking to people, it is a different vibe. Trimester 3 is a long slog with limited students on campus, although the library and courtyards saw some students to ensure that light at the end of the trimester 3 on-campus tunnel was bright. Membership of UNESA now totals almost 5,000, an indication of the value students place on services, amenity and advocacy. The Board welcomes new members and takes seriously the respect and responsibility for the student voice. The UNE Student Association has continued to progress its work with independent advocacy and I would like to welcome Tom and Jade to the team. Tom and Jade have been thrown in at the deep end with their start coinciding with orientation and first week of lectures. At the start of trimester one, the independent advocacy was rebranded to Uni4Me; all the same services are on offer and will continue to provide and address problems that UNE students may be facing, be they part time, full time, internal, international, college or distance students. Uni4Me can individually help UNE students by providing a confidential and sympathetic hearing for any concerns you may have. The Uni4me Advocacy Service offers independent information, advocacy and referral across a range of academic and personal issues. All advice is free and confidential.
Tune FM by all accounts is going strong with over 80 volunteers regularly contributing to station content and operations. The radio station continues to sort through and catalogue the mountain of music history that is the legacy of 40 years of operation. The team will be working on some interesting projects this year. My vintage gives away an interest in the archive music being bought to life if I can nudge an idea forward.
The last issue of Nucleus was a different flavor and gave an indication of the character of the new editors. Bridgette, Alana and Jessica are to be congratulated for the time and effort spent crafting the 2014 generation of Nucleus. It was great to see staff and students alike collecting and reading the issue when it hit the stand.
UNESA welcomes the move by Council to appoint Professor Annabelle Duncan the interim Vice Chancellor (VC, to replace Jim Barber on his resignation. The appointment means that the limbo between Jim and the appointment of a new VC is alleviated and Annabelle can ensure that UNE moves forward in that time. The board will be looking forward to an opportunity to meet with Professor Duncan and explore ways that UNESA can build stronger relationships and partner with UNE to extend amenity and service to all our students.
I was disappointed to read the less-than-subtle message in “Letters to the Editors” from Jim Barber. I would like to think that Professor Barber’s letter was at best a flippant crack at Sarita, which he might have thought better of at another time.
The Student Association has met some very sturdy challenges in its journey to be part of the student voice at UNE. Despite some stiff opposition and often a series of ridge lines to climb, the Student Association has achieved a credible existence at this institution something students and the board should be proud of. Over the period of UNESA’s short existence, the critics have at various times have tried to mire UNESA in the cesspool of despair. UNESA is a testament to those students who value the university experience as something more than credentialing.
David Mailler, UNESA President