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1 07, 2016

President’s Blog #25

July 1st, 2016|President's Blog|0 Comments

This week started really strong with a productive 9am Monday morning meeting! Brendan and I met with Andrew J Smith (VP of Corporate Services) and Kirsten Jeffreys (Director of Facilities and Services) to talk about the SSU operating the Hammer & Swine more often. We had submitted a proposal last week outlining our plans to operate during the day and potentially more evenings. I’m happy to say that it looks like we will be able to go ahead with operating during the day (all being well) however due to the costs involved in security guards which are required in the evenings and for larger events, we would be sticking to just Thursday night operation in Semester two. Although we need to discuss and plan a lot more the SSU will be applying for a permanent liquor licence straight away so we can have signage up for the required 28 days prior to semester 2. I’m very excited about this as this is such an underutilised space on campus and I think it will be an awesome space to hang out during the day. I hope it means more people can find our offices and also potentially brings some more business to the bookshop too.

Also on Monday we finished up our interview process for a new Café manager and we have now hired Vyner who has previously managed the kitchen at a student residence hall and has over 30 years of experience in the industry.
Vyner started work on Thursday and already has many changes underway. It’s so great to see a motivated and positive attitude. Unfortunately our previous manager Debbie has resigned now (she previously planned to just step back) but will be staying on to offer Barista training and hopefully more in the future. We will miss her in the café but her health is more important.

Our Executive Officer, myself and a couple of the guys from the Swine team met up for a bit of a chat about advertising. We have some good plans to streamline advertising with the Swine and SSU in the future. We also had a chat about the media committee structure moving forward.

Anthony, Tori, James and myself also met up with two staff from Alumni and had a chat about how we can work together to grow networks and run events in the future. I see so much potential here and I can’t wait to get stuck in to working together. Watch this space!!

This week the University Council Elections ended and a staff and student representative were elected to the council. Congratulations to Catherine Rojas (staff) and Adnan Islam (Student)! I just need to stress again though how bad this election system is. Both candidates were elected with only around 30% of votes. That means around 70% of the relevant cohort voted for somebody else! You certainly can’t say this is good representation!
I’m hopeful though that the SSU can work closely with Adnan in the future and help get the student voice heard and make the necessary changes to a terrible system. Let’s get some transparency to University Council rather than secret meetings with secret documents!

Two final points;
1. Apologies for the lack of pictures recently, I shall endeavouor to take more from now on!
2. Vote on election day at Swinburne and grab a democracy sausage from our SSU BBQ!

27 06, 2016

President’s Blog #24

June 27th, 2016|President's Blog|0 Comments

Well this week we have had some ups and some downs. We had our monthly council meeting on Monday and due to missing three meetings in a row without apology our Hawthorn Campus Chair position has now become vacant once again. We did discuss some important things though;

  • We have set a date for the annual elections – from Monday 3rd October 2016 to Friday 7th October 2016 (Week 9 of Semester 2)
  • Council endorsed Brendan Spackman-Williams as candidate for the University Council elections.
    • Unfortunately our International Representative resigned from the union to run in these elections against the Union candidate. A decision very upsetting to me personally as it goes against the union and creates a divide – allowing somebody else entirely to come up and get the position due to the absolutely horrible election system used here – first past the post. I can’t speak strongly enough against this flawed system.
  • We have deferred discussion of our financial delegation policy as it was not circulated. I’ll be very happy to get this policy in place though as per the auditor’s recommendations.

Also Wednesday was our Office and Finance Manager’s last day before he is on holiday to America for a few weeks. I know we will miss him but I think he will be too busy having fun to miss us at all!

Later in the week our Executive Officer, General Secretary and I conducted a number of interviews for a new Café Manager at our Croydon Café. We have had some really good applicants but we have a couple more interviews to conduct early next week.
Unfortunately our current manager Debbie has indicated that she would like to step back in terms of time and responsibilities due to health reasons but she will still be there working just as hard I’m sure.

Next week will be a big week!

20 06, 2016

President’s Blog #23

June 20th, 2016|President's Blog|0 Comments

Well I’ve finally handed in my final assignment for the semester so I’m super excited about that but also super burnt out and haven‘t had a lot of time to work on much.

We had a meeting to discuss our financial delegation policy which was really good. I think we have developed it really well and I’m looking forward to being able to implement it. It is just one of the ways we are working on the auditor’s recommendations.
It will be really good to have more policy in place to make procedures clear for everybody now and in to the future.

We also had Education board where we discussed some issues that came up over the exam period. We will be looking in to the scheduling of exams in different locations as students were rushing between Hawthorn and Etihad, hurriedly trying to make their following exam on time. Whilst there was no actual overlap of time, the time between exams did not allow for the transport between venues and put unnecessary pressure on students.

I also went out to our Croydon campus with our Executive Officer James to meet with our Café Manager Debbie. It’s always good to get out there and see how things are going and we had a good chat about her role moving forward. It looks as though she will be stepping back for health reasons and so we would need to bring in a new manager. I’m so happy with the success of the café though and it’s great to see it grow. We always knew we could do it but it’s great to see it actually working out so well!