Andy Dong has been won the seat of Undergraduate Representative on the Academic Senate for the Faculty of Business and Economics. He beat Geeth Geeganage by 174 votes, while Viraj Singh polled third.
Andy Dong is a third year student who enjoys playing the guitar, lots of mooting, knock knock jokes and a bit of footy if he can manage to stay off the injury list.
What degree are you studying?
I am studying a Bachelor of Law and Commerce majoring in Applied Finance.
What inspired you to initially run for the SRC?
Great question to start! I think it’s incredibly important that the lines of communication are clear and efficient between the students and the officiating body of the University. Only through this can we as students, find our opportunity to voice our concerns and find support for certain initiatives.
Macquarie is well known for its warm and welcoming campus culture. I think this is especially important in fostering a learning environment that will help shape not only skilled and capable graduates, but also great people in general. Something central to creating and maintaining this good balance of work and play is the mutual understandings and expectations shared between students and academic staff.
I feel my learning, extracurricular, and networking repertoires have grown substantially with the support of our understanding and passionate teaching staff, and supportive students of whom many have become my close friends. I’d hope to see current and future students learn and grow as I have in the short time that I have been at Macquarie. And what better way to make sure this happens, than to take the initiative in doing my bit to ensure that the cooperative, supportive and understanding relationship between students and the University continues!
If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve?
I would see my contribution focus toward the pointy end of our journey through University – graduate opportunities! And of course in saying this I’d definitely not ignore the large majority of people that are in their first few years and are yet to graduate.
Put it this way. Finding a job is difficult – I know, revolutionary right?
I’ve come to learn that preparing yourself for your final years of Uni and then life beyond this is a monumental task. Setting your self up for life after Uni is a process that begins well in your first few years at Macquarie. May it be building your resume, expanding your networks or learning life skills, it all takes a lot of time. This is another reason why I think our campus culture is so wonderful; it enables us to embark on these tasks in a supportive and dynamic environment.
In light of this, I would like encourage initiatives where our University prepares our students and graduates-to-be, for all the trails and tribulations of the world beyond Wally’s walk and the infamous Ubar. This of course, will be built on the back of our can do Macquarie attitude.
How will you do this?
Yes, let’s get technical!
I believe in a holistic approach. Becoming a responsible adult in modern day society is much more than just having good grades. Our students should have the opportunity to explore and develop all areas of their skill sets. This will not only increase employability, but bring a whole new degree of excitement to our future, drawn from the new experiences and interest that we will develop throughout our University degree.
To start, I would look to our existing societies and encourage greater interaction and mutual participation in our shared interests. The cornerstones of our University’s heritage rely on the strength of our student societies. Our debating society, finance and accounting based clubs such as UNIT, religious groups, political groups, charitable groups and our Women’s Collective provide incredible opportunities for our students. Greater funding and publication of these opportunities would be a great way to further interdisciplinary exposure within our student body.
I’d also look to extending our professional networks to well respected industry players who value talented graduates that add value to their business. Increasing networking in the form of on campus events and off site events with HR representatives from such firms. I’ve done this in my capacity as a Sponsorship Executive for the Macquarie University Law Society, resulting in Microsoft being invited on campus.
What difficulties do you feel the SRC faces on the road ahead?
Given the scope of discussions and the large number of people involved, I can say that clear and cohesive communication will be key. It is extremely important that all SRC and Academic Senate representatives attend their meetings, remain organised and propose professional solutions to build our capacity to influence University decision making.
The communication between our student representatives and the rest of the student body is also essential. Each SRC and Academic Senate representative must have a clear understanding of the position of the group of students we represent. I would draw on my experience in Mooting to supplement my advocacy in these challenging situations. I have been fortunate to represent Macquarie University and our Law School at National level in the Kirby Contracts Moot in Melbourne. These skills will enable me to represent the interest of the FBE and the rest of the student body respectfully and effectively.
If you don’t have a clue what the fuck the Academic Senate is for, click HERE