Nominees: Science and Engineering

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John Georgakils

Studying a Bachelor of Engineering w/ Bachelor of Commerce – loves football, loves cars, loves a diverse range of food and aims to make a positive impact on the students at Macquarie University.

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve? 

Parking – It’s a joke. Students pay $370 to drive around for 20 minutes praying to the parking Gods. To combat increased car commuters due to the train line closing in 2018, we need more parking on campus so students spend more time in class, rather than looking for parking.

Having MUSE and Science Computer Labs open Longer – We need to have Study Spaces like Muse, Baseline and the Science/Engineering Computer Labs open for longer hours, including weekends, so that students have more space and greater resources to study. Though the Library and is open on weekends, it is next to impossible to find a spot to study in these times. Students need to have access to sufficient study spaces on campus to ensure that students have the facilities to meet the demands of student life.  By opening these spaces for longer hours it will help to ensure that no student is disadvantaged in their studies.

Better connectivity between student groups and SRC – As the Treasurer of a Student Group, I have found that there’s no clear communication lines between us and the SRC. I strongly believe that we need to be working together, especially when the SRC makes decisions that can directly affect me as an executive committee member on one of the biggest societies on campus.

Fairer allocation of SSAF funds to student groups – Currently, the current funding model for student groups is highly ineffective and highly unfair to the many students and student groups on campus. We need to develop a model that provides a fairer allocation of funds to student groups, therefore allowing them to thrive on campus and provide the best possible campus experience to their members, and the wider student community. This includes ensuring student groups have money for funding their BBQs, to Science and Engineering teams having funds to compete in projects such as Formula SAE.

Allocating SSAF funds to basic services and amenities – As students, we barely have money to pay the amenities fees. There are basic amenities, that at times are lacking around campus. Where does our money go??? Notability this is seen with the bathrooms not having toilet paper or soap. These are fundamental necessities that should always be stocked. Considering that we must pay ridiculous SSAF fees every year, I believe that these fees should be directed in ensuring that these basic amenities are met.

How will you do this? 

Parking:

  1. I will lobby to have parking lines in the X (Grass) carpark clearly outlined to stop students parking between two spaces and therefore reducing parking on campus
  2. Lobby for the overflow carpark next to the Gym is always open to maximise parking spots. This will help reduce congestion in the West and X carpark, through providing more options for students to park.
  3. Lobby for a regular shuttle between Y3A and the Library. There is plenty of parking in Y3A, which students chose not to use due to the distance. By extending the existing shuttle service to travel between Y3A and the Library, this will provide a greater incentive for students to park in Y3A.

Having Muse and Baseline open on Weekends:

  1. Lobbying for a system where students holding student cards can use their campus cards to swipe into these study areas. This will ensure all students can effectively use the facilities to study, while non-students aren’t using these facilities on weekends.

Better connectivity between student groups and SRC:

Through maintaining a strong line of communication between the SRC and the presidents of the student groups. One option could be a specialised MacSync page, which would allow for direct and frequent communication between the student groups and the SRC.

We can delegate an SRC member to physically attend the society’s events to ensure there’s a clear presence from the SRC and establish and reaffirm the connection between the SRC and students.

Fairer allocation of SSAF funds to student groups:

Reassess the funding guidelines to ensure there’s clear transparency regarding funding distribution to the student groups.

Give each student group a grant of $500 to host a free BBQ for all students and ensure there’s at least one free BBQ a week to increase student engagement, as well as fund the student groups and increase their publicity and hopefully their member base

Allocating SSAF funds to basic services and amenities:

Study where funding is allocated and where it’s lacking and do a reshuffle of allocation funding

Conduct surveys that students can answer. We can take their feedback and with the support of the uni, we can impact the student’s lives for the better by fixing the problems they’re complaining about.

What difficulties do you feel the SRC faces on the road ahead?

As the SRC, we aim to gain the support of all student groups, as well as the university administrators. Our policies aren’t selective – we are trying to improve all student’s quality of life and we are hoping to gain support from all faculties – not just mine. Our agenda is pure – impact the students, improve their lives. With this in mind, we hope that there should be no issues in implementing these changes and fixing the issues that impact all students on campus.


Alexander Hablutzel ALL1ANCE

Alex enjoys power naps and intermittent snacking. Other than eating and sleeping, he loves long runs, making new friends, and he can be often found working in the computer lab or fawning over food.

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve? 

Macquarie University is a unique and wonderful place but there are things that can be done better, smarter and bigger.  My three priorities are:

– Late night campus access: The computer labs close at 8pm and Muse and the library at 10pm. These could be open latter or even for 24 hours. Having more options available for students will help us out when we have crunch deadlines.

– Student Input: Students need a greater voice in university decision making. Too many students have voices that aren’t heard by the University. I want to be the voice of the People.

– Student social activities: I want to help students have a good time on campus. Whether its at Uni parties or through clubs and societies. I want to help students better integrate into University life.

These are all key issues to me which I look forward promoting in the SRC if elected!

How will I be able to do this?

With the voice of you the students of course! If students want these actions done its in the hands of the SRC to put them into action. Services can always be corrected and improved but we have to make it known to the University that we expect this to happen.

We need to interact closely with the students, build their support for ideas and make these strongly known to the Uni. Its been shown time and time again that strong student support can be enough to force University action.

What difficulties do you feel the SRC faces on the road ahead?

The SRC is relatively known on campus yet not understood. When I first came to Macquarie, I knew that we had a Student Representative Committee, however, their exact role was never spelt out to me. Only as a second year do I have more knowledge of what they can and can’t do. With a low level of knowledge not enough students participate in SRC life, stand for election or vote.

Also the successes and accomplishments of the SRC aren’t understood. With a lack of understanding a lack of support follows. This however, is easily fixed. With the correct promotion, management and interaction through events the SRC can be a major contributor the lives of students on campus.


Aaron Takizad VOICE

Aaron Takizad is studying the Bachelor of Law/IT degree and loves youth advocacy, entrepreneurship, and building stronger communities.

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve? 

Some improvable aspects of university life, which would also address cost to students, include accessibility of textbooks, bringing back the breakfast bar, and changes to parking.

By offering more textbooks in the library and online digital editions, fewer students would need to purchase their own copies of textbooks, alleviating a significant source of financial pressure for students.

Similarly, the return of a free breakfast bar would alleviate costs for students who have early morning classes, as well as providing a convenient alternative to other campus options.

Cheaper and easier parking is also a critical area of improvement. Particularly for students who may only visit campus once or twice a week, parking permits are exorbitantly expensive. This issue is worsened by the fact that unless students arrive early, it is nearly impossible to find a spot, making permits seem like a wasted investment.

In addition, I’ve recognised a number of issues relating to the Science and Engineering faculty. I’m incredibly proud of what our faculty has been able to achieve this year through the Macquarie Association of Computing Students (MACS), the Pop-Up Incubator, and efforts by our Entrepreneurship Society. However, our university still currently lacks widely the accessible industry links offered by other universities. This can make it difficult to obtain good internships and develop professional experience, and significantly disadvantage students’ career prospects after they graduate.

I believe that the continued support and expansion of the Incubator program would sufficiently provide opportunities for students to gain startup experience and industry leadership skills, which will unlock new opportunities for many.

How will you do this?

To achieve access to textbooks on campus, we will campaign for an increased number of textbooks in the library, as well as more digital editions licensed by the University.

The return of a free breakfast bar would likely be funded by the SRC. To achieve this, we will advocate for the expansion of the SRC budget to bring ours in line with other universities. This would give students greater power over where their SSAF goes, as well as enable the SRC to explore other avenues of improving campus life.

Cheaper and easier parking will be achieved through working with the University to determine how parking costs are currently determined, and how this may be made more affordable, particularly for students who may only require University parking a couple of times a week.

Regarding areas of development for the Science and Engineering Faculty, I will work closely with MACS, an emerging computing students’ association with faculty links, to develop strategies that will increase the number of available student opportunities. Initially, efforts these will largely be centred around the expansion of our Pop-Up Incubator and approaches to increase student engagement in these programs. To ensure these efforts are cost efficient, I will work with MACS as its VP to gain partnerships and external sponsors for funding as similar organisations in other universities have obtained.

What difficulties do you feel the SRC faces on the road ahead?

I feel the difficulties likely to be faced by the SRC on the road ahead typically relate to a lack of engagement with the student body compared to other campuses. This makes it difficult to determine what students want from their campus experience, and thus how we may shape decisions to fulfil these needs.

I also feel the lack of democratic processes with appointed positions subtracts from students’ abilities to shape their campus experience by voting for candidates who share their vision.

Samantha Ly

Not supplied

Liam O’ Shea

Not supplied