Words || Katelyn Free
Welcome back to another saucy semester at Machorny University (sorry but also not). The final whispers of winter chill still linger on, making us wonder why an open-air campus hub was such an innovative idea, and the pain of last semester’s exam results has finally faded into an acceptance of your parents’ constant disappointment in your life choices. Hope that 2am booty-call the night before your macroeconomics exam was worth it hun. So, without further adieu let Aunt Grapey spice up your life with 5 thirsty things you ought to know before getting down and dirty with your HECS debt this semester at good ole MQ.
Horny 4 HECS
Speaking of HECS! ScoMo is back at it again and couldn’t help himself but reach into your little depraved student pockets to take out some precious HECS dollary doos a bit earlier than a lot of you would have liked. Only July 1, the HECS repayment threshold fell to $45,881 a year. That’s a cut of 11% from the $52,000 it was lowered to last year, after the previous threshold of $56,000. This was the largest percentage drop in the threshold in more than 20 years, and the second largest drop in HECS history. Bloody marvellous.
It’s estimated 136,000 people will be affected by the lower threshold. And to give you a bit of perspective, the median wage, according to the ABS, is roughly $55,000, and the minimum full-time wage is $38,500. I bet you regret taking that salary contract at Maccas now.
So, if you’re a cashed up little sex bunny and are going to have to start paying off your Arts degree now, here’s what going to happen. The repayment system works as a percentage of your overall income and that percentage goes up depending on how much you earn. If you’re just over the threshold, you’ll be paying 1% of your entire income (before tax) in HECS, but if you go into the next bracket of over $53,000 then you pay 2%, and so on.
Aunt Grapey knows this is a tough little pill to swallow, and if you’re going to have to start paying off HECS now we recommend two options for you: tell your parents to stop voting Libs and start picking some cheap Arts units instead of expensive politics electives. We hear a range of astronomy electives really help your employment opportunities and with any luck will get you back below the HECS threshold. Thank us later.
Train Me Up Baby
The Metro is open, and trains are officially running at Macquarie Uni station again. Hallelujah. After a period known as ‘the dark ages’ and ‘the pollution in the Macquarie Uni atmosphere went up by 500% because every student and their questionable uncle started to drive to uni’, which spanned from 30 September 2018 to 25 May 2019, the train line from Epping to Chatswood was closed. Stationlink (which worked surprisingly well, thanks Gladys) replaced trains and everyone who lived more than 30 minutes away from uni hated their life.
But finally, the pain and suffering ended on May 26, when the Northwest Metro line was opened to the joy of every middle-class student from the Sydney Bible Belt. Now trains are following faster than bad hook-ups at a Ubar party and easy transport to MQ is back with a vengeance. However, the parking rates have gone up, which is a bit of a boner kill.
Previously, using the app Cellopark there was a flat rate of $1 per hour and a max of $6 per day in all parking zones. Now different rates apply to different parking zones. General Zone 1 (Green) charges $2.20 an hour with a maximum of $13.75 a day, General Zone 2 (Yellow) charges $1.95 an hour with a maximum of $11 a day, General Zone 3 (Blue) charged $1.40 an hour with a maximum of $8.25 a day and MGMS (East) charged $2.20 an hour with a maximum of $13.75 a day. The same system applies for parking permits.
So, with the new HECS threshold Aunt Grapey recommends if you have to destroy the environment and drive to uni, you stick it to the greedy corporate entities and park out on the back field. Cheaper rates and greater maintenance costs from students revving their cars on the soft green grass. Winner winner.
You Crazy Curriculum You
In November last year, the Vice-Chancellor (our good ole fav Brucey Boi), announced a ‘transforming curriculum’ called MQ2020. For many students, this won’t involve many actual changes to their degree structure, but it has removed a MQ degree staple, People and Planet Units from the menu. So, degree progressions and plans may change for the lucky students who were saving their random units for exchange. MQ gotcha.
Other changes will be new unit names (four letter and four numbers) and a new credit point system (units will now be worth credit points in multiples of 10, e.g. instead of 3 credits for an undergrad unit, it will be worth 10 credits).
Now, Aunt Grapey isn’t usually into giving genuine practical advice, but if you’re concerned/realise your degree will actually be affected by the new changes please go see a student advisor. Your HECS is at stake. And it would be easier than actually having to work things out on estudent yourself. So, cash in on your $30,000 debt and take those free university-provided services where you can.
I SRC You, Stud
Now if there was any thirsty, hot tamale drama Aunt Grapey actually had a stake in last semester it was none other than the SRC elections. If you’ve forgotten, the Alliance ticket ran on what could be described as an anti-Grapeshot platform.
During the campaign period, two screenshots from the Facebook group Macq Liberal Club (not absolute) Freedom Forum were shared with sneaky little Aunt Grapey. The first post was made by former Alliance campaign manager Damien Pace detailing plans to create a video “making fun of Grapeshot”, and the second post was from Zedekiah Sparks which linked “Our ticket Alliance” to plans to “fuck shit up with Grapeshot”. And as the sexy little cherry on top of the anti-Grapeshot sundae, Dan Roberts (now an undergraduate student representative) ran on a platform of “a Grapeshot Magazine students want to read”.
In the end no take down video was released, and as of yet there have been no attempts to regulate the content of Grapeshot. So, Aunt Grapey lives on another day in her wild, lib-hating ways. But it was getting pretty hot under the collar for a sec there.
As for the actual results, the Alliance ticket took home a large slice of the SRC pie, including the university council position. A few undergrad representatives from the Spark Up ticket snuck in and in a surprising turn of events, the Spark Up ticket took home all three of the voted positions on the SRC. Maybe the tides are shifting in the SRC waters? I guess we’ll find out in another two years.
Um Measles wtf?
And last but not least, Aunt Grapey’s favourite little thirsty tid-bit from last semester, the MQ measles crisis. One of the more random emails we’ve received in our student inbox in recent memory.
In early April, MQ informed students and staff that an individual who was at Macquarie on the 3rd and 4th of April was diagnosed with measles. Students were cautioned to vigilantly watch for symptoms of measles until the end of the month and were given a comprehensive list of all the places the infected individual had attended on those days. Which was honestly impressive and more places than the average outdoors-adverse university student would travel in a month. Alas, there were no more reported cases, so the drama ended there, but it was a nice potential apocalyptic scenario while it lasted.
Just remember kiddies, keep it nice and clean this semester, we don’t want another health scare on our hands.
So, there you have it, five thirsty things Aunty Grapey thinks you should know before you head back to imminent procrastination and midnight library breakdowns. Just remember, keep your measles-free friends close, and your hot-dad tutors closer. All the best, stay sexy and stay under $45 grand xx