Words || Gabby Edwards
What has MQ’s SRC been up to during COVID-19?
As our first semester of online learning comes to an end, you might be wondering what role the Macquarie University Student Representative Council (SRC) has played. Well Grapeshot has the answers! We spoke with an SRC representative to let you know what’s been happening with your hard earned dollary-dos during this tumultuous time.
What are some of the main responsibilities/tasks of the SRC now, and how have these been impacted or changed due to the shift to online learning?
“The SRC’s job is to advocate on behalf of students directly to the university. We have regular meetings in which we get to put up motions which can then be implemented by the university administration. SRC members also sit on some of the university’s policy making committees. We also oversee our own budget of $200,000 which goes to the funding of university student activities. Finally, we are personally involved in the carrying-out of events on campus such as the organisation of O-Week and Re:Conception.”
“The SRC has continued to hold meetings during isolation. Our priority, however, has increasingly shifted to focusing on concerns faced by university students as a consequence of COVID-19. These include financial support for students, advocating on behalf of students who have been locked into college contracts despite moving back home and restructuring grant programs to facilitate funding for online activities.”
In what ways can the SRC offer support to students (both domestic and international) during this time?
“Individual SRC officers can help students to navigate to the correct university agency that can help them. This is also very much the specialty of AskMQ. The SRC’s primary role is advocacy on policy issues to create change for students through writing detailed proposals, meeting with university officials, and advocating for change inside the university structures.”
“The specific policies we have been working on with the university to implement are financial support packages for domestic and international students and a reform of the grants process to include online activities.”
How has funding to each society been reassigned due to the cancellation of in-person social gatherings and events?
“The SRC has adjusted its student society grant guidelines to focus on events that can take place safely during the pandemic or being planned far enough in advance to avoid the restrictions currently in place. We have also temporarily reworked our postgraduate conference grants to cater for online conferences.”
Do the SRC still have regular meetings online, since in-person ones have been postponed/cancelled?
“The SRC is still meeting regularly via Zoom during this period. Our latest meeting was on the 7th of May and included various proposals from members, a review of the recent SSAF survey, and the passing of a range of student society grants. SRC members are continuing to advocate on issues of University policy during this period via SRC subcommittee meetings and meetings with University stakeholders.”
The “Macquarie University SRC” Facebook page is currently their main point of contact where they share regular updates on Macquarie University news and opportunities. The page can also be used to privately message them if necessary. Additionally, their email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) can also be used as a more formal point of contact for any further inquiries.