Image Description: 2019 UWA Guild President Bre Shanahan surrounded by the words “Progressive, advocacy, meal affordability, sustainable practices, inclusion, equity, student network, reforms, free legal services, STAR, consultation, campus safety, access, education, accessibility, tuition-free week, welfare, transparency, diversity, Cameron Hall”.
By Christine Chen
Amendment: Some of the categories have been revised since original publication due to new information.
Every September, students are flooded with promises from UWA’s political parties and their candidates. Pelican counted that STAR (or “Student Team About Results”) made more than fifty promises during their campaign last year. Let’s see how they did:
Delivered: Promise has been fully delivered.
In progress: Steps have been taken towards implementing the promise.
No Progress/Abandoned: Promise has not been delivered. There has either been no evidence found to suggest that steps have been taken towards delivering the promise (per Guild social media, Guild council reports, and Guild council minutes), or steps were taken but have proven to be unsuccessful.
Pelican acknowledges the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Guild council activities.
Week 0 Solution
Before: “Introduce ‘Week 0’ solution to alleviate pressure of 12-week semesters.”
After: A ‘Week 0’ is set to be implemented in Semester 1, 2021.
Before: “Moving special consideration online.”
After: Special consideration may be lodged online, and self-declared special consideration was temporarily introduced for Semester 1. According to the Guild council’s August report, students are also set to “receive the marks for the top 80% of their weekly assessment tasks” and “have access to a one misdemeanour pass for use during the exam period if they misread their timetable” in 2021.
New Equity Department
Before: “…Making our campus more equitable, by introducing a new Equity Department to represent Fairway, Broadway and low SES students.”
After: Instead of an Equity Department, an Equity Collective was introduced as part of the Welfare Department. The Guild is in consultation with the Welfare Department to finalise the Collective’s rules.
Increase Student Consultation
Before: “Providing more opportunities for student input through regular town hall meetings and new consultation hours to access your reps.”
After: Office Bearer consultation hours and Town Hall meetings have been conducted regularly throughout the year.
‘It’s All on Us’ Week
Before: “Introduce ‘It’s all on Us Week’- a sexual violence and prevention themed week to engage the University board, staff and students on building safer communities, calling out disrespectful behaviour and being effective bystanders.”
After: An “It’s Up to Us” week was delivered online in Semester 1.
Before: “Implement ethical bystander training to build a culture of zero-tolerance for violence.”
After: ‘Step Up Bystander Training’ workshops have been scheduled to run in August and September.
Before: “Introduce a $4.50 Everyday Lunches and a $12.50 student burger deal.”
After: $4.50 and under $5 meals have been introduced, and are widely advertised across the campus, including at all Guild outlets. A $12 burger deal is also available at the Tavern.
Sponsorship Working Group
Before: “Establish a new Sponsorship Working Group to strategise large-scale corporate and community sponsorship, and continue to make sure all material like budgets and reports are publicly available.”
After: Per the August Guild council report, “the Sponsorship Working Group has now engaged in final consultation with SOC Clubs and Ed Council, and is preparing its final report for the committee and Guild Council.”
Green Student Guide
Before: “Create a Green Student’ guidebook to encourage students to reduce their ecological footprint.”
After: A Green Student Guidebook has been developed and is set to be released in Week 7 of Semester 2.
Before: “Continue to make sure all material like budgets and reports are publicly available to keep the Guild transparent and accountable.”
After: Reports, budgets, and minutes are all uploaded onto the Guild website. An online Financial Dashboard has also been created.
Free Legal Advice
Before: “STAR 2020 will implement what Student Assist has been crying out for — free legal advice for students.”
After: Tony Goodman, the Guild’s Managing Director, has advised Pelican that options are being explored to outsource services to an independent 3rd party such as the Subiaco Community Legal Service, or to collaborate with the Convocation of UWA Graduates to involve alumni in providing UWA insurance-backed legal advice. Implementation has been delayed due to the onset of COVID-19.
Work Integrated Learning Expansion
Before: “STAR 2020 is committed to working with the University to improve Work Integrated Learning opportunities and build more internship opportunities for students [..] STAR will work towards a target of having 100% of majors having Work Integrated Learning.”
After: A specific Work Integrated Learning module is currently only available for 21 majors. However, a commitment has been made to introduce modules for every unit.
Before: “Pushing for more consistent and clear LMS formats across majors.”
After: A proposal has been put forward to encourage all Unit Coordinators to follow a faculty specified template to encourage greater consistency, however, due to the exit of UWA’s Pro-Vice Chancellor of Education, progress on the project has stalled.
Cameron Hall Access
Before: “Continue to lobby the University and obtain external funding to secure disability access for Cameron Hall.”
After: After years of lobbying from both Cameron Hall tenants and members of the UWA Student Guild Access Department, a feasibility study commenced on August 25 and is expected to be completed on August 31.
While STAR has discussed how to finance the project, the funding arrangement is still uncertain.
Healthy Minds Module
Before: “STAR will help to build an introductory module for students using cutting edge psychological developments in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.”
After: A group charged with developing the Healthy Minds Module has been established. Per the May Guild council report, they have met “several times” and are “well into developing content and reaching out to UWA Academics to help with the development and creation of module content.” These modules, however, have yet to be rolled out to students.
Counselling Triage Reform
Before: “Reviewing and reforming the counselling and triage system.”
After: A system review is in progress and has been addressed by the University’s Health Services Review Panel. No reforms have been enacted due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Triage reform has been reintroduced as part of STAR’s campaign promises this year.
Before: “Implementing a ReUse program on campus to promote a cyclical consumption of resources to prevent clothes, stationary, and other items from ending up in landfill.”
After: While staff and staff consultation has begun, comments from the Environment Officer reveal that “progress has been slow thus-far.”
Gender Neutral Bathrooms
Before: “Advocate for the introduction of more accessible, gender neutral bathrooms.”
After: The Guild’s Inclusion and Diversity committee and its LGBT+ working group are working on bringing gender-neutral bathrooms in 2021.
Pink Box Expansion
Before: “Expand the Pink Box Initiative to increase accessibility to emergency sanitary products.”
After: Pink Box vending machines have been introduced to select toilets, however, the initiative has not been expanded to other campus locations. As in 2019, they remain available at the Guild Village, Reid Library and QEII library.
A Second Study Break
Before: “UWA is one of the only unis in Western Australia to have only one study break, following the mid-semester exams. STAR will advocate for a second study break and work with the University to see its implementation.”
After: A second study break was a key STAR campaign promise in 2019. While an additional tuition-free week was indeed implemented in Semester 1, it was evidently a once-off occurrence, as it has not been instated in Semester 2.
Academic Transcript Cost
Before: “Push to reduce the cost of generating transcripts.”
After: STAR has not succeeded in reducing the cost of transcripts. The cost of a hard-copy transcript remains at $20.
Free Fruit on Campus
Before: “Introduce free fruit on campus and during exam times.”
After: Due to COVID-19, no free fruit was distributed on campus in Semester 1. No free fruit is available to students in Semester 2.
Before: “Change all club Event Management Plans to include a mandatory question on event sustainability.”
After: Club Event Management Plans (EMP) have not been updated to include a mandatory sustainability question. However, EMPs do currently feature a question on whether there will be adequate bins for correct waste disposal.
Walk with Me App
Before: “Improve security feature on the UWA app so that the system features “Walk with Me” capability.”
After: Pelican was unsure what STAR meant specifically by a ‘Walk with Me’ capability. Assuming it would allow for the live tracking of a user’s journey, such a feature has not been implemented in the UWA app. Currently, the app only includes a link to UWA Security’s phone number, which may be called by students to arrange a security escort in advance.
The ‘Walk with Me’ feature has been reintroduced as part of STAR’s campaign promises this year.
First Responders Network
Before: “Establish a First Responders Network to decrease the barriers faced by survivors of sexual violence in accessing information and support services.”
After: A proposal was submitted to a working group, however, the project was put on hold to focus attention on accessibility-related issues following the outbreak of COVID-19.