The 3rd Monash University Student Association meeting took place on the 31st of March 2017 at the university’s plenary theatre. It was attended by various parties including the student council members, their sub-committee members, students who are non-members and Mr Zebba, a representative from the administration. The meeting kicked off at 6.30 p.m. with a short announcement of absentees from within the council before the School of IT representatives, Hidayah and Nelson took the floor to update the students about their latest events, one of which was the successful School of IT badge giveaway that saw 60 badges being distributed to the students from the school. The representatives have also informed that they have been approached by Garena Malaysia to be a part of the Garena Student Alliance and is likely to host one of the qualifiers for their competition in Monash Malaysia in the upcoming weeks.
The MUSA president, Janesh Nathan then went about on several different things which he felt was imperative to highlight and these included the cleanliness of the MUSA office that needs to be maintained, the MUSA office’s operating hours, MUSA’s new efforts to collaborate with Radio Monash and the need to upgrade the sports facilities in Monash, which he has personally monitored with the representatives from the Facilities Management Department while walking around campus. He has also explained the need for increased representation of Monash University Malaysia on Australia platforms and is still in the talks with Mr Peter Hurley, the president of the Monash Postgraduate Association (MPA). Janesh have also brought up the fact that there would be a MUSA forum that would be held in Week 7 (Wednesday) to further increase communication between the student population and members of the student council as these dialogues are important to further enhance and ensure that the well-being of all students are safeguarded and maintained at the highest level. This forum would be attended by most if not all of the MUSA members with representatives from each department and students are encouraged to participate as much as they can. Janesh also brought up the issue of the laptops lending system which was terminated earlier this year, stating that an official statement has been released by MUSA after approaching LLC in regards to the termination and has emphasized that MUSA does not agree nor disagree with the university and is still working at its utmost best to channel any forms of constructive criticism back to the University by the students. Editorial subcommittee member, Terence then further questioned Janesh as to why he did not challenge LLC’s decision to terminate the lending services and this is a snippet of the LLC statement made by Janesh Nathan, MUSA President on the MUSA Facebook page:
“…Data collected by LLC shows an average decline of 20% annually, for laptop and iPads loaned by students. Furthermore, the 2016 data provides evidence that on average, 118 laptops were checked out daily, while LLC supported a maximum loan capacity of 308 laptops per day. To better serve Monash 7,000-student community, in consultation with the campus senior management and ITS Director, LLC decided on the 19th of December 2016 to discontinue the loaning services as of 2nd of January 2017. The LLC is undergoing major developments with the expansion of LLC training room and the creation of two new laptop-only zones, which will be fully operational in the upcoming weeks.
The laptops will be mounted permanently to study desks/work benches providing additional working stations available to everyone. However, we recognize that seat hogging practices which affect the Library as a whole may undermine the effectiveness of the new learning spaces provided…”
Terence then brought up the issue of seat hogging, explaining that it was inconvenient and MUSA should do something about it, including having the library staff remove these bags from the seats that were booked with no one present. He explained his dissatisfaction with MUSA for not being strong enough to defend certain decisions that were made by the admins but Janesh explained that there is more than meets the eye and both he and MUSA as a whole is still working on resolving these issues while ensuring every detail is taken into consideration so that everything is fair and justified. Janesh also spoke on the importance of safeguarding MUSA’s reputation in the eyes of the public in order to maintain its integrity and this includes restricting members from posting anything that may directly defame the student organisation on social media sites such as Facebook, even if it’s on their own personal profiles and members of the student council who do so could be imposed with a warning letter or more severe repercussions if the offense is repeated more than three times.
The Vice-president, Vandana Ratnani and Sharmila Lim then took the floor to explain the subsidies that have been provided to the student population – the engineering students’ trip to the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Show 2017, the School of Pharmacy’s Australian Medicine Handbooks and the Shell Eco Marathon Asia Competition 2017. The General Secretary, Priyanka Subramaniam then spoke about the results of the elections that were held recently and the elected students are as follow:
School of IT Male Representative – Nelson Wong
MUISS Division Treasurers – Simran Kumar and Asma Tabassum
MUISS Editors – Shusruto Rishik, Shevyn Marshall and Manik Booshan Rege.
She also explained and announced members who were issued with a warning letter before ending her session.
The heads of the Clubs and Societies Division then spoke about the highly successful C&S Week and the Monash Cup banner dropping and the opening ceremony for the House Elections before the MUISS President, S. Mohsin Ali spoke about the MUISS events that were held – the Social Night which saw a turnout of 200 people for an event that was organised for a capacity of just 100 people hence resulting in the lack of space and food and the Holi Festival celebration that was celebrated by the side of the MUSA building. Both of which were great events that had just minor problems which would be taken into consideration and resolved in the future.
The Wom*n’s Officers, Hannah and Jasmine then briefly spoke about the outcome of their International Women’s Day event which had a good turnout, with over 170 video pledges and 200 signatures made on a white banner that represented the students’ stance against domestic violence. The Publicity Officer, Shaun Tan then brought up the fact that there is a need to clean the MUSA office’s pantry and has encouraged all MUSA members to fork out some money to clean the place and maintain its well-being. He also spoken about the advantage of the “boosting” privileges offered on Facebook for a certain price as it helps with increasing the online outreach during the promotion of certain MUSA events.
The Editors then took the floor to speak about their subcommittee recruitment and the increased traffic on their blog, which is a reflection of a bigger outreach within the student community. The ideas of the monthly thematic competitions were also explained. Andrew Peter Lim then brought up the idea of live streaming the MSC meeting so that students who are not present would be able to watch it from the comforts of their own home but some members expressed disagreement with the move as they felt uncomfortable having their actions digitalised and put up online for the world to see. This suggestion is still in the talks and would be discussed further in the upcoming MSC.
The other school representatives then took the floor to speak about their latest events – School of Engineering had their Buddy-Buddee night which proved to be a little steamy and you will know why if you read the article and their field trip to Langkawi for the LIMA 2017 exhibition. The School of Business reps then spoke about the Staff Student Liason Committee Meeting that was held on the 20th of March 2017, the Finance Seminar which was well-received and their future collaborations with the business clubs in Monash, namely the Monash Entrepreneurship Club, Monash Business Club, Monash Accounting and Finance Club and the Monash University Investment Group.
The School of Medicine & Health Sciences reps then took the floor to speak about their very exciting social night event which was attended by 145 students before the School of Pharmacy representative spoke about a few things, some include the Australian Medicine’s Handbook purchase, their subcommittee recruitment and the Pharmacy T-shirt Design Competition 2017. There was also a dodgeball competition that was organised in collaboration with the School of Engineering and the Jefrrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences with the theme “Star Wars: The Ball Awakens”.
The 3-hour meeting finally drew to an end with the final report presentation by the School of Science representatives who spoke about their organised Movie Nights, the PASS lessons sign-up and the PASS mentor recruitment as well as the SSLC Year Rep recruitment and the recruitment of subcommittee members.
For more information on the 3rd MSC Meeting that took place, attached below are the business papers from each department!
Words by Calvin Fernandez
Photos by Andrew Peter Lim