Edition 3 SRC President’s Column
Words by Henry Armfield, SRC President
The past few weeks have been incredibly challenging from a student representative perspective. There was so little information available from the University at a time when all we needed was guidance, or at least reassurance. Overheard was as active as I’ve ever seen it, unanimously slamming the University for its inaction on the pandemic.
As Flinders and Uni SA promptly released their responses, all Adelaide students received was radio silence and politician-esque thousand-word emails which said nothing of substance.
The email I sent to senior management amounted to one response, which stated it had been received and was to be acted upon and responded to later. Whether my input and by association the SRC had any effect on the outcome has not been confirmed at all.
All I know is that everything I called for has been delivered.
This cannot be the end of the road, there are still significant issues to be addressed. As of the 19th of March, meeting, the SRC demand the following:
· The University provide a 20% discount in their tuition fees.
· The University give a Planned extension of the census date allowing students time to revoke their choice to study.
· The University release its Pandemic Plan.
· The University develop a Mental Health Response Plan including online counselling.
· The AUU redirect some of its allocated budget for big events to provide financial assistance to students that are affected by the panic buying situation.
Outside of the University, I believe we must be active in demanding that we do not let this pandemic isolate us. We must band together as a society and focus on creating an economy that serves the many, not the few.
No one should be evicted, no one should be foreclosed on. Not one house should have its electricity, water or internet cut for unpaid bills.
Access to medical treatment is a human right, not one dollar of profit should be produced from treating this virus or any other medical condition.
Youth Allowance, Newstart and Austudy should be immediately raised by at least $95 per week, and the job application requirements should be removed.
This is a crisis that can only be handled by ensuring no one is left behind.