We’re proposing a change that will make major differences to how GSA is governed – the real question is why? What will GSA look like if the new constitution passes?
First off, the legal responsibilities and compliance requirements of GSA will be directed by a Board comprising four appointed directors who are keen to put their wealth of experience to work for graduate students at University of Melbourne, along with three graduate students, including GSA’s President.
This means that you can be assured that your association is being governed sustainably and ethically, and that GSA will have a strong and stable foundation to continue representing and supporting you.
The Graduate Students’ Council, who will still be comprised of 15 graduate students elected by their peers, will continue to have full authority to set GSA’s agenda on all policy and actions that affect graduate students. But by introducing a Board to manage the organisation’s governance responsibilities, the Council will have more time to dedicate to representing and working on behalf of you to make your experience better.
GSA has had some great wins recently, including amending the University’s policy on deadlines for research degrees, and getting commitments from Victorian MPs of all parties to support our campaign for postgrad student public transport concessions.
With the extra time and support we’ll have in the new system, we can achieve more wins like this, and be more responsive to you and the issues you want to see us work on.
One real change that will be able to happen as a result of this change, and something that we as Councillors are really excited about, is the creation of graduate student working groups and committees to lead change on issues that matter to you.
Do you want to be a part of our study spaces campaign to make sure all graduate students have the resources they need to get through their degree? Do you want to help us fight for better support for PhD students, or more mental health and wellbeing programs? Is there something that’s not even on our radar that you think is important?
Under the new system, you can be more involved with GSA. With the additional time and resources that this change brings, the Graduate Students’ Council will be leading groups of interested graduate students to take action and get outcomes on important topics like these.
A brighter future
As we were considering the changes we wanted to make to GSA’s governance structure, we were guided by one very clear principle: what can we do to make GSA better for graduate students?
GSA is the representative body for graduate students at UoM, so we want to have as many students involved as possible. With the new change, we think that’s exactly what will happen.
We want to see the 1888 Building buzzing with graduate students taking an active part in shaping their experience at UoM and speaking up on behalf of their peers. As Councillors, we want to be more responsive to the graduate students who elected us, and to have more time to lead change and stand up to the University on your behalf.
These changes will be determined at a Special General Meeting on Thursday 22 March 2018 at 5:30pm in the Gryphon Gallery.
Come along, cast your “yes” vote, and help us secure the future GSA we all deserve.