8 September 2018: Editorial
Kia Ora Postgrads!
The student voice is important. Students are the lifeblood of the university, and ensuring that our postgraduate voices are represented out there is a critical part of the PGSA’s mission (even if we are sometimes ignored).
The PGSA’s volunteer Executive works to harness this voice by engaging in targeted advocacy projects. We have worked hard all year on improving service connection and provision for students with families at Victoria. We have also collected evidence to establish that the Student Services Levy should be covered by scholarships, and that (drumroll please) the Victoria Doctoral Scholarship stipend needs to increase. These projects are works in progress that we are quietly optimistic about, and they are direct responses to issues and struggles students have expressed to us in casual conversations, at events, and in passing. Sometimes our job is to amplify quiet voices, and to push people in the University to see our perspective.
Postgraduates are also formally represented on the Boards and Committees of the University by dedicated volunteers who have taken the time to learn the jargon and processes on which this institution runs. These postgrad volunteers seek to ensure that the diversity and experience of the postgraduate student body is not forgotten. Sometimes this means providing mundane commentary about student life, and other times it means holding the University to account. We are always looking for more interested and passionate people to represent us on Boards and Committees – get in touch today if you are interested in joining our team!
I am finishing up as PGSA President next week after almost 18 months on the job. It has been a privilege to represent your experiences and perspectives on committees, in discussions and arguments, in casual conversations and formal proceedings. In my final comments as President of the PGSA, I wanted to highlight how incredible your dedicated team of volunteer representatives is, and the importance of their work lifting up the postgraduate student voice. Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who have made my time with the PGSA so meaningful! Thanks also to the students who have come forward to highlight issues, share experiences, and help us to provide a more authentic student voice.
The PGSA’s Annual General Meeting is coming up on Monday 1st October (12pm in SU218). We would love to have you there to take part in the conversation about our work, and in the election of your new PGSA Executive. I will look forward to seeing you at the AGM next week!
Jordan Anderson, PGSA President & PhD Candidate in Criminology