Friday, 23 September 2016

NOMINATIONS MUBS 2017

We hope everyone enjoys the Mid-Semester Break.  Just remember when you return in Week 10 Nominations will be open for the MUBS 2017 Committee.  Below is a flier with days and positions currently on offer.  Any questions please feel free to ask at our free breakfasts or lunches or drop in and chat with Annie
 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

SEMESTER 2 UPDATES

DON'T FORGET:
NEXT TUESDAY EXTRAORDINARY STUDENT MEETING
BEFORE LUNCH 12PM - OSCAR'S LOUNGE
WILL ADDRESS REQUIRED CHANGES FOR MUBS 2017

There are plenty of interesting and fun things happening in the second part of this Semester.

Our Masquerade Ball is selling out fast, only 30 tickets remain then we will be SOLD OUT.  This will be the final MUBS ball with all students here at Berwick campus so why not come along and enjoy the dancing, entertainment, food, drinks, and company on Thursday 20th October at Showtime Events South Wharf (full details below on our event poster)

RUOK? day is next week - Thursday 8th September (Week 7).  There will be several events scattered around campus that day with plenty of free food and services you can have a chat with.  Further details can be found at the link below
Monash RUOK Day

Our next MUBS party is a FOAM party.  It will be during week 9 on the 21st September.

Our free food lunches and breakfasts are always a hit.  If you have any suggestions for food options don't hesitate to being them up with any of our MUBS Team.

Our committee will continue into next year, but there will be a reshuffle of some kind.  Elections for our 2017 committee will take place in week 10 with nominations starting week 8.  Further details of positions descriptions and framework of the MUBS 2017 team will be released shortly.




Sunday, 15 May 2016

MAPPS Coordinator for Semester 2 2016


Congratulations to Ben Hodgens for securing the MAPPS Coordinator position for Semester 2 2016, Welcome to the MUBS 2016 TEAM!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Education Faculty Update & How We Got Here

Monash University’s Education faculty has plans to jump ship before Monash University leaves Berwick.

On Tuesday 15 March, just over a week since Monash announced leaving the campus prior to the end of 2018, the Education faculty has asked students to gather for information sessions regarding the faculty’s “preferred option for Berwick Education courses and students”. Dean Professor John Loughran circulated an email on Thursday 10 March to Berwick Education students, noting there will be two sessions to “maximise student attendance”.

Surely Education’s Dean would know a large number of Berwick Education students are on placement, and that with such short notice, attendance would be minimal?

It’s hard to see it as an accident as they claim. The Education faculty revealed their intentions are to keep the Education cohort together and leave Berwick before the campus closure. This comes despite reassurance from both the faculty and Vice Chancellor a mere seven days ago that the only students that would be affected would be the first year intake of Education students.

There’s no official date set or specifics defined, but Dean Loughran said repeatedly that he’s keen to hear from students about what they want. It’s imperative that Berwick students participate in the consultation period to make sure it’s the best possible outcome given the circumstances. The consultation website is available here.

If Education leaves the Berwick campus, numbers will plummet and the ‘student experience’ that Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO is so concerned about, will only worsen for the 600 remaining students. Monash University has created a self-fulfilling prophecy that the Berwick Campus would not succeed through low enrolments and shifting units. The decisions by the University and the Education faculty to leave the campus will only enable this prophecy further, allowing the university to once again hide behind a set of numbers that they have created.

If there aren’t students on the campus, who could blame Monash for leaving the Berwick Campus?

As the president of MUBS 2014-2015, I’d like to shed some light on the broken promises and manipulation that has lead us to where we are now.

The Leader Newspaper revealed on Friday 11 March that La Trobe MP Jason Wood offered Monash University a form of ‘bail out’ on July 8 2015 in a meeting with the Monash Vice Chancellor.

This was the first time MUBS heard anything of this offering, despite the following communication with our federal member:
  • One face-to-face meeting on 28 April 2014, with no further communication despite numerous attempts
  • An email sent on 22 June 2015, regarding MUBS’ concerns for the future of the campus
  • A response on 23 June 2015, informing us that these concerns would be raised with the Education Minister as a priority
Funnily enough, this prompt response came after we named Mr Wood for his inaction in an article in the Pakenham Gazette in late May 2015 
  • A letter response regarding concerns over campus closure on 15 July 2015
The two-page letter was received a week after the date Mr Wood reported he met with Professor Gardner to offer help or a bail out. However, his ‘bail out’ offer was not mentioned at all in his letter. Here are some key quotes:
“I also remain absolutely determined to be a strong voice advocating in the best interests of the students concerned about the future of the Berwick campus.”
“I have also made representations directly to the Vice Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner, with regards to the matter you have raised in your letter, specifically seeking that Monash University remain in Berwick.” 
I have two main issues with this supposed bail out: why hasn’t Mr Wood spread the news of his concrete offer to help, and why didn’t the Vice Chancellor ever mention that Monash University was offered this help? 

It wreaks of a cover up and it proves that Monash University has absolutely no interest in helping our region.

Monash University keeps wanting to distance itself from what they did in Gippsland, but their apathy towards students means that simply isn't possible. Putting students first just isn't in their make up, and this is even more evident for smaller campuses. It is certainly the feeling I’ve had in many meetings while sitting opposite smarmy executives smirking at me as I demanded to know the future of the Berwick campus.

Here’s a snippet of the minutes from a meeting on 17 June 2015, written by a university staff member:
“As negotiations are at an early stage, many details are still to be resolved but the Vice-Chancellor noted that immediate transfers to other campuses are not in prospect.   Monash students will complete Monash degrees and the current cohort will be taught by Monash staff and most likely be taught out at Berwick."
There’s a few things to note here. Apparently discussions for the future of the campus began in 2013. I daresay that negotiations weren’t “at an early stage”.

“Immediate transfers to other campuses are not in prospect”. So Education heard this, but decided to jump ship? Unlikely. I’m not sure why campus transfers were even mentioned, given how little control the Vice Chancellor seems to have over faculties and their choices.

Notice how this statement includes “most likely be taught out at Berwick” and how now this similar statement doesn’t include a location? I wonder how long they’ve known.

As recently as 21 October 2015, the Vice Chancellor confirmed they were still looking at options for the Berwick campus and confirmed there was no ‘deadline’ on Monash leaving Berwick.

Consistently, Professor Gardner committed to consultation before a proposal is finalised. At the announcement on Monday 7 March, she clarified the current consultation was purely for how the transition out of Berwick would be handled, not on whether it will happen or not.

I wonder how many times I sat across the table from both Professor Ed Byrne and Professor Margaret Gardner while they lied to my face and in turn, all Berwick students. I wonder how they manipulated information to make the student president from Berwick be quiet. From what I’ve seen, these two Vice Chancellors have not cared about Berwick students. Berwick students have been viewed as lesser than other students and have been tossed aside entirely now.

While Professor Byrne started the move out of Berwick, it is safe to say the Berwick Campus was doomed the day Professor Gardner stepped foot into the Vice Chancellors office. Professor Gardner came in with a clear agenda for which she has succeeded. She has failed Monash Berwick students and future generations of students in the south east. It seems her eyes are set on making Monash University even more of an elitist institution, churning out graduates and papers with little to no care for student experience.

Professor Gardner: If this all comes down to student experience as you say, don’t you think you should consider the impact your actions have on students? Covering them up as faculty decisions just isn’t good enough.

Remember Vice Chancellor, your actions speak far louder than your words. Your words have lost their authority and now mean nothing. Berwick students can’t and won’t trust you any longer. I hope the rest of the university’s students understand that when you say something, to take it with many grains of salt.

How long will it be before you and the University decide its place at Monash Peninsula is no longer viable? Despite reassurances from you the university is investing in the campus, we've seen that at Berwick before. Sadly I fear that staff and students at Peninsula may find their heads on the chopping block next.

Berwick students are left questioning every communication from the university regarding their futures. There’s no trust left. Students have said to me they’re telling their friends how disappointing Monash University is, given their supposed prestige and world-class service.

I said to a journalist in May 2015 that my main concern was that Monash University had already made their decision. The more I reflect, I can see I was correct.

I just hope those who worked hard to get into Monash Berwick will actually see their degrees delivered by Monash staff, unlike Berwick Arts students who have been taught by Federation University.

The legacy Monash University will leave behind in Berwick is one of broken promises, elitist Vice Chancellors and crumbled dreams.

Please view previous statements from MUBS President Tyrone Badar here and here.

Contact details:
Dani Rothwell
Past MUBS President
danirothwell@gmail.com
0414 472 106

Tyrone Badar
Current MUBS President
president@mubs.com.au
(03) 9904 7204

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

MUBS President Statement Regarding Campus Closure

On Monday 7 March 2016 Monash University’s Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner AO announced plans to vacate the Berwick campus prior to the end 2018. This announcement is devastating not only for past and present students, but for future students in the outer suburbs, the regions and Melbourne’s South-East.

Ask any student who has an understanding of the inner working of this University and they will all tell you the same thing. Monash University has consistently undervalued the Berwick campus and viewed it as a poorer, insignificant sibling without much to offer.

The underlying issue here is that the Berwick campus has never been given a chance to thrive.

Over the years the University has unveiled grand plans for expansion, with new faculties and facilities that would see over 12,000 students at the campus in the future. 

Instead, Monash Berwick has been a merry-go-round where faculties have been able to come and go from the campus as they pleased, because to put it simply, many academics didn’t want to travel to Berwick to teach and leave behind the comforts of the inner city. We saw much of the same at Monash’s Gippsland campus.

Recently Professor Gardner attributed ‘consistently low enrolmentas the driving force behind the Universitys decision. Whilst this statement has an element of truth, it is not because students dont want to study in Berwick. It is due to the fact the University has not made places available, whilst also shifting units to other campuses, forcing prospective and current Berwick Students to study elsewhere.

Monash Berwick’s future had been decided years ago and because the concerns previously raised by students were not listened to, Monash University has been able to manipulate a set of numbers, which they have based Monday’s announcement on

Monash University created a self-fulling prophecy that the Berwick campus would not succeed. Plans were created and rarely followed through on as needed, leaving students hanging, courses failing and staff without answers. Investments and attention from stakeholders has been laughable.

Over the last few years, representatives from the Monash Union of Berwick Students have reached out to local representatives to voice concerns and whilst the Union notes the recent support for tertiary education to continue in Berwick, these hollow statements are too little, too late.

The time for action was at least two years ago. 

Over the coming months the Monash Union of Berwick Students will continue to fight for the rights of all students at Monash University Berwick to ensure that they are not personally disadvantaged by the University’s decision.

It is the Union’s belief that all Berwick students should have the right to finish their degree in Berwick because thats what they signed up for. Whilst we hope that the University will see some common sense in relation to this matter and re-evaluate its decision we expect that if the University continues to transition out of the Berwick campus it will do so with more grace than when it left Gippsland.

What did Berwick’s future hold?

BLP's 2003 Master Plan for Berwick Campus: http://www.blp.com.au/projects/monash-university-berwick-campus-masterplan/
Billard Leece Partnership envisaged a very different campus to the one we know today:
"On such a large site (54ha) the expectations of the stakeholders are rightfully high and this urban plan seeks to embrace the complex aspirations of the Monash University, the City of Casey and Delfin Lend Lease. The site has excellent freeway access and is close to Berwick train station, Berwick Public Hospital (under construction) and the Berwick Township.
Foreseen is a future that melds a dynamic and memorable university campus with an evolving, expanding community of learning, living and working. The key idea behind preparing such a response is to describe a planning framework that provides for the integrated siting of a varied number of built form types that allows for adaptation and change, for environmental sustainability and for changes of use as the community matures."
As of 2009, The Australian reported plans included an additional 10,000 students joining us, creating a 12,000 student campus.
"MONASH University has flagged a potential 10,000-student expansion at its Berwick campus in outer suburban Melbourne to meet the federal government's long-term expansion targets.
Amid some concerns that meeting the government's 2025 expansion targets could put the quality of Australia's universities at risk unless matched by additional funding, Professor Byrne said Monash was determined not to compromise on quality as it looked to expand Berwick and its regional Gippsland campus."
We always had the potential to be bigger and better. No one followed through for Berwick and now we see the detrimental impact of their apathy. 

View statement PDF here

Contact Person:
Tyrone Badar
president@mubs.com.au
(03) 9904 7204

Monday, 7 March 2016

Monash Berwick Closure

Monash University’s Vice Chancellor has announced today that Monash University will be walking away from the Berwick campus prior to the end of 2018.

The Berwick campus is no longer a priority for the university, nor has it been for the past two years. Today’s announcement is a result of a failed attempt for Victoria University to move into the campus.

Monash University has decided that while they will leave by the end of 2018, they will still continue conversations with interested higher education providers.

The new students to Berwick in 2016 will be mostly unaffected by the changes. The main impact is on the 2016 intake of Education students who will be relocated to Clayton in their final year, whereas the Business students will be able to complete their studies at Berwick.

“This is a shattering outcome for students, given how stressful this period of uncertainty has already been,” MUBS President, Tyrone Badar said.

The Vice Chancellor mentioned that a lack of student experience is a driving force as to why Monash University has come to this conclusion.

Over the weekend, various political representatives have come out to voice their concern for Monash leaving the campus. MUBS has spent the past two years engaging them with our concerns for the university’s lack of interest in the campus.

While we appreciate they are voicing concerns now, this is too little, too late. Monash University Berwick Campus’ staff and students have been left without support.

“MUBS has been asking for help and support for at least two years from local representatives,” Tyrone said.

“This last-minute attempt to raise concern shows how university is not prioritised by our local politicians.

“Given how fast this area is growing and the potential our campus has, it’s a massive disappointment.”

Since we began raising our concerns with the university, various officials have promised that all students will be able to finish their degrees at Monash University, taught by Monash staff who will not be asked to leave, and that students will graduate with Monash degrees should they achieve the requirements.


MUBS will continue to represent students by advocating for these promises are kept to ensure Berwick students don’t experience a similar process to the poorly managed exit from Gippsland.

View media release here and our Twitter feed here

The Vice Chancellor has promised formal consultation throughout March and said reasons stem from lack of student experience and the higher ATAR requirement of Monash excluding potential students in the south east.

Contact Person:
Tyrone Badar
president@mubs.com.au
(03) 9904 7204

Sunday, 24 January 2016

2016 Committee is HERE

Back (left to right): Emma Peacock, Katrina Dent, Jack Taylor, James Blaney, Tyrone Badar, Jess Evans, Taylor Holland Front: Mary Robinson, Kate Rooney, Domenica Vaga




Here's the new look 2016 MUBS Committee in our brand new uniforms.  Look out for the bright blue shirts on campus and seek us out if you need help.  We're eager to meet and greet all of the new 2016 intake of students (as well as returning students of course) and have started planning another action packed, exciting, and fun filled year of events.