Written by Tim van Veen
Hi my name’s Timothy van Veen and this year I am likely to be in my final year of study at Charles Sturt University. I have been here since 2016 and have been in the Albury Wodonga Student Representative Committee (SRC), or AWSRC for short, since 2018. During this time, I served many roles in the AWSRC, acting as Student Senate Representative, Vice-President, President and now currently serving again as a Student Senate Representative and as the Treasurer. Being in the SRC has been a major highlight of my time here at the university and I hope to share with something of why I joined the SRC and why you should to.
What being an SRC member means to me
It means so much for me to be an SRC member. Because I have done this, I feel that I am represented and have my voice heard. I am probably a little different than some students here at the university and now, the university knows that there are people like me here, and that activities and events they might have held in the past are not the best choices to be held in today’s day and age. It has also given me the opportunity to network and make many new friends who have continued to be important to me today.
Why I joined and what I’ve enjoyed the most about it
Way back in 2016, there was an SRC member in the university accommodation I was living in. When the elections were happening, he tried to appeal to us by saying that he would be very keen to have a student from the residences join him in the SRC. This really spoke to me, as being a local of the Albury-Wodonga area living in residences I really wanted to make sure that students were to have the best events and activities supporting them as they studied here. This has really been the best part of being in the SRC making sure that the things we do are helpful to students.
Events and initiatives I’ve been a part of
Probably the biggest initiative I organised while on the SRC was the 2020 and 2021 lockdown competitions. When all the universities went into lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, I came up with the idea to support students by doing a once-a-week opportunities to win a $50 e-voucher by responding to challenges. This was expanded during the second lockdowns with students entering in the AWSRC lockdown lottery where they won an entry once a week by responding to challenges with the prizes being above and beyond prizes like MacBook’s and iPad. We recorded nearly 400 entries for this lottery.
A fundamental element of students studying is their need to have some elements of escape from their study so their minds can remain fresh. Because of the Covid pandemic, a vast majority of events and activities across, not only just the university, but the public as well were closed not giving the students the chance for their escape. In addition to this, students were not able to go and visit their friends and family often due to reasons beyond their control. With these competitions though, students were given a new opportunity to escape which, if they took it, helped them with their studies and their mental health.
New skills learnt, new friends made
From my time in the AWSRC I have learnt many new skills, particularly around delegation, leading a meeting and reviewing documents to see if there are any issues. I’ve also particularly developed my skills on standing up for myself and improved my confidence significantly in this regard. As for new friends I have made loads of them along my time in the AWSRC. They are really a great bunch, and you get to really enjoy the people you work with in the SRC. To top it off we have expanded to work in other different elements of the university such as student clubs and working together on orientation activities.