Friday, 17 July 2015

Retreat in Representation

To preface the remainder of this month’s post: If there ever were a case of government financial resources being mis-managed, then this would be close as it could be for getting away with what would otherwise look to be a perfectly fine use of money.

I am referring to the SAB- Student Advisory Board (renamed to the SRC; Student Representative Committee)’s inaugural ‘retreat’. This is where we were treated to 2 days of 5 star luxury accommodation in one of Sydney’s finest resorts, given access to the pool, its sauna, its golf course while during the day going over what it means to represent students and further the Macquarie University experience to all who walk its halls.

While the first day may have been seen as a mild success overall, (we did manage to condense our objectives into a line and create a list of potential projects to work on), the things that we made and planned looked much better on paper that it did in practice. The fact that our pictorial boards still remain in the new SRC room might be the only evidence left of the event even happening.

Unfortunately as night fell, I began to see this as a huge waste of money on behalf of our students. Being the 20- something young chaps that we were, we spent the entire first evening drinking. I am not much of a drinker but I thought to fit in if we were to work together on legislation together. What resulted was a cacophony of headaches, holes punched into walls, broken glass shattered around people’s rooms, copious amounts of vomit filling up sinks and toilets, sex scandals and the inability of one of our representatives to even attend the second day of proceedings.

My point is that it does not require huge splashes of money to be spent for any proper-minded representative to get on with his/her job. We were elected onto this board in very clear terms and in many cases very clear constituents to represent, we should simply be the transparent medium in which students are able to air their grievances and wishes to the university administration. I thoroughly enjoyed my brief holiday away from the everyday university life, but it was certainly not a cause I would hang the duties and responsibilities of a Student Representative Council as a whole with.

Let's hope the body and conclusion stands better than how this story begins.

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