New students receive warm welcome as Orientation begins February 13, 2006
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Agreement assures student services at UNE
February 10, 2006
Agreements signed yesterday at The University of New England will ensure that students arriving on campus for the beginning of the academic year will have access to services formerly provided by the UNE Students’ Association (UNESA). These include the second-hand bookshop, the radio station TUNE! FM, the Breather (students’ lounge), and accommodation, employment, taxation and legal advice.
UNESA has transferred all its student services to Services UNE Ltd, the company that operates restaurant, cafeteria and retail businesses on campus and the Belgrave Twin Cinema in town. (Services UNE is a controlled entity of the University.)
“The most important thing is that our services will be preserved,” said UNESA’s Acting Executive Officer, Matthew Murphy, after signing the agreements. “That has been our main concern.”
Mrs Susanne Paini, Chief Executive Officer of Services UNE, said the agreements would allow her company “to provide a seamless service to students from Monday” (13 February). Orientation activities for new students begin on that day, and lectures begin the following Monday.
Mr Murphy and Mrs Paini agreed that negotiations over the past months had been “challenging”, but that a focus on the need to provide student services – particularly since the beginning of this year – had finally resulted in a successful outcome. “We’ve come through with a resolution that suits both the University’s and UNESA’s wishes for the new semester,” Mrs Paini said, adding that UNESA had been “very helpful in allowing us to be prepared for Orientation next week”.
Mr Murphy acknowledged the positive role that UNE’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robin Pollard, had played in the negotiation process. “Our discussions have been positive,” he said, “and I think students will be pleasantly surprised with the final outcome.” He emphasised that the most important aspect of any outcome would be a satisfactory level of student representation on the Board of Services UNE.
Professor Pollard, who was present at the signing of the agreements, said: “Student representation is something the University takes very seriously, seeing it as an integral part of its administration. There will be a dialogue over the next semester among stakeholders to ensure that such representation continues.”
“Now we’ve signed these agreements, we’ve got to put them into practice,” Mr Murphy concluded. “Our members will decide the future of UNESA. In the meantime, we will be assisting with the integration of student services. In the new environment of voluntary student unionism (VSU), we need a single organisation looking after those services.”
The photograph displayed here shows (from left) Matthew Murphy, Susanne Paini, Tim Fisher (Acting President of UNESA), and Professor Robin Pollard after the signing of the agreements.
Posted by Jim Scanlan at February 10, 2006 02:26 PM