06 November 2012

Follow up from AA Consultation Forum

On Thursday 1st November the USU held an Affirmative Action Consultation Forum that was open to all members of the University community. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the results of the Affirmative Action Review 2012, as well as to hear the opinions, experiences and ideas of the membership surrounding the USU’s affirmative action policies and how to encourage women’s participation and leadership within the USU and in broader campus life.  

The forum was split into two sessions- an autonomous session held in the Women’s Room in Manning House, and a general session held in the MacCallum Room in the Holme Building. In both sessions issues effecting women on campus were discussed in thoughtful, respectful and constructive ways, and there were many interesting new ideas raised on how to encourage women to get involved as leaders within the USU and how to work to shift attitudinal problems within the community. 

Some issues, concerns and ideas raised included:

·         Lack of information surrounding Affirmative Action
·         Potential for an education campaign
·         Greater networking between student groups concerned with women's leadership and participation
·         Potential sources for more quantitative and historical data
·         Promotion of AA within the clubs and societies program
·         Experience of members within club and society executives
·         Affirmative action within student leadership positions
·         More communication with the University administration about women’s issues on campus
·         Creating a “think tank” of female leaders who represent a variety of student groups across campus to meet and discuss women’s issues on campus and organize joint events and campaigns to promote women’s participation and leadership

The opinions and suggestions expressed by members at these sessions will be compiled into a section of the amended Affirmative Action Review 2012, along with a series of amended recommendations that will be drawn from the ideas raised in the Consultation Forum as well as from members’ email submissions. Email submissions will remain open until November 18th.

In the week before the November Board meeting, the full list of recommendations contained that will be voted on by the Board at that meeting will be released online for members to view. Following this, the USU President, Vice-President and Women’s Portfolio Holder will be holding a session of “open-door consultation” (at a location TBA) for members to chat with us and ask us any questions on the recommendations contained within the Review.

The USU Board would like to thank everyone who participated in the Consultation Forum and who sent in email submissions, we are always happy to hear from and engage with our members on significant issues such as these.

If you would like to send in an email submission or have any further questions about the Affirmative Action Review or women’s issues on campus, feel free to email the Women’s Portfolio Holder Hannah Morris at H.Morris@usu.usyd.edu.au

Yours sincerely,

Board of Directors
University of Sydney Union

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