PGSA Email Newsletter
22 August 2005
The PGSA is run by a few busy volunteers, so we can only do what we can
to advance postgraduate issues and improve representation on campus.
Nevertheless, we have made considerable progress in the last month and
there are plenty of interesting possibilities in the pipeline. It would
be great to get more postgraduate students involved. So, if you are
interested you can read what the PGSA have been up to and maybe consider
playing a small part yourself in creating a more vibrant postgrad
culture for this campus.
PGSA website and email list
The old email list had over 100 addresses, but not many of these are
active. Due to the university's privacy laws we cannot contact postgrad
students directly. Instead, students must sign up by visiting the PGSA
website. The list is the one way for the PGSA executive to contact
interested students and disseminate information, alongside articles
posted on the website or submitted to the Nexus.
Students may also contact the Executive directly by e-mailing
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK THE WEBSITE ON A REGULAR BASIS
Relationship between the PGSA and the WSU
The Education Act states that the WSU is the only legitimate vehicle for
student representation on campus. Senior university management staff are
supportive of the PGSA and attempts to improve the postgraduate culture
on campus. However, they have made it quite clear that the PGSA will not
receive funding or wider support if it sets up as a separate
organisation, or in competition with the WSU. If the PGSA is to have any
impact, it must work alongside the WSU. The current WSU President Shiju
Pushpamangalam strongly supports the PGSA and recognises the importance
of postgraduate representation.
The PGSA is currently in the process of affiliation with the WSU. This
will give us some funds to begin improving representation on campus. In
addition, the PGSA executive are currently drafting a proposal to create
a Postgraduate Representative position on the WSU executive. This person
would work alongside the PGSA in the interests of postgraduate students.
This is necessary to improve the communication between the WSU and PGSA,
improve representation, raise the profile of postgrad issues, and
improve the continuity of the PGSA.
The VC and postgraduates
On Friday 19 August, the VC spent one hour talking with the WSU and PGSA
representatives about student related issues and future plans for the
university. This meeting was productive and the VC agreed to meeting on
a regular basis. The VC outlined how he wants to make this university a
world-class research institution and he recognises that postgraduate
students play an important role in achieving this vision. The PGSA
pointed out that the university should not simply be concerned with
attracting more postgrad students, it should be looking after the ones
that are already here. The VC encouraged the PGSA to compile a
postgraduate wish-list to give an indication of the things that could
improve the postgrad experience and thesis completion.
Postgraduate Students Wish List
The PGSA wish-list for improving the postgraduate culture across campus
so far includes:
1. Free internet access
2. Postgraduate common room - 24 hour access, with a kitchen, lounge
3. An across campus minimum standard for all thesis students that
guarantees separate office space, computers, research funding, free
The Student Hub
This university is planning a $30 million student complex which would
provide a unique student-orientated facility and become the focal point
for the university. The VC admits the timing of the announcement
alongside the staff redundancies and strikes is unfortunate, but the
Student Hub is being paid for by Alumni donations, community grants, the
capital works budget and bank loans - none of these funds can be
diverted to paying staff salaries.
The hub has been in planning for about 5 years. An attempt to address
many things our campus lacks. Current proposals include:
1. A proper entrance to the university
2. Covered space for students to meet, socialise,
3. Lounges, common rooms
4. An events centre to hold 3,000 students - for on-campus graduations
5. Information commons
6. A specific space for postgraduates!!!
The VC invites all postgraduate students and the PGSA to offer
suggestions for what they would want in such a student facility. If you
have suggestions you should contact the PGSA or the WSU asap. E-Mail
The PGSA Webpage has been updated and we ask that you visit this from time to time as it is one way for the Executive to keep people informed.
If you NO longer wish to remain on this list please send an email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line to: pgsa(a)waikato.ac.nz
I hope everyone's studies are going well