RUSU is passionate about creating a better future for students at RMIT. Our campaigns team advocates directly to the university for high quality education and assessment experiences, inclusive practices, fair policies and procedures, excellent facilities and student spaces and a vibrant campus community.
RUSU has compiled a list of 18 priorities for 2022 that have been selected to represent the interests of RMIT’s diverse student cohort, that are focused on delivering a blend of initiatives to improve the student experience at RMIT and designed to achieve positive outcomes for students. Here are some highlights:
RUSU is fundamentally opposed to any form of online proctoring that occurs on a student's personal device or in their own home. Online proctoring of this nature is an invasion of privacy and an imperfect tool for securing assessments. As more Australian universities introduce some form of remote exam surveillance, RUSU will continue to stand up for students’ rights and fight for privacy.
UPDATE: RMIT has discarded plans to launch an e-proctoring trial in the CoBL and has no plans to explore online proctoring options at present.
RUSU feels strongly that RMIT’s current practices for investigating and case managing instances of sexual assault and sexual harm (SASH) no longer reflects best practice. The results of the National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) demonstrate that universities have to do more to create processes for reporting that students can trust. RUSU calls upon RMIT to do the following:
Once a student has been classified as ‘first stage at risk’ there is no way for them to regain a satisfactory academic progress status and therefore the threat of potential exclusion stays with them for the remainder of their degree. RUSU would like to see a more balanced academic progress process that would allow students to regain the classification of satisfactory academic progress, after completing a mandated number of semesters without meeting the classification for poor academic progress.
One of the most promising opportunities of returning to campus is the chance for students to build community. RMIT and RUSU clubs are a key component in establishing connections between students. A centrally run events calendar for both RUSU and RMIT clubs would allow students to access the breadth and depth of club activity in a single place.
A lack of access to sanitary products can impact the mental wellbeing of students as well as their education. Providing free sanitary products in bathrooms would reduce inequity and allow for more complete participation in on-campus activities.
Whilst universities have not yet re-opened to the general public, there may be a time in the future when non-RMIT members of the public can freely enter campus. Pre-pandemic the RMIT library was often heavily used by non-RMIT students during peak study periods. RUSU is campaigning for RMIT to implement swipe-card activated turnstile entry to the library, during the weeks leading up to the assessment period, when campus is reopened to the general public, in order to preserve RMIT spaces for RMIT students.
At present, only students who legally change their name can have their true name represented on all RMIT systems. This traumatises and invalidates the experiences of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students who may not want to complete the long, drawn-out and often insensitive process of a legal name change or who might decide that a legal transition is not a necessary part of their personal gender affirmation.
As part of RMIT’s commitment to supporting all students to bring their whole selves to their studies, eliminating deadnaming on RMIT platforms is necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students.
For many years the RUSU city campus Women’s Room and Queer Lounge have often been filled to capacity. With the ongoing presence of covid-19 it is important that these rooms can cater to the needs of our queer and women students without becoming over-full. RUSU is campaigning for new and updated rooms so we can continue to provide safe spaces on campus for these students.
For the vast majority of international students, tuition fees is their most significant financial outlay during their time studying, far outstripping the cost of rent, groceries and other living expenses. Fee payment plans would give international students the agency to ask for help when they needed it and be proactive in creating a solution that will allow them to meet their financial obligations in a way that fits their individual circumstances.
Content Warning: This statement discusses the results of a survey that asked students about their experiences of sexual assault and sexual harm. The statement does not go into detail of specific experiences in sexual assault, but it does mention the harmful impacts of sexual violence.
The results from the 2021 National Student Safety Survey into incidences of sexual assault and sexual harm (SASH) at Australian Universities was released on Monday 28th March 2022. The results demonstrate that SASH remains pervasive on Australian campuses.
Content Warning: Homophobia, Transphobia, Queerphobia, Mentions of Suicide.
Australia is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, and it is extremely important that the expression of religious beliefs (and non-religion), should be legally protected and free from discrimination in this country. While the ideas behind the proposed bill appear to support religious freedoms, the details within the bill are fundamentally flawed.