Words by Noah Beckman, USASA President
Well, what a wild journey this year has decided to take us on. I remember sitting at my brother’s house on the day of the shutdown, after a big barbecue to celebrate our birthday and the Hottest 100 of the decade. It goes to show just how quickly this whole situation is evolving and shifting, and from my view, USASA has risen to the challenge of being highly mobile and responsive.
As of writing this column, we’ve now transitioned almost all of our services online and are continuing to evaluate and adapt those services to be as effective as possible. The particular focus of USASA during this time has been supporting students who are doing it tough. We’ve expanded our financial counselling service with a top-up from the university, and myself, some of our advocates and also student representatives have been involved in the development and implementation of the $10mill student hardship fund. We’ve been increasingly vocal in this area to make sure that students aren’t left behind in this challenging time.
There was also the implementation of the Census Grace Period till May the 1st, which USASA was heavily involved in gaining, and more recently, the adoption of Non-Graded Passing and Withdraws instead of Fails. I hope that this will go a long way to helping alleviate any further damage to student’s education while we deal with this situation.
Going forward, USASA is looking to continue our push to make any decisions the university makes as student-centric as possible and will begin to head back to business as usual in a sense, transitioning some of our efforts back to previous initiatives such as the University Wide Academic Student Representation Program.
As always, make sure you follow our social media channels and keep an eye on your emails to get the latest news, and if you have any inquires, make sure you reach out to us, I’m always happy to field comments from students.
A final note, thank you for still supporting Verse at the moment. The team has done an amazing job of adapting to the challenge of not being on campus, and by picking up this magazine, by delivery or virtually, you’re helping support the amazing team and contributors.
I look forward to speaking to you all again soon, hopefully on campus!
This piece was originally published in Edition 34 of Verse. View it in its original PDF form via ISSUU.