Last week’s College Representative Council (CRC) saw the issues of Proctorio, the passwordless system and word limits discussed. Representatives also pondered what a CRC with postgraduate students might look like.
In the President’s report, Christian Flynn raised Proctorio disputes, the struggle with moving exams back to in-person and the issue of transphobia on campus.
Flynn questioned ANU’s continued use of Proctorio in light of reports of discrimination and because of its invasiveness. With examinations still mostly online, ANU’s push to reintegrate in-person exams has students concerned about inaccessibility and the struggle for those who haven’t sat in-person exams. Although, Flynn did acknowledge that the ease of online cheating has increased workload for staff and threatens academic integrity.
Vice-President Chido Nyakuengama raised the issue of ANU’s passwordless system, flagging the unclear messaging and lack of education for students about the new system. Nyakuengama argued that even if the ANU better informed students, there still remains issues of inaccessibility, such as not owning a phone, or not wanting to use biometric systems. The ANU’s Wifi network also crashed on 22 September, heightening student frustrations with ANU’s IT systems.
Ben Yates, ANUSA’s current General Secretary, focused on the discrepancies between colleges’ word limit policies. Yates identified the CASS policy of 10 percent above or below the word count as a clear and communicable example for other colleges to follow.
Yates plans to raise this issue with the next General-Secretary and wants advocacy regarding “standardised word limit penalty across colleges in the future.” Standardising policies has become a key aspect of multiple student unions’ work, with the University of Sydney, following student union pressure, standardising a simple five day extension.
Yates also raised student concerns over lecturers refusing to record their lectures. According to Yates, these lecturers purposefully do not record their lectures in the hope to increase student attendance. However, Yates echoed the concerns of students unable to attend in-person, losing their 10 percent attendance grade and losing access to teaching materials.
There is a “working group to further discuss this with other lecturers” within ANU staff Yates said. Yates plans to consult the DSA regarding the accessibility concerns this policy raises.
Phoebe Denham , focused on CASS restructuring and the recent Course Cuts protesting. Denham asks the college representatives “to help out more” since their college students are being affected by such course cuts.
The College of Asia and Pacific representatives highlighted the opening of the new CAP Common Room, while the College of Science representatives touted the success of Science Week. Other representatives left their reports as read.
The meeting concluded with a discussion of how to incorporate postgraduates into a college representatives council should ANUSA absorb postgraduates. Flynn anticipated that “having a bigger CRC will affect all students” and will help “target areas that are often left out.”
General-Secretary elect, Phoenix O’Neill, explained that “ANUSA intends to provide services to postgraduates” while PARSA continues to operate, which will be “until the end of June 2023”. They are committed to “building a comprehensive understanding of [postgraduate] needs” through a “six-month long in-depth consultation process”. However, they did say that there are not any certain plans for the CRC. The last CRC meeting for 2022 is 19 October, stay tuned for more Woroni coverage.
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