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Student Representation and Participation Policy

Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University acknowledges the need for students to be represented equitably and fairly through an independent and accountable organisation.

(2) Student representation at a higher education level is important as student representatives are a critical component of effective communication between students and the University administration.

(3) The overarching purpose of student representation at the University is to provide students with an opportunity to voice their views, suggestions and concerns through a proper and efficient process.

(4) The voice of the student body is important in the governance of the University; student representatives and student members suggest, develop, and implement solutions that are campus specific and University wide.

(5) The University also sees the role that active student participation has in fostering a vibrant University community, and promotes all forms of student participation either through student representation or other approved channels, such as being actively involved in Clubs and Societies.

(6) The University is committed to ensuring that all students have the ability to participate in any way they can. The University has a number of avenues available for students to become actively involved in the University and some of the ways students can participate is on:

  1. Academic Senate and its Standing Committees,
  2. Clubs and Societies, and
  3. Other University Committees.

(7) The elected student representative bodies, including the Student Representative Council and the Editors of the student newspaper, are integral elements in student representation and participation.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(8) For the purpose of this policy, definitions for the following are set out below:

  1. Student Representative Body means the elected representatives of the students of Western Sydney University by their fellow students.
  2. Student Representative Council means a Council consisting of directly elected members from the student population and created by the University to facilitate issues relating to students as a whole body to the University, and to support bodies of the Student Representative Council.
  3. Student Editors are directly elected members of the student publication committee and support the facilitation of the student voice through publications.
  4. Student Members means elected members who bring a student perspective to the committee they are a member of rather than as delegates representing sectional interests.
  5. Student Services and Amenities Fees means a fee payable by students of the University to the University under the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2010 for the purposes of providing students with access to services and resources.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(9) The University is committed to student representation and participation through:

  1. establishing Student Representative Bodies
  2. student participation in matters affecting their interests at both the campus and University-wide level
  3. providing opportunities for students to have input into the direction and coordination of campus activities and events
  4. establishment effective means of communication between students and the academic, research and administrative arms of the University;
  5. ensuring processes are in place that encourage and promote equity and fairness to all students of the University in decision-making regardless of the category of student, mode of study or study location within the University and
  6. establishing and promoting the ongoing development of student clubs and societies.

(10) To carry out these aims, the University will establish a Student Representative Council and an independent student publication.

(11) The guiding principles for this policy involve:

  1. independent and accountable student representation
  2. meaningful processes for consultation between the University and elected student representatives and student members
  3. equality in campus representation, and students that are studying exclusively online
  4. the participation of students in University life
  5. establishing support structures for student representatives and student members
  6. a commitment to an overall culture of respect, civility and transparency.

(12) The University will consult with elected student representatives and/or student members and the wider student community on the expenditure of any collected Student Services and Amenities Fees.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(13) The rules and responsibilities regarding the election of student representatives on the Student Representative Council and independent student publication are described in the Student Representation and Participation Procedures.

(14) The Office of Governance Services is responsible for the administration of an independent and unbiased elections process for all elected student member positions for Academic Senate and its standing committees in line with the Elections Policy.

(15) The Vice-President, People and Advancement is responsible for the effective functioning and efficient execution of this policy, and is the approval authority for the Student Representation and Participation Procedures. Refer to the Student Representation and Participation Procedures and webpage for further enquiries.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(16) Nil.