The myAllocator debacle last week showed how, at times, the University can be out of touch with students, and highlighted the importance of students being involved in the University’s decision making.
For those students who don’t have tutes or don’t frequent Overheard@Vic, myAllocator is the University’s “new and improved” tutorial sign up system introduced to replace S-Cubed. When it was launched it had a set limit of 500 users so it failed miserably.
Sure, S-Cubed was more akin to a Nokia 2000 than an iPhone when it came to user friendliness, but hey it was functional and served its purpose. For whatever reason the uni decided to “upgrade” the system, but rather than going for the latest technology they seem to have gone for a cheap update.
Even after trials at Law school failed, and students raised concerns and provided feedback, it seems the University largely ignored the issues. Throughout the process leading up to its failed launch the uni ran trials last tri, and briefed me and a few others. But at no stage was there a proper consultation or consideration given to how a core student system system could be developed with student input.
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The University has a strategic goal of having a “student experience that is second to none”—this is clear example of how our experience is made worse when management doesn’t listen to students.
This issue has also been highlighted through University Council consultation process, where over 80% of students, 68% of staff, and over half of alumni, said they wanted council members to be elected but the council has proposed to do away with democracy all together. The myAllocator is a simple example of what goes wrong when the University doesn’t listen—the consequences for Council getting it wrong could be far greater.
Our student Council members, when making far more costly decisions, need to be connected and have the credibility amongst the student body. The Council needs people at the table who aren’t afraid to question a management proposal and know, by virtue of being elected, that they have the backing of the student body to make decisions in the best interests of the University.
If we want to have any hope of the University becoming even slightly more “in touch” with students, than a core component is having mandated, credible, and connected student reps on university council.
We need your help to make sure that happens. Sign the petition at vuwsa.org.nz/ourvuw and head along to the forums this week (Kelburn: Mon 20 1pm SU217; Pipitea: Wed 22 12.30pm RWW125; Te Aro: Wed 22 2.30pm VS221) and show that you care.