If you ask postgraduates, within the relatively small context of our university, about the broad theme of justice you will get a very diverse tangle of issues and perspectives. While I had this in mind, I could not help but wander off from the small context of Victoria, and also New Zealand, to the brutal reality of the ‘outer world’.
The recent terrorist attacks, and the innumerable events that seem to threaten ‘justice’ and human rights, have made me think about how beautiful this place is. It is ‘beautiful’ in the sense of locus amoenus: an immaculate place, isolated from a corrupt world. Well, in some aspects—to someone who has travelled —this holds true. This stresses that our perception of justice and injustice can always be scaled accordingly to context.
By digressing I did not mean to diminish the importance of our postgraduate experience. As a matter of fact, I read a sentence on the dreadful international news columns that can be transferred to postgraduates: when something bad happens, more than despair, one should avoid fatalism.
I believe it is essential to always report, both minor and major, individual and collective, experiences of unfair treatment. From my survey, dissatisfaction has been expressed with a variety of issues. Here’s a sample: for some of you it is the lack of transparency of the services offered—hidden fees for international students; for others it is the crowded office space which affects the quality of research and supervision. I would have liked to be in charge of a project that assesses how much of these negative experiences are reported and how much has been done by the university to fix these problems. But in the meantime, I’d like to invite you to get in touch with the relevant offices of the university, or get in touch with the PGSA as a starting point. We are always keen to help you improve your experience at Victoria.
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(You can contact the PGSA at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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