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Student Representation and Participation Policy

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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 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 representative 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 representative roles, and students already represent their fellow students on:

  1. Academic Senate and its Committees,
  2. Clubs and Societies, and
  3. Campus Life Committees.

(7) The elected student representative body will become an integral and overarching principal element in student representation and participation.

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 Campus Council means a Council consisting of on-campus, postgraduate, international and residential students, and established by the University at each campus to facilitate issues relating to students at that campus.
  3. Student Representative Council means an overarching Council consisting of members from the Student Campus Councils and created by the University to facilitate issues relating to students as a whole body to the University, and to support each individual Student Campus Council.
  4. Student Services and Amenities Fee 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.

Section 3 - Policy Statement

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

  1. the establishment of Student Representative Bodies;
  2. the participation of students in matters affecting their interests at both the campus and University-wide level;
  3. the provision of opportunities for students to have input into the direction and coordination of campus activities and events;
  4. the establishment of recognised means of communication between students and the academic 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. its wholly owned entity uwsconnect, and establishing and promoting the ongoing development of student clubs and societies.

(10) To carry out these aims, the University will establish Student Campus Councils on designated University campuses as well as an overarching Student Representative Council.

(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,
  3. equality in campus representation,
  4. the participation of students in University life,
  5. effective functioning of student organisations,
  6. establishing the proper support structures for student representatives, and
  7. a commitment to an overall culture of respect, civility and transparency.

(12) The University will undertake a process of consultation with elected student representatives and the wider student community on the expenditure of any collected Student Services and Amenities Fees from students at the University.

Section 4 - Procedures

(13) Student Support Services through Student Representation and Participation is responsible for the effective functioning and efficient execution of this policy.

Section 5 - Guidelines

(14) Refer to the Student Representation Procedures for details on the proper functioning and execution of this policy. Refer to the Student Representation and Participation web page for further enquiries.