Page 7 - Farago

GlynDavis to
Participate in
OurSay Forum
Chief Asbestos Correspondent
he George Paton Gallery
has temporarily closed its
doors to artists while the air
is monitored for airborne asbestos
fibres. The Gallery, situated on
the second floor of Union House,
expects to reopen in late October
once it has received a full clearance
Trevor White, CEO of
Melbourne University Student
Union Ltd (MUSUL), specified
that the closure of the Gallery
is “a precaution[because]there’s
some asbestos in the ceiling of the
Union Theatre and the Theatre
wall abuts the Gallery”.
Mr White confirmed that
more than likely there will be”
future asbestos discoveries in
Union House.
It’s probably an issue that will
go on for some time, to try and
find out and eradicate the asbestos
from the university,” he said.
He specified that so far the
asbestos levels are “all in the
allowable limits”.
There were audits done
in 2008 so we know where the
stuff is and it’s contained so now
they’re doing a new audit.”
There’s probably asbestos
in every building in Melbourne.
It’s a matter of making sure it’s
contained. The trouble was the
stuff in the ceiling has broken
down,” Mr White added.
Student exhibitions booked
into the Gallery from the start of
September until the end of October
petition to disaffiliate the Socialist
Alternative from the student union
will be tabled at the next Clubs and
Societies Committee meeting, following
allegations of harassment on campus. The
petition says that the motion to disaffiliate
is because the Socialist Alternative club has
broken the Clubs and Societies regulations. It
cites the regulations in that “verbal harassment
and intimidatory behaviour based on political
belief constitutes the promotion of violence
on discriminatory grounds.”
It is believed that two separate incidents
have been reported to Union House security
involving Socialist Alternative members.
The petition means that the Socialist
Alternative have the opportunity to attend
the meeting and argue to stay affiliated with
the Union.
The Socialist Alternative has also had
its bank account frozen in an unrelated
move, when the University of Melbourne
branch and the RMIT branch were found
to be using a shared bank account. The
bank account was frozen by the RMIT
University Student Union’s (RUSU) Clubs
and Societies Officer Jacqueline Out, after
she discovered that it was shared by both
branches. Ms Out told
that “there’s
nothing to suggest anything sinister has
gone on,” and that the bank account was
frozen to allow for further investigations.
Ms Out believes that the shared bank
account has existed for a few years and that
the “current crop of executives (at the clubs)
weren’t really aware of what was going on.”
The Melbourne University branch of
the Socialist Alternative were contacted for
comment but failed to respond to
before deadline.
Petition toDisaffiliate
Socialist Alternative
tudents will get the chance to grill their
Vice Chancellor and other key university
decision makers in a forum project run
by online engagement group OurSay.
The University of Melbourne Student
Union and Vice Chancellor’s Office have
accepted invitations to take part in the
project. From 14 September students have
been invited to post questions about university
processes on Those who become
members of the site will then be given seven
votes to endorse other user questions that
interest them. The most popular issues
will frame an open forum featuring Vice-
Chancellor Glyn Davis, UMSU Education
Academic Affairs) Officer and 2013
President-elect Kara Hadgraft, and Higher
Education studies Professor Simon Marginson.
OurSay, which rates and poses ‘top voted’
questions to public figures, pitched the project
to the University earlier this year. The group’s
interest in Melbourne Uni sprung from the
lack of opportunities students have to connect
with the key players influencing their lives on
campus. “Lots of students go through their
degree feeling like they don’t have any control
over the direction their life is heading—this
forum’s trying to change that,” explained
spokesperson Paul Millar.
University is a time when people are really
will be forced to find alternative
venues to showcase their art.
Jake Preval’s series of sculpturally
informed photographs,
for the Ark
is one such exhibition,
along with Georgia Anson, En-
En See and Erin Tily-Laurie’s
Come with us
Claudia Phares’
and Alex Jaunozols,
James Tunks and Kalinda Vary’s
Seeing the Unseen
Preval admitted that the
George Paton closure was a
setback for his exhibition: “It’s
really unfortunate but as it’s
beyond anyone’s control you just
have to roll with it,” he said.
Preval confirmed that it’s
been difficult to find an alternate
space for his exhibition “due to
the tight timeframe”.
Nonetheless, he expressed
his gratitude to the George Paton
Gallery team. “They have been
incredibly helpful in attempting
to locate a new space for the
work and have also been very
supportive. They were very open
about the situation and contacted
us immediately,” he said.
The recent discovery of
asbestos has been unfortunate for
the cultural arts at Melbourne
University; the George Paton
Gallery is the third closure of a
cultural space in Union House
this semester.
that the Union Theatre was closed
in August for asbestos removal.
The Des Connor rehearsal room
will also be closed until the end
of semester, as the entrance is
inaccessible “due to the asbestos
removal work in the Union
Theatre,” according to Union
House Theatre eNews.
Fortunately, all eight
productions booked into the Union
Theatre this semester have been
able to find alternative venues.
starting to develop their passions and are looking
for causes to get involved with. What we want
to do with this forum is give those students a
tangible way of directing that passion towards an
issue that affects them on a deeply personal level.”
Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis told
that he accepted OurSay’s invitation in hope
of hearing questions that are of interest to
large numbers of students. “It seemed like a
good opportunity to converse with a broader
group of students than I am able to come into
contact with regularly,” he said.
The project is the latest in a string of moves
by the University to boost student consultation
via social media. While Facebook and Twitter
have become the go-to for events like O-week
and Open Day, the Vice-Chancellor is also
in possession of a newly launched blog, the
VC Open Line. “Social media is happening
organically at every level of the University,”
Davis told
. “
Staff, students, alumni and
members of the wider community can ask me
questions. It is pleasing to hear from interested
parties who I may not otherwise meet—I
encourage students to submit questions to
the blog and I will do my best to provide a
thoughtful response.”
For those wanting to address senior
staff face to face, the forum grants a rare
opportunity to get answers in person. Those
who wish to pose questions have until 19
October to post and vote for their favourites.
Topics can include anything that has had
an effect on their university experiences.
I think it will be interesting to see how
student attitudes towards the controversial
curriculum reforms have changed,” Millar
said. “Fees, discontinued subjects, tutorial
sizes, lack of representation on campus—
factors that affect the entire University are
going to get a showing.”
The response panel discussion is set for 24
October at 5:30pm.