Monash Student Association

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Monash Student Association (Clayton) Inc.
Full name Monash Student Association (Clayton) Inc.
Native name 'MSA Clayton'
Founded 1994 (after merger)
Members 7,000 (2012)
Country Australia
Affiliation Monash University, Clayton campus
Office location First Floor, Campus Centre (Building 10), Monash University, Clayton
Website www.msa.monash.edu.au [1]

The Monash Student Association (Clayton) Inc (MSA) is located at the Clayton campus of Monash University in the Campus Centre building. The MSA is made up of elected student representatives who represent all Clayton campus students on general issues such as education, fees and student welfare, and also specific issues such as women's affairs and queer affairs. MSA also operates a Student Theatre, an Activities department, Lot's Wife, Host Scheme, the Short Courses Centre and Wholefoods vegetarian restaurant.

The MSA was formed at the end of 1994 with a merger of the former Monash Association of Students, Monash Postgraduate Association, the Mature Aged and Part Time Students Association and the Monash University International Students Society. It subsequently incorporated as an independent body in 1998.

Services[edit]

Activities

The Activities office organises on-campus student activities and inter-campus competitions and events, such as live bands, DJs, movie nights, and Winter Sabbatical.

Clubs & Societies

Clubs & Societies governs the over 100 (non-sporting) clubs and societies at the Clayton campus. The clubs range from academic-based clubs to those that are cultural, political, spiritual, or relating to a hobby or specific interest.

Education Office The Education department provides advocacy, policy work, campaign management, advice, and representation to the student body. Some notable achievements include the 2004 HECS protests, the campaign against unfair parking fines, the 2006 campaign for the re-introduction of Swotvac, and some success in the continuing push for online recording of lectures.

Environment Department

The Environment Department facilitates student involvement in sustainability and social justice, both on campus and in the wider community. They work with the university in order in minimising consumption of water, paper and energy; purchasing and use of renewable energies, recycled paper and other eco-friendly products; minimising waste and maintaining effective recycling and composting programs. They support wider student campaigns on issues like protection of old-growth forests, fair trade, indigenous justice, refugee rights, and climate change.

Radio Monash

Radio Monash is a radio station, which offers live webstreaming and podcasting and offers training in aspects of broadcasting in a full digital recording studio, which is often used as a rehearsal room for bands and musicians. Whilst not directly funded by or affiliated with the MSA, Radio Monash still works in conjunction with the MSA during their music events.

Host Scheme

Host Scheme is an orientation program that runs a camps program, functions program and Host Scheme Night; a huge party at the start of Orientation Week, which attracts thousands of new students.

Lot's Wife

Lot's Wife is the student newspaper. It addresses student issues and news, provides a voice for student commentary and reviews.

Queer Department

The MSA Queer Department caters for all students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or those who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity. It provides the queer lounge, as a safe a queer-only space where students can gather, socialise and discuss queer issues in a supportive environment, and also works to collectively fight against discrimination and oppression suffered by queers in society.

Student Theatre

The Student Theatre (MUST) is a place for students to get involved in acting, directing or backstage work, and stages a large number of productions a year.

Welfare

The Welfare department runs Free Food Mondays, giving struggling students free vegetarian food every Monday night. It recycles old donated computers by rebuilding them for students. It also runs the Survival Centre, which contains free food and second-hand clothing for students in need.

Women's Room

The Women's Room is a women-only environment, a place for women to socialise, study and meet other women. It was created by the student union due to perceived university in-action over a rising spate of assaults around campus, particularly after normal class hours, on women.

Wholefoods

Wholefoods is a vegetarian restaurant, cafe and grocery service owned and run mostly on a volunteer basis by students.

Politics[edit]

Monash Student Association office bearers are elected at an annual election, whereupon the executive committee of the MSA, the Monash Student Council, is also elected; in the MSC, all office bearers have voting rights excepting the two Lot's Wife Editors and the President who acts as Chair of the MSC and has a casting vote only.

The MSA is also a member of the National Union of Students and conducts election for NUS delegates concurrently with the MSA elections.

Political groups and their election tickets[edit]

Since the early 2000s, there have generally been three main political groups on campus: grassroots; independent & left-wing coalitions and right-wing coalitions. It should be recognised that the spectrum of views represented in student politics is decidedly left of the mainstream political centre.

Activate was a grouping made up of environmentalists and other left-wing students that were generally referred to as the ‘grassroots left’. They held the Presidency and a majority of the Office-Bearer positions from 2002 to 2005.

At the 2005 elections, Go!, an independent & National Labor Students coalition, won majority control of the student association and have held it ever since.

Generally right-wing coalitions have included members of the Labor Right, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students and the Monash Liberal Club. They ran under tickets such as ‘Action’ (2006), ‘Unite’ (2007), ‘Connect’ (2009–2010) and 'Voice' (2011 & 2013). In 2008, they ran with a large group of Go! splinters to form a ticket known as ‘Universal’ (please note that this grouping is unrelated to the Universal elected ticket between 1999–2001).

The demise of Activate in recent years has seen the greater development of a group known as ‘Left Action’. Left Action is a broad left activist ticket, made-up predominately of members of Socialist Alternative. Despite the growth of Left Action, it has failed to win control of the student union. In 2010, old members of Activate relaunched the Activate ticket under the new name of 'Switch' which had mixed success at that year's MSA elections. In 2013, Left Action rebranded itself as 'Left Hook'.

The MSA is currently controlled by a majority of Go! members. Control of the MSA has tended to swing between the far left and left of student politics over the years.

References[edit]

External links[edit]