RMIT University Student Union
|Full name||RMIT University Student Union|
|Members||2, 896 financial members|
|Key people||Himasha Fonseka (President), Ariel Zohar (General Secretary)|
|Office location||Building 8, Level 3, RMIT University, 330 Swanston Street Melbourne|
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2014)|
Established in 1944, the RMIT Student Union Council, commonly known as the RMIT University Student Union or RUSU, is the representative body for all students enrolled at RMIT University. The Student Union offers a range of services, including clubs and societies, publishing the RMIT student magazine Catalyst, student rights advocacy and support, Womyns, Queer and Postgraduate student lounges, campus activities and events and has offices at all Melbourne campuses and sites of RMIT University. It is a separate organisation to RMIT Union (now RMIT Link), which provides support to Arts and Sports clubs. RMIT Student Union is affiliated with the National Union of Students and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.
In 2006, with the introduction of voluntary student unionism (VSU) legislation, the Student Union underwent a major re-organization. Most of the staff were made redundant, the organization’s three separate campus councils were merged, and several services such as the second-hand bookshop were abandoned. While the organization suffered a drastic funding cut (from $3.9 million AUD to $1.3 million AUD) as a result of VSU, it managed to survive the cutbacks and continue providing services, advocacy and representation to students.
As of 2006, the Student Union Council comprises 25 students, who are elected by RMIT students at annual elections. All members of the council must be financial members of the Student Union. The council meets regularly, and it is also responsible for electing the president and media officer, as outlined in the Student Union Constitution. A smaller group of student office bearers, known as the secretariat, meets more regularly to discuss day-to-day and urgent matters. Each Melbourne campus/site also has its own campus collective.
Constitution, regulations and policies
The powers of the council and secretariat are limited by the Student Union’s constitution, which was last amended in August 2012. The constitution sets out the organisation’s aims and objectives, the powers and rights of council members, the rights of members, and defines the organisation’s departments. Regulations are rules which the Student Union uses to govern matters such as conduct at meetings, or the operation of certain departments, and can be altered by a vote at a council meeting. The constitution can only be modified with the agreement of a majority of RMIT students at an annual general meeting.
RMIT student media
The RMIT Student Union funds the student-run magazine Catalyst & student television on-campus production studios RMITV. It continues to have strong ties with SYN radio station located within RMIT, however there is no formal or funding relationship between the separate organisations.
Catalyst Magazine was first published in 1944, the same year the Student Union was established. It continues today as the only official student magazine and news source through its website.
As per the constitution, the Student Union currently comprises the following departments. Each of these departments is governed by a collective or committee of students who work alongside the office bearer (who in turns directs staff members):
- Education (including Student Rights)
- Welfare (including Compass Drop-In Centre)
- Clubs and Societies
- Media (including RMITV and Catalyst)
- Environment (including Realfoods Organic Cafe)
- TAFE/Vocational Education
- Murray-Smith, Stephen; Dare, A. J. (1987). The Tech: A Centenary History of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. South Yarra: Hyland House. ISBN 0-947062-06-8.