Postgrad Newsletter #2
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Wow, I cannot believe just how quickly April flew by. A big congratulations to anyone who graduated in the April ceremonies. For those who are still progressing towards their Masters and PhDs, you still deserve a big congratulations for the hard work you’re continuously putting in. It can be a grind but it will pay off!
I have some exciting updates to share with you all –
I have organised a Wellness Workshop for Postgraduate students! We have Alex Ballagh (a yoga teacher and mindfulness expert) and Heather Jonson (a counsellor from UC Health) who will be leading the workshop and focusing their discussions on how to manage oneself during stressful times. This event is free and will be on Tuesday the 25th of May from 10am til 1pm and there will be some kai provided afterwards. For more information please keep an eye out on the UCSA Facebook page as spots are limited.
An update from the Postgraduate Research Office is that there is a Thesis House located on 39 Creyke Road which is ready for use. The Thesis House comprises of 6 separate (and lockable) study spaces that Doctoral students who are in the final stage of their thesis write-up can book. If you’re interested in booking one of these spaces, click here.
The PGSA and I have been in discussions with UC about the Living Room (the space next to the bookshop). While it’s incredible for Postgraduates to have a space, the room has always felt a little… uninviting. A few changes that have come about from our discussions include new lighting (goodbye to those chandeliers!), tables appropriate to study on have been ordered and the purple wall panels have been painted white. These few changes are starting to help make the space feel a bit more vibrant and inviting. If you’re looking for an excuse to visit this space, then come by for the PGSA’s Coffee Morning on Wednesday’s 10am until 11am. The PGSA are also holding an “Open Mic Night” on the 27th of May. For more information on this, keep an eye on their Facebook page here.
As you know, I presented a proposal to the PG Committee in March on Parental Support for postgraduate students. We are currently in the works of achieving our short term goals which are putting information on the UC website around what a student can do if they become pregnant during their PhD and making changes to the form for suspension and change to part-time to include parenting reasons. It was noted in the April PG Committee meeting that there has been wide support from Colleges, academics and other universities. If you have any input on this topic or ideas of what information should be made available on the website, please email me!
The last PGAG meeting was held on the 5th of May, the key takeaways from this meeting included: how to make the Wellness Workshop more beneficial for Postgrad students, discussion around the proposed MPhil (an exit qualification for those in their PhD) and discussion on the draft Postgraduate Coordinator position description. If you have any questions or want more information on these, please send me an email.
If you’re wanting to win $1,000 be sure to enter the Library’s “Visualise Your Thesis” competition. In short, it involves you creating a short audio-visual presentation that explains your research project to a general audience. For more information, click here.
A bit of inspiration for you this month is recognising that while we should try to do our best every day, “our best” can vary significantly day to day. Sometimes this might mean having a slow morning because your body is exhausted while other days it means getting up and exercising at 6am. Please try to remember to be kind to and listen to yourself. It is totally okay to not be okay and there are many support services available including UCSA Advocacy and Welfare, UC Student Care, and the UC Health Centre.
As always, if you have any ideas on how the UCSA can improve the postgraduate experience please get in contact, you can catch me most Wednesday’s at PGSA’s Coffee Mornings or email at email@example.com. I would LOVE to hear your ideas or areas we can improve on.
Sending you all the love, light and happiness,
2021 UCSA Executive