Suggestion Box Round-Up

This year we launched the UCSA’s new feedback tool Suggestion Box. Since then, our Exec Team have been busy looking into the issues you guys care about. Here’s a round-up of their responses.

Library internet

Suggestion: Ever since everyone has been back on campus the wifi in the library has been shocking. We need new bigger and better modems to be able to at least try and watch our lectures on echo that we missed from a big night at mono

UCSA response: Kia Ora, thanks so much for making this suggestion! We definitely understand the importance of reliable Wifi in the library, regardless of whether you’ve had a big night at MONO or not! Because of this, we’ve been in touch with the UC IT Services team, who has assured us that infrastructure has been upgraded to ensure that students are no longer facing such issues. If you are still finding that the Wifi is intermittent or slow, they’ve asked you to come see the IT Service Desk located at the back of level 2, or give them a call on 0508 UC IT HELP, and they can come straight to you. If these problems persist, even after getting help from UC IT Services, please let me know at finance@ucsa.org.nz, and we can triage the issue further.

Borrow-a-bike app

Suggestion: Would be great if there was an app to borrow the UC bikes. That way you could see bike availability and book for how long you need it. Then you just need to show reception your phone and off you go.

Even better if it would inform you of the code for unlocking the bike which would have a digital lock or something similar. It’s a real hassle having to go upstairs, fill in the paper work and then go back upstairs again once you’re finished. Helmets could also be attached to the locks.

UCSA response: While we really liked this suggestion, unfortunately our cost analysis of the project showed that contracting a custom application and installing digital bike locks would cost in excess of $30,000. Accordingly, unfortunately this means the suggestion is simply not feasible, particularly when we balance the cost of the project with the number of students it would benefit.

What you might see below, however, is that the Executive has recently amended the Bike Share Scheme Policy to allow bikes to be borrowed overnight, and, upon payment of a $50 bond, over the weekend. We hope this will provide greater flexible for our users and allow them to make the most of the bikes.

If you want to get in touch to discuss further, feel free to flick us an email at finance@ucsa.org. Thanks again for taking the time to make this suggestion!

Cheaper student parking

UCSA response: Thank you for your suggestion – we have been in touch with the senior management team at UC and they have come back to us with the following response. As you can see here, this is a really tricky subject that has been the subject of plenty of controversy, but to no avail. If you did have any more questions, we would be really happy to work with UC to get you further answers. Feel free to get in touch at finance@ucsa.org.nz. Thank you again for your suggestion.

UCSA marketplace

Suggestion: Create a separate UCSA Facebook group for selling rooms/items, to avoid drowning out other posts in the UCSA Noticeboard group

UCSA response: Thanks for your suggestion! Believe it or not, the UCSA Noticeboard was originally created exactly for this – to selling rooms and other items. While we’ll be the first ones to admit it attracts a lot more than ‘for sale’ posts these days, these still a really easy way to just find the sale posts! On the mobile interface, you’ll automatically be shown only ‘for sale’ posts, and you’ll have to click ‘discussion’ to see anything else. On the desktop interface, you’ll notice a bunch of tabs at the top of the group. To view ‘for sale’ posts only, simply click the ‘buy and sell’ tab. While the idea of creating a separate group has differently crossed our mind, having one central page with the ability to distinguish between different posts so easily works really well, and on the whole, students tend to agree.

If you want to get in touch to discuss further, feel free to flick us an email at finance@ucsa.org

Borrow-a-bike available after hours/weekend

Suggestion: It would be great if there was a way students would be able to use the borrow-a-bike scheme during after hours and in the weekends 🙂

UCSA response: We really loved this suggestion, and as a result, the Executive have recently amended the Bike Share Scheme Policy to allow bikes to be borrowed overnight, and, upon payment of a $50 bond, over the weekend. We hope this will provide greater flexibility for our users and allow them to make the most of the bikes. Thanks again for such a great suggestion!

Vending machines in the library

Suggestion: So you don’t have to make the hike and walk to the ones in undercroft – some on level 6 perhaps.

UCSA response: Thanks so much for your suggestion! We are really glad to inform you there is now a vending machine toward the back of the library on level two. However, we also reached out to UC to ask why there weren’t more vending machine options on multiple floors. Facilities management came back to us with the following response:

While the Library doesn’t stop students/staff bring food into the building it is understandably not encouraged, not least due to the additional cleaning of the spaces that would be required as well as the damage that can occur to the Library materials when mixing food/drink with paper materials.

We do actively manage the machines and numbers, and try to ensure we have a good spread across the campus. The bottom of the Library building in the Undercroft is a place students are encouraged to take a break from study and to eat, drink and relax. As you know, it has the provision of the various food outlets, a heat and eat for those that bring their own food, along with vending machines for out of hours provisions.

 

We hope this response makes sense, and that you’ll also be able to make use of the new vending machine in level two! Thanks again for your suggestion!

Sunblock

Suggestion: There should be free sunblock around the campus! Perhaps at the libraries to start. Would subtly inspire people to get outdoors – while being sun smart. Posters advertising the available sunblock would further that too.

UCSA response: Kia Ora, thanks so much for your suggestion! We think this is a really great idea, so have installed full-time sunscreen dispensers in the student social space at Haere-roa and The Foundry courtyard! Thanks again for taking the time to make this suggestion!

Foundry doof on weekends

Suggestion:

-Have the equivalent to Mono except on a Friday/Saturday.
-With DnB similar to Big Doof or Full Moon events.
-Don’t necessarily have to get in a famous artist, students with decks could play.

UCSA response: Thanks so much for your suggestion!

With regard to whether we can have MONO on the Friday/Weekends as well, we love that students love MONO, but we’re conscious that we want to see club events thrive also. Too much MONO would impact on the fantastic work done by our 160+ clubs here on campus. We are looking into highlighting smaller local acts a few times a year on a Saturday in the Foundry, but if you’re still wanting more of a party, we’d suggest checking out what our clubs are up to! There’s usually a party or club event most weekends of the Uni terms, and they usually feature great up and coming UC and local acts!

With regard to your great point about having some variation at MONO, we always aim to keep MONO varied, but COVID has naturally made acts availability a lot tougher this year. We love being able to showcase up and coming DNB, surf rock, hip hop or house, and have been doing so for the last few years. Having said that, if a strictly bangers night once a year is something students want, we will deliver that! This is something that we will definitely line up for a MONO in the not too distant future.

Thanks again for your wicked suggestions!

Organise more social events

Suggestion: Organize more social events such as special party to invite everyone to have the chance to meet new people. Or hiking events or outdoors BBQ etc.

UCSA response: Kia Ora, and thanks for your suggestion! We really like your idea of having a special party for everyone to meet new people. This is why (subject to COVID-19 restrictions) we are running Tea Party on Saturday the 17th of October. You can grab tickets here. If you are looking for a more ‘low-key’ party vibe, we also run an annual ‘Coffee Party’ the Friday before Tea Party, where we’ll have fun games, food, and of course, coffee! Look out for it being advertised on our UCSA Facebook Page. This event is particularly good for meeting new people, especially because the music won’t be so loud!

With regard to tramping, we have an excellent UCSA affiliated club called the ‘Canterbury University Tramping Club’. They run heaps of great hiking events – you can check them out here.

With regard to outdoor BBQ’s, we held ‘Lunch on the Lawn’ last week, which featured our outdoor BBQ. We’ll be cooking up more snags and vege patties at Coffee Party this term (again, COVID-19 permitting). We also run termly wellness expos, which are also great opportunities to meet new people. COVID-19 permitting, look out for the next expo being advertised on our Facebook Page.

If you have any other suggestions about events you would like to see, or if we can suggest any other clubs, feel free to get in touch at finance@ucsa.org.

Let students feed back on time sensitive issues

Suggestion: As a student, we often come across areas of campus where something is not working. At any workplace, you would be able to tell someone and see the problem get solved effectively and quickly. For example, the taps in the recharge lounge (Eng core) haven’t been working (only one temperature available). How does a student get the process started to get something fixed when there is no obvious way to pass on this information.

UCSA response: Kia Ora, thanks for your suggestion! While we don’t have oversight of maintenance of UC facilities, we certainly understand how annoying this must be! UC has a handy number or email address you can get in touch with to report maintenance faults: 03 369 4400 or FMassist@canterbury.ac.nz. Alternatively, if the repairs or maintenance is urgent, please call security on 0800 823 637. Thanks for getting in touch, Ngā mihi!

Install coat hangers in Haere-roa toilets

Suggestion: As a coat wearer it is extremely inconvenient because there is no where to hang coat or other long clothing. Nobody want to place their cloths unhygienic surfaces such as the floor and since everywhere on campus have coat hanger why shouldn’t Haere-Roa?

UCSA response: Kia Ora, thanks so much for your suggestion! We think this is a really great idea, so as a result, we have contracted a team to install coat hangers in the bathroom in the student social space and the upstairs part of Bentley’s/Ngaio Marsh. Thanks again for taking the time to make this suggestion!

Enforcing masks on campus

Suggestion: According to the UC Communications students have received, masks are ‘mandatory’ on Campus at Alert Level 2. Why, then, are there so many students coming to Campus without masks, and not facing any consequences? Surely not everyone who is not wearing a mask has a legitimate reason not to wear one. Would UC consider giving Lecturers the power to ban students who are not wearing masks (for no reason) from lectures? After all, lectures are available online. Students who attend lectures in person should be doing their best to keep themselves and others safe. After all, Covid-19 safety requires a collective effort.

UCSA response: Kia Ora, thanks for your suggestion. We as the UCSA strongly endorse the wearing of face coverings, not only because it protects the wearer, but because it protects others in the community. Because of this, we’ve been sure to play a strong part in messaging to students, instructing that wearing a mask in teaching spaces is an expectation of them. You can see an example of this messaging here. However, in line with Government directives, the University maintains that “face coverings do not need to be worn by people with a disability or physical or mental health condition which makes it difficult to wear a face covering.” The often unidentifiable nature of physical and mental health conditions means it’s tricky when lecturers and other teaching staff are confronted by someone not wearing a mask. Similar to the way that bus drivers are unable to refuse entry to a patron refusing to wear a mask on public transport, lecturers and other teaching staff are unable to deny entry to students.

To mitigate the effects of some students taking advantage of this predicament, UC is requiring social distancing in lecture theatres, by ensuring students sit in every second seat. However, the UCSA maintains, and will continue to maintain, that under COVID-19 alert level 2, students should be wearing face coverings in teaching areas, unless they have a genuine reason not to. We understand this is a really tricky and potentially sensitive topic. It’s worth reminding everyone that if you aren’t comfortable, you can watch your lectures online and masks are mandatory in compulsory classes, such as labs. Alternative arrangements are made for those with a genuine reason not to.

Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch, we really appreciate it.

Housing

Suggestion: I think the UCSA should start putting money away for a long term project to buy student flats around the university. This would take some time to accomplish (think 20 years), and require some long term, multi-exec commitment.

The advantages of this would be (1) students would be contributing to the growth of housing stock, rather than just paying landlords (2) once the UCSA had a critical mass of housing, it would begin to dictate the prices and quality that students come to expect in the Ilam area, and force landlords to compete, among others.

Imagine if the rent you paid went back into improving and expanding housing stock in the community. We would have healthier places to live, push down and continue to keep rents low.

The UCSA is uniquely positioned with a large balance sheet to do something that would benefit many students directly or indirectly, and improve the health and wellbeing of the next few generations of students to come.

UCSA response: Kia Ora, thanks so much for your suggestion. Unfortunately, because this suggestion did not receive a positive tally of upvotes and downvotes, it will not be progressed further. Additionally, in light of paying off our $30m building, taking on this additional debt and the associated interest is unfortunately not something we are able to justify using student dollar for in this current economic climate.  If you do have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch at finace@ucsa.org.nz.

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