Postgrad Update: The new Thesis House, changes to the Living Room and more

Kia ora koutou katoa

Wow, I cannot believe just how quickly the past few months have flown by and we are now in Winter. I hope you are managing to stay dry, warm and healthy!

I organised a Wellness Workshop for Postgraduate students which was held on the 25th of May. This workshop was aimed at providing postgraduates with skills for managing themselves during stressful times. We had Alex Ballagh (a yoga teacher and mindfulness teacher) and Heather Jonson (a counsellor from UC Health) who tailored their discussions to this topic. The workshop, in general, received great feedback and I hope to continue more initiatives like this.

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 six 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 UBS 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!), and the painting of the purple wall panels white. Tables appropriate to study on have also been ordered. These few changes are starting to 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. 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 – we are hoping to see these implemented soon. It was noted in the April PG Committee meeting that there has been wide support from Colleges, academics and other universities.

Information for UC’s annual 3MT is running this year. This is a competition where students are given the opportunity to present their research in no more than 3 minutes with one static PowerPoint slide. 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, especially as winter is rolling in. 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 I would LOVE to hear your ideas or areas we can improve on.

Sending you all the love, light and happiness,
Ngā mihi,
Bea Holman
Postgraduate Representative 2021 UCSA Executive

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