Kia ora! I’m Callum, your Education Executive from 2018 ‘til the end of 2019. In this portfolio, I tend to spend a lot of time on various Massey boards, committees, and working groups as a student representative. I also help out with the class reps training and volunteer at lots of MUSA or community events.
Highlights of Exec: In my time as the Education Executive, my main highlight was writing a submission on behalf of MUSA to change government policy, proposing an increase in seats on university councils for students and staff. I was also called on to speak with the Education and Workforce Select Committee, and this experience was invaluable to me growing as an Executive and as a student. And of course, getting to be Kate Bush in the 2018 MUSA Arts and Cultures Fest was fantastic!
A bit about me: I’m a longtime Palmy local, originally from Manchester. 2019 will be my final year studying politics and literature. I love going to gigs, and sometimes I write poetry and make weird electronic noises.
The Education Role
- $8,580 per year honorarium paid fortnightly from the start of Semester 1.
- Expected to work for a minimum of 10 hours per week, starting in Week Zero, the week before lectures start.
- There is an office space for the Executive in the building above the MUSA shop, and Executive members are expected to spend some time here each week for students to drop in.
- All executives are expected to regularly volunteer at events, especially during busy times of the year like O-Week, Stress Free Study Week, and the Arts and Cultures Festival. There is also an expectation that each executive organises their own event each semester.
- After the elections, the role officially begins on the 1st December and finishes on the 1st December of next year.
- Before December, there is a handover period where the new Executives engage with their outgoing counterparts, come along to meetings, get to know the staff, and get to ask questions about the job. During this time, the whole Executive also undergo governance training, and spend time getting to know each other and the Manawatahi (Māori Students Association) Executive.
To take the lead on student representation in the academic arena. This means coordination of student voices on Massey issues, as well as making submissions on national education issues in alignment with NZUSA lobbying.
What I Do
Governance: All Executives have collective governance responsibilities. We meet monthly for governance meetings, which are open to student attendance for part one. In this space, we are fiscally and strategically responsible for MUSA. We also discuss general student concerns and events. We are held accountable to the general Executive via our monthly reports, and through meeting our key delegated tasks.
Education: First and foremost, the Education Executive exists to engage with, and represent students on academic matters. This involves being present at many student events and trying to gather feedback wherever possible. Formal areas of student engagement include involvement in the class reps programme (where we collaborate with the Student Engagement Coordinator to deliver the training), as well as rallying common concerns in the student body. An example of this would be the College of Sciences reformation in 2018, where myself and the previous MUSA President worked to gather a strong collective voice, and organised a forum with students and staff to improve the consultation process.
On top of this, there are many committees and meetings which make important decisions, and discuss issues to generate proposals for change. As the education rep, I sit on many of these and provide both a student voice, and my own views on issues. Often I am the only student on these groups, and so the presence of this role is significant in providing alternative perspectives to the decision making boards. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be more student reps joining committees.
Some of the main boards and committees I sit on are…
- Academic Committee
- Academic Integrity Committee
- Learning Spaces Steering Committee
- Library Committee
There are many other committees and groups which I appear at throughout the year, as well as one on one consultations with students, staff, and academics.
External to this University, I also engage with national education issues. For example, in 2018 during my first term I made a significant engagement with the Education reformation from government. In collaboration with NZUSA, I made a submission to a parliamentary working group, and was called to speak on the issue in person. This was a significant opportunity for student concerns to be heard in the academic sphere. An area for this role to take on in the future is more MUSA centralised campaigns on encouraging student engagement with academic changes, both internally and externally.
This role spends most of its time preparing for, and then attending committees. Sometimes these committees all fall in the same week, and so the weekly workload is not entirely balanced. It is best if you can keep on top of committee documentation in the weeks before the meeting to balance this. During the semester there are always lots of fun events to attend as a volunteer, and this is where a lot of important networking with students and staff is done. For me they usually slot in nicely at the end of the week or in the evening, as a nice alternative to attending more meetings. As a general rule, MUSA will never expect you to skip out on your classes, or other commitments, so you can mostly make your schedule work around you. Having said that, with committees being sometimes inflexible, it is important you try to be available to attend them. I also think it is important to keep in mind that you should be present in the office, and at MUSA events, as much as you can.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for any more questions :)