13 July 2012
Bundoora campus staff address 12 July 2012
Question and answer session
Q. Are the student computer labs in building 201 level 4 and building 203 level 3 being refurbished?
A. The University is moving away from computer labs to wireless coverage for student portable devices, unless there is a requirement for specialist software. These specific spaces were intended to be consolidated with the nearby teaching area last year but the project was not supported by Property Services.
Q. With more students bringing their laptops, are any plans around infrastructure support for the powering of portable devices? Often laptops have a short battery life, and the library are constantly having issues with a shortage of powerpoints to charge student devices.
A. There is a DVC-A project around laptop management in the works, though this is around laptop provision and software issues. (A PSG representative reported that discussions have occurred around laptop provision, but power stations hasn’t been a topic brought to the table). Many students are bringing iPads or similar tablets to campus, which have a much longer battery life than laptops. (One academic reported that many of his students plug into wall sockets to charge their devices in lecture theatres, creating potential OHS issues, particularly in dimly lit theatre environments). The issues surrounding what infrastructure is required for staff and students will be considered now that the issue has been brought to attention.
Q. The communication around the increase in parking fees last year indicated it would be a small increase but they have effectively doubled. Why has this been downplayed?
A. (PSG representative) The current rate has been benchmarked with other universities and is well below many other university rates.
Q. With the increase in fees, is a separate staff parking area a possibility?
A. If there is a demand for this, a feasibility study will need to be carried out as a staff only parking area may come at a premium. (A show of hands indicated that few staff were interested in this approach).
Q. Parking wouldn’t be such an issue on campus if the spaces were better monitored and parking rules enforced.
(A PSG representative reported that enforcement of parking was currently under review and a formal communication would be distributed soon).
Q. While a hike in parking premiums wouldn’t be an issue for highly paid staff, it may for lower paid staff that provide a crucial service to the university. Could these staff perhaps be allocated parking spaces as a priority?
A. University owned cars have no problem acquired reserved parking spaces, though it can be difficult to obtain such a vehicle. Some more planning clearly needs to be done around parking and all Bundoora staff are encouraged to send through their ideas.
Q. There is too few spaces for the Sport centre, which discourages community members from utilising the centre and is a potential marketing problem for it.
(A PSG representative reported that this has been raised as an issue to PSG and it is being looked into).
Q. Further to the Sport Centre, there are only two disabled parking spaces but several disabled groups use the facility. Could this please be considered?
Q. Many other Universities have defibrillators on campus for emergencies, though RMIT does not. Are there plan to install some?
A. I am unsure of any plans to do this or what the requirements are around the use of defibrillators and will need to speak to our OHS contact for an official response.
Q. There is no campus nurse or a sick bay for ill students or staff members, which is an inconvenience. What can be done to address this?
A. Other universities often have medical centres on campus and we do not, though we have trained first aid officers in all schools/departments. We may look into the medical centre across Plenty Road as being our preferred medical supplier.