From the Chair’s Chair

Posted by | March 26, 2013 | Briefing, Ormondian | No Comments

Sitting in The Sun Room as ACam processes reimbursement forms and Taylor explains drug addiction amongst Jazz musicians, I contemplate just how eventful the last month has been. 2013 promises to continue along this exhilarating trajectory, and your GC has a vision for what it seeks to achieve along the way.

The Ormond College Students’ Club Incorporated, as it is formally known, is a fascinating organisation. Our 400+ members represent every state and territory in Australia as well as over 25 countries, and study everything from agriculture to dance, and engineering to philosophy. These members vary in age, have an exceptional appetite to learn and are talented in almost every field. By this description alone we form a unique organisation.

Throw in the fact we come together in a 133-year-old High Victorian Gothic castle, ten minutes from the centre of our state capital, and with resources that include a university, an academic program and each other. It is at this point that one begins to dream of what this community is capable of achieving.

The Club is a dynamic organisation with a long and eventful history. As we continue to professionalise, there are some systemic circumstances that we must work around.

We have a high attrition rate. Each year the majority of leaders graduate and we lose a good part of our corporate knowledge. Each year a new batch of willing and able leaders take the reins, but their job could be easier. To me, this says two things. Firstly, the involvement of our first and second year members is key to the continuous progress of the Club. Secondly, we need better handover practices. These wheels are already in motion and a key part is the new Students’ Club office: the ‘FOS’ (MB232). Make no mistake, this space is yours to use.

We also exist under several financial pressures. When Dr Black was Chair, he inherited a Club that had run a significant loss the year before. We are in an eerily similar situation now, having run a loss of several tens of thousands of dollars in 2012.

There is, however, a more positive story to tell, focussed around five clear, specific, and measurable goals that the General Committee has developed over the course of summer. I’d like to formalise these with you now:

  • We’re a community that always seeks to support itself more strongly. Goal One is Student Welfare; to strengthen formal and informal support networks that ensure everyone feels at home.

  • We are one community. Goal Two is Cross Common Room Integration; to continue to strengthen friendships across the Common Rooms.

  • We handle large budgets with minimal professional assistance. Goal Three is Finance; to create systemic change that ensures losses are not entrenched; to weatherproof the future.

  • We’re an academic institution first. Goal Four is Academics; to foster a community with active academic involvement by all members.

  • We are a lively community; we need clear methods for students to know what is happening. Goal Five is Communication; to create and utilise an online space more structured than Facebook.

This is the Club’s mandate. When a community galvanises behind these goals, as we have the opportunity to do in 2013, our horizons will be broadened and some of the true potential of Ormond will be unlocked.