Dear students, I wanted to begin where I left off last time: on the topic of kindness. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, kindness is hugely underrated. Being kind to others gives us great purpose. Being generous with our time and listening to others (if you have the capacity) is absolutely the right thing to do.
Being kind doesn’t mean that you will always get it right or that you need to ignore your hardship. In fact, compassion toward ourselves is just as important during this time, and with exams and final assessments approaching, this needs to be a priority. Having a priority list always helps me when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, and I’ll be starting my list with the word ‘kindness’ as a good reminder this week.
We’re asking students to help us create a safer environment at UOW. Please have your say in the National Student Safety Survey (NSSS). The survey organisers have selected 10,00 students to participate, so if you have received an email asking you to complete the survey - we encourage you to do so. If you haven’t been selected but would like to share your experiences, you can do so by visiting the NSSS website. We know that discussing and disclosing instances of sexual assault or sexual harassment can be traumatic and uncomfortable. You are not alone, and support is available. Visit our safe and respectful communities webpage for more info.
Following on from that, I wanted to encourage students to learn more about consent in this helpful Consent Matters online module. The course covers sexual consent, communication in relationships, and bystander intervention and will help you understand what consent looks like and identify situations where it can and can’t be given.
I’d also like to remind you about the Students’ Health Help Line, which is now live. If you need assistance with your health, please call (02) 4239 2300 to speak with a nurse who can provide information, advice, and referrals to help you access the appropriate care. In addition to the Health Help Line, we continue to examine the scope for new campus medical services. A task force is consulting with students and key internal and external stakeholders regarding the future of general practice services for the UOW community over the coming weeks.
In other important health news, vaccines are readily available for everyone 16 and over. If you’re wondering where you can receive the vaccine, please visit our Vaccination Information Centre. Wollongong Vaccination Hub is taking bookings for Pfizer online and is also now accepting AstraZeneca walk-in appointments. Moderna will also be available in the coming weeks at the UOW Campus Pharmacy. Let’s push it to 80%!
Now something for female students. Have you been professionally fitted for your sports bra? Associate Professor Deirdre McGhee from our School of Medicine has some tips to ensure you choose the right bra for the support you need while exercising.
As a University, we’re proud to play an essential role in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our research helps direct sustainability within our community, offering the next generation the skills and understanding essential to our sustainable future. The 17 SDGs go hand in hand with developing a fair and equitable world. Please take a look at some of the incredible initiatives from UOW staff, students, researchers, and our broader community. I encourage you to add any initiatives you are working on.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, it’s exam and assessment time, so I wanted to send a big good luck and warm wishes your way. You’ve done so well so far. Thinking back on my uni exams, I remember always feeling calmer when I’d done all I could to be as prepared as possible. Here’s a great resource for ensuring you’re prepared, and remember, you’ve got this!
Whether you’re on mid-session break next week or still in session, I hope you have a lovely week. Keep on keeping on!