Dear students, It’s with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I inform you of the death of one of our UOW students, who passed away on Friday 18 February 2022, after being involved in a serious car accident. We are thinking of their loved ones at this time.
In a tightknit community like we have here at UOW, I acknowledge that this news will be difficult to receive for many of you, so please seek support from family and friends and please lean on our UOW Counselling Services if you need it.
As is the case with every new academic year, many of you will have recently moved here from around the world, interstate, regional towns, or are making the commute from nearby surrounds to study at UOW. We welcome all of you with very open arms. The diversity of our cohort brings so much richness to our campus.
I’m sure you will be overflowing with questions about your course and uni more generally. You will find your peers are a great source of support and info, but I recommend also looking through the how uni works webpage, downloading the MyUOW app, using AskUOW to find answers to commonly asked questions, and of course, for those at the Wollongong campus, dropping into Student Central on the Ground Floor of Building 17 or one of our pop-up welcome hubs in Building 11. Our friendly staff and senior students are here to help!
I hope those of you have been able to come along to Campus Fest this week have been loving it. It’s been such a fabulous vibe on campus with lots to enjoy, including pats for Murphy the dog, stalls and clubs everywhere, roaming jazz bands, and much more! And Montaigne put on a fantastic performance in the UniBar yesterday! Once again, it’s open for all new and returning students, it’s free and very fun, so do come if you can. I’m so happy to see the campus brimming with joy in this way.
With the world opening back up, we’re shifting our time from online social interaction to in-person interaction. In a timely study from UOW researchers, it seems social media can be good for forming more meaningful and positive peer relationships, but it’s important to limit time online. The study investigates adolescents but suggests an overuse of social media can be detrimental for self-esteem and emotional health, and increases the incidence of hyperactivity, and inattention. I’ll certainly be trying to take on some of this advice!
Having said that, I came across a post on Twitter the other day that mentioned World Day of Social Justice (20th Feb) which included a quote from the UN’s website that made me feel reflective about the need to strive for social justice. ‘Social Justice is an underlaying principle for a peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We advance social justice when we remove the barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.’ I think this is certainly something to keep front of mind when you begin learning more about the world and the impact we can have.
Finally, it does remain important for our community to maintain a Covid-safe environment. Please book your booster and don’t forget to stay home if you feel sick or are required to isolate. And if you are fully-vaccinated, please be sure to collect your free Pulse Perks Membership when you’re next on campus (usually $35)
It’s been so wonderful to see many smiling faces on campus again, I look forward to seeing many more in the coming days and weeks.
My best, Trish