It’s tough being a student right now: we asked Student Council member Emily how DUSA can help you
Did you know DUSA has a Student Council, comprised of students like yourself who advocate for your best interests at Deakin on your behalf?
DUSA’s Student Council members understand how hard it can be to focus on studying at a time when we all have so much on our minds – they too have been dealing with the transition to online study and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 impact.
We asked Student Council representative Emily Sagolj to tell us about herself and how DUSA and your Student Council can help support you during this time.
What course are you studying, and at which campus?
I am a fourth-year Bachelor of Laws and Commerce student at the Burwood Campus.
What are you hoping to do after university professionally?
That’s a tough one because I still have a lot of units to go and I have a lot of interests. I love learning about the law, but I’m also interested in economics and criminology. At the moment, I aspire to be a criminal defence lawyer as I have enjoyed all my criminal law units so far. In terms of where I would like to work, I really liked volunteering at Victoria Legal Aid and I love all their advocacy for law reform to improve the criminal justice system, so I would love to work there.
Do you remember your first impressions of DUSA or the first DUSA activity you took part in?
My first impression of DUSA was at OWeek during my first year of uni. I remember seeing their stall on Morgan’s Walk and buying a Gold membership because I wanted the hoodie and backpack. At the time, I didn’t know about all the services they provided for me, but I slowly learned more and more about how integral DUSA was.
What prompted you to join the DUSA Student Council?
I was prompted to join DUSA Student Council because I really wanted to help make a difference at uni and I’ve always been really passionate about student representation and advocacy. Plus, I was sick of just going to classes, studying, and going home. So, I made an active effort to get more involved, firstly as a Student Rep and now on Student Council.
Why should students join DUSA, especially at the moment?
Besides the great services and representation that DUSA offers students, the key reason to join DUSA right now is to feel part of a community at uni. Now in particular, it’s easy to feel disconnected and lonely, but the vibrance that clubs bring on campus also translates online!
Thus, my biggest piece of advice to students, particularly first-year students, is to join clubs and go to events. I have personally had my confidence boosted immensely since getting involved in clubs, as going to events has encouraged me to make more friends while at uni. DUSA has more than 120 clubs, so there is bound to be a club that interests you, and you can also start up your own club! I know that in-person events feel different to online events, but online events are just as good of an opportunity to meet new people and to feel part of a community at Deakin.
What is your favourite thing about being part of the DUSA Student Council – is there anything you are particularly proud to be involved in?
My favourite thing about being part of DUSA Student Council is advocating for students. As the peak representative body for students at Deakin, it’s our job to look out for students and it’s so rewarding to see when our advocacy brings about positive change to the lives of students.
I’m particularly proud of some of the initiatives we fought for this year to alleviate the stress felt by students during the pandemic, such as the census date grace periods, the withdrawn late date extensions and ensuring assignment extensions are easier to access. Although this year has been tough, I am incredibly proud to be part of DUSA and I’m so glad I’ve have had the opportunity to help make a difference this year!
Your Student Association is here to help
DUSA is continuing to advocate on your behalf during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages you to get in touch for advice at any time.
- Take a look at some of DUSA’s online learning and mental health tips that may help you navigate our current circumstances.
- Seek help from a DUSA advocate if you need support or just a little friendly advice. You can make an appointment online.
- You can still be sociable while we’re physically distancing. If you’re looking to make like-minded friends, join one of DUSA’s clubs – there’s plenty to choose from!
- Learn a new skill! DUSA is offering a range of fun online events and short courses throughout the year.
Mental health support is available
Please reach out for help if you need support for your mental health or would like to talk to someone.
- Deakin’s Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) service can provide you with confidential support via real-time telehealth appointments.
Visit our Ask Counselling blog to see what issues other students have been struggling with, and for advice from Deakin counsellors.
- You can also seek confidential help externally by calling Lifeline (13 11 14) at any time – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week on any day of the year.
Find out more about how you can access a range of support services, both here at Deakin and in the community.