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SRC Report

Debate spoke to a handful of AUTSA student reps (SRC) to find out what they've been up to.

Divya Kataria

International Officer

What are the three biggest challenges faced by international students at AUT?

1) Cultural Shock - the inability to connect with the community.

2) Financial Crunch - international students have a very tight budget and this can lead to financial problems. There is not enough information provided to them prior to their arrival in Auckland. 3) Different study patterns compared to their home country - hard to adjust to the NZ education system.

How are you working to combat these?

I am working closely with Student Hub to come up with new ideas and ways to educate international students prior to their arrival in NZ. We are also thinking of coming up with a buddy system to encourage current international students to help guide new students with their arrival in NZ. For getting accustomed to the study pattern, I think AUT library's APA referencing is very useful and we would like to try to raise more awareness of this among current and new international students.

What do you want to change for AUT’s international students overall?

I want them to be more involved in the community as they need to understand that they are in New Zealand not just to secure a job but to travel and experience the culture. I also envision them being more social and to overcome their anxiety and low confidence. I believe that all these issues come to the main core of not being able to integrate in the community which leaves them feeling lonely and depressed. I want them to have an amazing Kiwi experience.

Contact Divya at


Vaanipriya Diwan

Design and Creative Technologies Representative

What are the three biggest challenges faced by students in the DCT faculty?

1) Mental health and stress related problems. 2) Difficult assignments and deadlines.

3) A lack of communication between the students and lecturers.

How are you working to combat these?

I am currently working with the faculty board members, as well as the Learning and Teaching Committee, to sort through the issues with student assignments and to bridge the gap between students and lecturers. Mental health and stress related problems are very important to address and recognise, which is why we're working towards providing more councillors and immediate professional help to students when they require it.

What do you want to change overall for AUT’s DCT students?

The DCT Faculty is quite big and covers four schools of the University. It is a bit difficult for me to be across all the issues that the students are facing because some students are unaware of the SRC. So, I would like to really promote the Student Rep Council and let the students of the faculty know that I'm here for them, to help them, and solve any problems they're facing. I would also like to bring the students together from different schools for fun and relaxing events, to create an involving and understanding environment. We are all in this together.

Contact Vaanipriya at


Kelsey Cornthwaite

North Campus Representative

What are the three biggest challenges faced by North campus students at present?

1) One of the biggest challenges is the lack of space to hang out with friends and to relax at the North campus. There are also few activities on campus.

2) There is a lack of food choices on North campus, and food options are expensive.

3) Not enough parking spaces and current parking is expensive.

How are you working to combat these?

AUTSA run events have and will be increasing at the North campus. I also want to utilise the spaces we currently have in order to get the best out of them. I’m currently trying to get feedback from students about the types of food they would like to see at the campus. I’m also trying to educate and motivate students to use public transport and the AUT shuttle buses as an alternative to driving.

What do you want to change overall for AUT North campus students overall?

I want to make sure that the North campus is more vibrant, more engaging and also gives students a sense of belonging and community on campus. As the North campus rep I want to be out there and active within our campus to let students know that I am here to support anyone that needs it. I am here to listen.

Contact Kelsey at


Sneha Patil

Postgraduate Officer

What are the three biggest challenges faced by AUT postgraduate students?

1) Finding it hard to keep the balance between academic and personal life. Most of the postgrads have said that it’s very difficult for them to keep up with the load of assignments along with having part time jobs.

2) They have lots of queries about careers and they often struggle to seek the correct guidance. 3) Some of the postgrads think that there is not enough information or guidance around how to prepare for their research/ dissertation/thesis.

How are you working to combat these?

I am making sure that I am always in touch with postgraduate students. I have circulated my official email around so they have direct access to contact me.

I am planning to organise an event for postgraduate students at least once a month so that all of us can come together and talk about any issues we’re facing. I would also like to invite experts from AUT to these events so that they can guide postgraduate students. I will also be making a Facebook page specifically for postgraduate students where I can post about events, workshops and careers fairs and keep everyone up to date.

Contact Sneha at


Ben Lambourne

Culture and Society Representative

What are the three biggest challenges faced by students in the Culture and Society Faculty?

1) A lack of engagement with the SRC in the first place.

2) An unclear channel of who to go to for support for different personal or academic issues. 3) Many of the career paths within this faculty require more than just grades (soft skills, co-curricular activities, leadership roles, etc) which aren't all provided in the classroom.

How are you working to combat these? I am going to different lectures within my faculty frequently to help spread awareness of the SRC. I will also be advertising events through the faculty registrars where possible for increased outreach to students. Trying to present myself as a 'first point of contact' for students so that even if I can't necessarily help them myself, I will know who to direct the student towards. I'm planning on making a student representative sub-committee within the faculty that is open to any student to apply for, which will be great to develop students' leadership skills and help to make positive changes within our faculty. (If anyone is interested, then get in touch.)

What do you want to change overall for AUT’s culture and society students? Overall increased engagement for students, both with the faculty and with their

own careers. Opportunities are there but students just need to be more aware!

Contact Ben at

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