18 November 2009
The University of Sydney
Sydney NSW 2006
RE: Your inability to get your shit together
I am contacting you in reference to the recent years I have spent at this educational institution. I wish to point out a number of areas in which I think you could greatly improve the services you deliver to students who pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of this education, and as such have provided you with a brief outline of particular aspects in need of close attention.
Firstly, your administrative services: or should I say, non-services. I understand that admin functions have largely been outsourced to private firms. The consequences of doing so are only too apparent every single time a student such as myself is shunted from one faculty office to another, due to admin staff’s inability to start work before midday, or simply to even give a fuck. Working in administrative and client services myself for over a year has demonstrated to me the importance of working an eight hour work day and making sure customers feel that they have your full attention. Maybe admin staff at the university need a reminder that working in a university rather than a large corporation should not mean that they are permitted to work a pissy little five-hour workday, nor does it entitle them to carry on pointless conversations with fellow staff while students wait in line to submit or collect assignments. When considering the increasing amount of administrative work that is self-administered by students via the MyUni website, it is surprising that the admin staff feel secure enough about their jobs to continue engaging in such behaviour – perhaps now is the time to consider replacing them with computers altogether?
Another area of concern is the examination facilities and the conduct of exams in general at the university. A case in point is the recent second year personality psychology exam in which students were forced to sit the exam in a bug-infested engineering room. Attendees were informed that it was too late for pest-control to arrive, or for the examination to be moved to another room. I sincerely hope that since exam staff deemed it too ‘inconvenient’ to move to another room, that markers will not have any complaints over marking multiple choice papers in which the answers are unclear due to the insects’ blood spatters all over the page.
One aspect in which the university needs to take a good long look at its level of commitment to students is in the quality of tutorials. Your official website informs me that the standard ratio is one teacher to 16.5 students. I am going to call bullshit on this. I have never once experienced a tutorial that consisted of less than twenty students, many of whom frequently struggled to have a seat or have a say. Perhaps some of the huge amounts of money that the university takes off international students or from room hire could be channelled into hiring more staff, rather than overworking the existing academic staff or squeezing more students into existing classes.
Finally, the environment of the university is generally a pleasant one, apart from the menacing wildlife that are usually allowed to stalk the grounds with impunity. Recent evidence has shown that ibii birds, in particular, were behind the spread of avian flu, the global financial crisis, 9/11, and the NSW Labor Party. Please see “Ibii implicated in recent disasters.”
When you have fully considered the suggestions I have made here, I am confident that you will work to implement them in due season. In addition, I would appreciate the opportunity to expand on any of this information at an interview. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss these matters further.