Medical students are unhappy that the University is allowing non-medical students to book rooms in the Hunter Centre.
The University took over administration of the Hunter Centre from the Division of Health Sciences at the start of 2020. By bringing the Centre under the jurisdiction of the University, the rooms in the Hunter Centre can be booked as part of a wider pool that includes the Central Library, Health Sciences Library and other buildings in the University.
That means the clinical spaces unique to the Hunter Centre and designed for use by medical students can be booked by any student regardless of their degree.
“OUMSA as a student support organisation have found that this transition has caused several significant difficulties with our initiatives which focus on student welfare and education,” said OUMSA President Anu Kaw.
“I don’t understand why commerce students are taking over our building when they have their own,” said one medical student in the Hunter Centre. Another student said “I’m trying to learn my clinical skills but I can’t while other students are hogging all the rooms”.
Anu said that the changes also have an impact on OUMSA’s approach to welfare. “We try to promote healthy eating and collegiality by providing our students with fresh fruit and healthy snacks during stressful times of the year (such as examination periods), and also encouraging to bring home made snacks to share within their tutorial groups.” OUMSA has not been able to provide those services because the University does not allow consumption of food or drink in spaces within the University pool.
Anu said that there has not been any clear communication from the Hunter Centre administration or the University at any point in this process.
The University did not respond to Critic’s request for comment on the issue.