There’s a lot do in your first few weeks at uni, before your classes even begin. But starting out at RMIT doesn’t have to be daunting, even if it feels like a very steep learning curve at first. And the sooner you get across all of the important admin stuff you need to do, the sooner you can start to enjoy yourself as you embark on your new RMIT adventure. So let’s go!
Hello! I’m Akshay.
I'm an international student here at RMIT, studying social work, and I’m the President of RUSU, your RMIT University Student Union.
Welcome to a new year at RMIT! For those of you returning, welcome back. And a very special welcome to you if this is your first semester at RMIT.
For those who don’t know, RUSU is the only 100% independent body at RMIT. RUSU is run for students, by students, and is here to ensure that your university experience extends beyond lectures and assignments! RUSU is your voice, and your advocate, within RMIT and the wider community – we are here for you when you need us!
2021 is set to be a big year at RMIT, with COVID-19 restrictions easing, and students gradually returning to campus. But we also know some students are currently overseas or interstate, and we want you to know RUSU is here for you too. Whether you’re overseas or in Australia, RUSU has a bunch of services that can help you make friends and enjoy uni life beyond study.
We’ve got over 100 RUSU clubs and many departments departments running activities, both online and in-person. Our volunteer program is about to kick-start again - that’s a great way to connect with people and build skills. Then there’s our student magazine, Catalyst. If you’re a creative type, maybe you want to submit some of your work for publication! The RUSU Student Rights team can help if you’re having issues with RMIT, and our Compass Coordinators are here for you if you are struggling and need to talk it through and find support.
My one piece of advice to you is this: university isn’t just an education – it’s an experience, so make the most of it. Sign up to whatever you can, whether it’s online or in-person and just try things out! I also recommending looking at ‘How2RMIT’ which is RMIT’s main orientation module for new students and explains a bunch of RMIT processes and services.
As for RUSU, we’re run for students, by students. We’re here for you when times get tough in both life and study. RUSU is your voice, support, and representation at RMIT. We ensure you get a fair go at uni by working to improve university rules and policy, representing you to RMIT and the community, and standing up for your rights as a student. Our voice is more powerful with more members, so I hope you will consider joining RUSU as a financial member.
I hope this orientation guide gives you all of the information you need to get started at RMIT University, and I hope to connect with you during the year. Look out for the purple signs, and pop by to say Hello – at RUSU, we’re always happy to see you!
Best wishes for your first year at RMIT!
Akshay Jose – President, RUSU
How2RMIT are interactive online sessions where current RMIT students show you everything you need to know to get started at RMIT. From ordering your student card to paying your fees, setting up your timetable and even getting involved in student life on campus – How2RMIT is a must attend for all new students. They'll also show you around campus so you know where everything is! Book your session NOW!
Believe it or not, before the internet was invented, new students had to trudge around campus on foot, invariably getting lost, while trying to find out where to enrol, when to arrange their timetable and how to join their union. They’d fill out copious forms by hand (with a pen!), and queue for hours with no smart phone to keep them entertained. #tbnt
Happily, those days are long gone. Now, you can do pretty much all of your uni prep from the comfort of your own sofa. So put your slippers on, log into your wifi and get to work! Simply open up your new students guide on the RMIT website, and read your way through each section to learn what you need to do:
There is so much you need to know when first starting out. From one student to another, take a look at out handy guide to the extra important bits you need to remember when first starting out...
Make sure you are across all of the important dates for your course. RMIT keeps up-to-date calendars online for every study stream.
But what do these dates mean? And what the hell is a census date, anyway? Gain understanding of what the most important dates at RMIT really mean, by reading our handy guide.
Sometimes, study doesn’t go the way you planned, and when it all gets on top, it can be difficult to keep up with your coursework. There might be other factors in your life that make it impossible to focus on your studies, or you might simply feel overwhelmed due to the volume of work you have to contend with. If this happens to you, be strong, be proactive, and take control of the problem, before it controls you.
The absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to seek help as early as possible.
Remember, no one wants you to fail. There are many support services available at RMIT to get you back on track, and the people here want to help you succeed.
As an RMIT University student you have certain rights and responsibilities, including being responsible for your own academic progress. Responsibility for academic progress includes maintaining your academic integrity.
Academic progress is the way the University supports students who are not making satisfactory progress towards completing their program. For further information on Academic Progress, search RMIT Academic Progress.
If you’re finding it hard to keep up with your studies, there's help available.
If you’re worried about your results and academic progress, we recommend first talking to staff in your school or college.
RMIT provides one-on-one study support for coursework and assessments, as well as workshops in academic writing, study skills, English language development, maths, physics and chemistry. Counselling, financial advice and support for people with a disability, long-term illness and/or mental health condition is also available.
The RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) can provide advice and help you prepare a submission document if you are asked to show cause submission, wish to make an appeal against your assessment, or need to appeal an exclusion decision. Act quickly and be decisive to ensure a positive outcome. See the section below for further information.
RUSU’s Student Rights Service helps students understand the Policies and Procedures that affect them at RMIT. It helps students to be assertive and respectful about seeking outcomes through interactions with RMIT staff, and when necessary advocate on their behalf to the university.
The student rights service works with students who need help with academic issues, or problems with RMIT’s processes or procedures.
RUSU student rights service is staffed by experienced professionals (Student Rights Officers), and it is completely confidential and independent from RMIT University.
If you believe that you have been treated unfairly or need advice about issues like Assessment appeals, special consideration, plagiarism, complaints, academic progress, remission of debt in special circumstances etc., you should book an appointment to see one of our student rights officers.
Our Student Rights Officers can provide independent advice about issues you are facing at RMIT, and can also represent students at hearings. This service is free for RMIT students.
You can book an appointment by either calling us on 9925 5004 or by sending us an email to email@example.com
Have you heard about RMIT Creds? RMIT Creds are free micro courses on a whole range of subjects, that allow you to quickly develop skills to help increase your employability, career outcomes and life skills. You can choose from popular subjects like digital literacy, leadership, sustainability, innovation, collaboration, and communication. On completion of your cred, you can download a verifiable digital badge to display on your Linked In profile, to show off to prospective employers.
RMIT encourages ALL students to complete the Indigenous Orientation Womin Djeka micro cred and the Consent Conversations micro cred now, to help increase your understanding of the culture of respect we foster here at RMIT (see RMIT Core Values, below).
The Indigenous Orientation micro Cred offers guidance on how to recognise and respect the living history and culture of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Consent Conversations micro credit is a digital credential outlining appropriate and respectful behaviour, what constitutes sexual consent, and how to intervene safely in difficult situations.
Disclaimer: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following article contains mentions of historical injustices and trauma.
When you first get acquainted with RMIT at orientation, meetings, classes or events, you will hear the term 'Womin Djeka' (meaning 'Welcome'…Come with Purpose). You might also hear the term 'Acknowledgement of Country', and you may have noticed that at RMIT, we raise three flags (the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags). This is all part of RMIT’s journey to recognise and respect the unique culture and contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to our communities.
Australia’s First Nations, meaning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, are the oldest living continuous culture on earth. For more than 75,000 years, First Nations people have had a very close connection with the land, the water and with each other. This level of connection and understanding can benefit all of us, and help us to create a future of togetherness and mutual understanding.
In recent history in Australia, there has been a dark time, when colonisation impacted many Indigenous people and families. There was, and still is, trauma caused by colonisation. In 2008, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shared that “If we truly want to move forward together, and be part of a better country, it’s essential that we openly acknowledge our history and validate the pain it’s caused.”
At RMIT, we can all do our part to celebrate the beautiful culture of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Here’s some tips to get you started.
The terms Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander refer to different groups of peoples. Aboriginal refers to the original peoples of mainland Australia. Torres Strait Islander refers to the original peoples of the 274 islands located north of Australia, in the Torres Strait. When referring to either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, however, it's important to include the word People at the end, as in isolation the terms could be considered adjectives, and not humanised.
Indigenous in the dictionary means 'belonging or occurring naturally in a particular place’. It has become a popularised term to use when referring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The term First Nations People can also be used in place of the word Indigenous.
The language groups of the peoples of the Kulin Nation, which is the land where RMIT conducts it's business. Sovereignity of these lands was never ceded.
This is just the beginning. We encourage you to take the Indigenous Orientation micro cred (see above, under the Academic Matters section, for more information on RMIT Creds). We encourage you to start your own journey. Find out more about Indigenous culture and heritage at RMIT by visiting the RMIT website:
Find out more about significant Indigenous cultural sites at RMIT:
The RUSU Indigenous Department was established in 2018, and aims to provide First Nation students a safe and wonderful University experience, and to promote self education about First Nations People amongst non-Indigenous people. Pop past and visit us some time, or come to one of our events, such as our Indigenous Culture Chill N Grill, which is always a blast. RUSU's elected Indigenous Officer for 2021 is Kimmie Lovegrove.
We're a diverse community here at RMIT, and that's something to celebrate! Every single person in our community has the right to go about their day, feeling safe and secure, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or anything else.
The RUSU Queer Department exists to represent, advocate for, and empower RMIT students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, and those who are curious about or questioning their sexuality. We also run the Queer Lounges across campuses which are safe spaces where queer students can be themselves without being judged.
Harassment of any kind is unacceptable on campus. This includes homophobic bullying, name-calling, or any other behaviour that makes you feel unsafe. RMIT has clear policies against such behaviour. If this is happening to you, contact the Queer Officers or a Students Rights Officer.
Follow us to stay connected with what's going on, find out about events and connect with other Collective members. We also have a Facebook group that is private and confidential, which means posts or activities will not show up on your profile. Your elected RUSU Queer Officers for 2021 are Matte Howard and Angelique Moloney-Ray.
The RUSU Women's Department exists to to promote the welfare of women, and to fight for social, political and economic equality for women. Our aim is to work with women and allies everywhere to overcome gendered powered structures and combat institutionalised privileges that still exist in university and the community at large. We also run the Women's Lounges across campuses which are safe spaces where female-identifying students can be themselves without being judged.
Harassment of any kind is unacceptable on campus. This includes sexist bullying, name-calling, or any other behaviour that makes you feel unsafe. RMIT has clear policies against such behaviour. If this is happening to you, contact the Women's Officer or a Students Rights Officer.
Follow us to stay connected with what's going on, find out about events and connect with other Collective members. We also have a Facebook group that is private and confidential. Your elected RUSU Women's Officer for 2021 is Harsheet Chhabra.
RMIT's Chaplains are trained multi-faith spiritual advisers who provide support to students and staff of all faiths and none. If you are struggling with life events, studies, unexpected losses and conflicts, relationships or if you just have something on your mind that you need to talk through, the chaplaincy are here fr you. Conversations with a Chaplain are confidential and open to all RMIT students and staff - you do not need to be someone of faith to talk to a Chaplain.
RMIT is committed to supporting the religious practices of staff and students from a diverse range of faiths. Prayer rooms are available on every campus.
No one should have to live in fear of sexual harassment or sexual harm, and it's up to all of us to change the culture that leads to sexual harm. A staggering 1 in 5 students reported being sexually harassed in a university setting in 2016. That's according to a 2017 report from the Australian Human Rights Commission. Ans it's a statistic that is wholly unacceptable.
RMIT Safer Community provides confidential support to RMIT students who have experienced threatening or concerning behaviour, including sexual harm. Specialist staff are available to speak with students about their rights and the options available. The team is also able to connect students with key support services at RMIT and in the community. Safer community can be contacted via phone or email:
Please note that Safer Community is not an emergency service. If you or others feel at risk or consider the situation to be an emergency, call emergency services via 000. If you are on campus, you can also alert campus safety and security on 9925 3333.
In response to the facts outlined in The Australian Human Rights Commission report, RMIT implemented the Changing the course campaign in 2017 - a three year framework, designed to build a community at RMIT where every student and staff member is not only safe, but respected, valued and treated as an equal.
As part of the RMIT community, we each have a responsibility to uphold these values to ensure our community stays strong together, and to create a community where:
Be the change is an RMIT campaign that encourages everyone in the community to actively effect change by putting an end to the culture of everyday sexism. This includes:
In short, don't be a dickhead. Respect others. And if you see something, say something, because we are all in this together.
It can be difficult to call out other people's inappropriate behaviour, and it's normal to feel nervous about doing so. You may worry if you’re doing the right thing or what the reaction might be, whether the people involved are complete strangers or close friends. But we also know that doing nothing causes harm in the long term.
Speaking up doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it doesn’t have to end in an argument or fight. Even if you aren’t sure whether or not someone is being sexist or inappropriate or just a bit careless, there are things you can do to encourage those around you to rethink their behaviour and comments. After all, if something seems a little off to you, chances are others are feeling the same way.
RMIT Security is the safety and security service for the University’s City, Bundoora and Brunswick campuses. RMIT Security are available 24/7. If there's an emergency situation on campus, security staff are available to respond immediately. In the event of an emergency:
RMIT Security is also the contact point for after-hours building access, lost property, and lost or stolen student cards.
To help you feel safe on campus, download SafeZone, a free app which is available for any smartphone. This app enables you to connect instantly to Campus Security, First Aid, or Emergency support if you need it. RMIT encourages ALL students to ensure they download SafeZone.
Occupational health and safety (OH&S) is about creating a safe environment for everyone on campus, and we all have a responsibility to report accidents and potential safety concerns. Some important tips:
There are a number of steps that all students and staff need to comply with before they are allowed to attend campus. Please make sure you understand every step, to ensure your safety and the safety of others. If you are feeling sick, do not come to campus. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, seek medical help.
Before you attend campus, make sure you have completed the following steps:
Once you arrive at any RMIT campus, you must:
Note: Any information collected by RMIT for Covid safety is confidential, can only be used for Covid safety, and cannot be used for any other purposes.
Look, it's important to understand that Melbourne is a pretty safe place to live, work and study. But, just like anywhere, problems can and do happen. Make sure they don’t happen to you, by thinking, planning, getting help from friends, and being smart.
Personal safety has many different facets, and any time that you expose yourself to risks, you should first think about the safety aspects. Areas where safety could be an issue include:
For more comprehensive information on any of the following, you can check out the link from Study Melbourne below.