THE Monash University Gippsland Student Union has condemned the university’s decision to carry on with the exams on Tuesday despite widespread flooding, saying it failed in its “duty of care to students’ wellbeing”.
The floods had caused several road closures in the direction of the university’s Churchill campus which saw 29 students of 169 absent from their examinations in the morning session. Meanwhile, 33 of 174 students scheduled for the exam missed the afternoon session.
The decision to proceed with exams meant many students braved flood waters, MUGSU education vice-president Peter Russell said.
“By issuing a media alert on Tuesday morning, in which students were advised that exams will go ahead, Monash University potentially put students’ safety, their belongings and their mental well-being into an unnecessary level of risk,” Mr Russell said.
“The increased level of stress during exams plus the flooding leads us to believe that Monash has not given these students the best opportunity to accurately demonstrate their level of knowledge.”
In response to MUGSU’s statement, Monash University Gippsland director public affairs Tim Grainger said the safety and wellbeing of students was always the university’s first priority.
“At no point was any student placed under pressure to make an exam on time; the last thing we would want is for a student to risk their safety to attend an exam,” Mr Grainger said.
He said as at the end of 7 June, the campus had only received one complaint about its decision not to cancel or postpone exams.
Mr Grainger said the university remained open to feedback on the issue, which could be submitted to email@example.com