College Culture, Student Welfare, Wellbeing and Support
One of the many advantages of residing at St Mark’s College is access to a support network which can help with any issue that may arise during your university years. Recognising that our members come from varied backgrounds, the support networks available at the College are in place to ensure that orientation and transition to the College, university life and Adelaide are stress-free.
The Dean’s role is to foster an environment conducive to academic excellence, pastoral care and wellbeing and to help build a sense of community spirit at the College. In addition to a disciplinary function, the Dean’s key role is to provide a listening ear about any issue, assist students with their study/work/life balance, support them to manage stress and anxiety and facilitate any counselling, either through the university or a private local psychologist.
The Chaplain has a particular responsibility for the spiritual underpinnings of the College. This includes the conduct of the Commencement, Founders’ Day and Final Services and regular Morning Prayer meetings in the Chapel, but also more generally, praying for the life of the College and for its staff and students and being available for advice and counselling of a personal and/or spiritual nature.
The Dean’s Leadership Team
The Dean’s Leadership Team comprises the Assistant Deans, Senior Academic Tutors and Gender Equity, Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer who are all committed to providing a high level of pastoral and academic support to members of the College.
The Assistant Deans assist students in various ways when needed, encourage behaviour consistent with the College Code of Conduct and liaise between the College staff and students. They maintain an open door policy for all students.
The Gender, Equity, Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer provides an additional option for students who are going through a difficult time and need someone to talk to. The GEWI works closely with the Dean and also with the College Club’s Equity Officers to ensure social inclusion, and leads wellbeing initiatives, and mental, sexual and physical health and awareness activities, for the students.
Residential Advisors have the responsibility of providing care and assistance to students of the College, particularly in their first year. Their primary tasks are to be available to help other students in the proximity of their rooms and to see that behaviour is in accordance with the values of the College. They are a first point of contact for personal and academic problems and can advise students on the existing support structures within and external to the College.
The Director of Learning
The Director of Learning is responsible for ensuring high-level academic support for students through the College’s Academic Program, including academic tutorials, core skills training sessions and teaching support. The Director of Learning also facilitates outcomes for students in their transition from university to employment through the Professional Development Program, including professional skills training and the Career Mentor Program.
Senior Academic Tutors
In addition to being part of the Dean’s leadership team, the Senior Academic Tutors support the Director of Learning in helping ensure all students attain their academic goals. Their portfolio includes coordinating the tutorial program and ensuring all students are aware of and able to access the academic support at the College.
The Faculty Mentors support the Director of Learning in helping all students attain their academic goals and in driving academic peer support at the College. They are not tutors, but a point of contact for all students in the same or related degrees, and have a unique role in listening and being supportive to students within their broad Faculty Groups. Faculty Mentors help students find the right support.
Academic Tutors provide regular tutorials in accordance with the Tutorial Program to all students enrolled in subjects within their area of expertise and have a passion for learning and teaching, an interest in each student’s academic progress and a capacity to engage with students to express and further that interest.
Sexual harassment and assault:
St Mark’s does not tolerate any form of harassment, intimidation or violence, including sexual harassment and sexual assault.
These issues are not trivialised; they form part of an extensive educative process which is provided not just at the start of the year but which is embedded within our culture and values.
In addition, the College has clear Policies in place, provided to all students and staff, prohibiting any form of sexual harassment and assault, providing options and guidelines for reporting any sexual harassment or assault experienced or witnessed, and laying down procedures for how the College will respond. The priority of these Policies is the safety and wellbeing of anyone affected by harassment or assault.
The College has been proactive in seeking to ensure that the activities in College meet the standards and expectations of the wider community and are consistent with our values and purpose.
The College conducts a qualitative and quantitative survey and a Student Roundtable on college culture annually, the results of which are provided to the student leaders. Student responses and feedback drive the orientation week program to ensure that student views are listened to, respected and acted upon. Students are encouraged to ask questions and challenge popular culture, which can only affect positive change.
St Mark’s has strong female leadership both at staff and student level and high numbers of female students. This year, the College has 65% of students returning with a gender breakdown of 54% female and 46% male. Including the first-year students, our community is 58% female and 42% male. These statistics point to a culture of inclusion, warmth and respect.