Charles Sturt University staff and students expressed their relief that “common sense” had finally kicked in after the wiping of the proposed name change.
Wagga’s Student Representative Council president Steven Seabrook said it was “great” that the university had listened to the concerns raised by students.
“They had some fiery backlash from students about the possible name change and personally, I’m happy that they’ve chosen to keep it,” Mr Seabrook said.
“We had some seminars and some positive feedback about the university strategy and people were quite boisterous about voicing their opinions on the name change but is was quite respectful and offered some constructive feedback.”
The 23-year-old said it was unfortunate that the University Strategy 2020 was overshadowed by the proposed name change.
“I think the strategy is such a good step forward and it’s awesome; I was just a bit disappointed that the name change got caught up with the overall strategy,” he said.
“I think a bulk of the money needs to be spent on supporting the students and expanding the current great services at the university.
“For example, expanding on general facilities like classroom and teaching spaces, access to students services, like counselling services and careers development and more information about health to students.”
“I look forward to moving forward as CSU under a united front.”CSU Wagga student Matthew Mannes
A current staff member at the Wagga CSU campus said it has been a great result for alumni, current students and staff as well as the whole community.
“I think commonsense has prevailed and I think they probably had no choice but to listen to the will of the people,” said Kym Witney-Soanes, sustainability project officer.
“I think the re-branding project will continue but the main point of keeping the name has been the backbone of it.
“It’s really positive, they have listened to the feedback and everybody should take heart that there is emotional connection to tertiary institutions.”
As part of CSU Green, Ms Witney-Soanes said she hopes the university will be conscious of minimising their waste as they move forward with the strategy.
“As Australia’s first carbon neutral university this really had the potential to undermine our reputation in Australia-Asia and I hope they are mininmising wasted resources in the brand transformation process,” she said.
“I think the priority should be investing in good teaching and academic staff and building their capacity and investing in our research.
“When we do what we do to the best of our ability, that is what will attract student numbers.”
Ms Witney-Soanes said CSU provides an “authentic rural Australian experience” which should be seen as something “really attractive” and thus should be at the forefront of the university’s campaign.
“If we have academics at the best of their potential, then they will be passionate teachers and people will choose CSU and want to be here,” she said.
“There’s so many positives about being a regional tertiary institution and it’s a lot cheaper than in capital cities.”
CSU student Matthew Mannes said he was “relieved” to hear the news this morning.
“I am very please the university took into consideration the feedback of the CSU community and interested stakeholders,” he said.
“I look forward to the upcoming developments of our university, while maintaining our positive reputation for graduate employment, as well as respecting the years of tradition and moving forward as CSU under a united front.”
Mr Mannes said he hopes the funds allocated for the name change will now be spent on improving facilities and support services.
“Improving internal subject enrollment availability across campuses as well as allocating funds towards marketing and advertising for new students,” he said.
CSU vice-chancellor Andrew Vann said the response have been “pretty positive” since news broke out of not going ahead with a name change.
“We’ve seen in the Facebook comments that it’s positive, with one or two saying they liked Sturt University, but as far as we can make out it seems to be a pretty positive reaction,” Professor Vann said.
Professor Vann said the point of the consultations was to see whether the university actually had a choice in changing their name.
“Very plainly, a lot of stakeholders were unhappy with the proposed name change and that showed their dedication to the university,” he said.
“This is a tool we used to tell our story and if it’s not accepted by the community, it’s not a good thing.”
The university is now moving forward with changes to their visual identity and logo, however Professor Vann kept tight-lipped about their ideas.
“We’ll have more to say on that in the next couple of months but we’re looking forward to getting onto the next stage,” he said.