Nina Dillon-Britton and Yuxuan Yang
Last week, the SRC submitted its final submission for SSAF funding. If that sentence doesn’t mean anything to you, let me explain. The SRC as well as other student organisations on campus like the USU (which runs clubs and societies), SUPRA (which is the postgraduate student representative organisation) and SUSF (which does sport and fitness?? I guess) is funded by the University. Students pay for that indirectly through your Student Services and Amenities Fee, which is about $150 each semester.
That money is crucial for everything the SRC does: like printing this paper, providing the largest legal and casework service at Sydney University (for free!!) and launching campaigns that fight for student interests.
Amongst other things we’ve asked the uni for funding for this year is an additional research officer to help us understand student problems and create solutions for them; more outreach events so students know about services available to them and an increase the amount student office bearers (including the editors of this rag) are paid so they are more in line with how much the office bearers of other organisations are paid and they can do their jobs without as much financial strain.
The SRC’s services are vital to creating a vibrant student life, by providing a safety to students in trouble, letting students be informed about what is happening at uni (again, here in Honi) and by fighting back when the government or the uni tries to fuck you over.
It’s very easy to be cynical about student-led organisations. But they’re student-led for a reason: no one represents student interests like students. The government and the university pump money out of students in every way they can by making it harder for you to graduate, charge exorbitant fees to international students and cutting funding to your degree.
Moves by other student organisations to let the university run them need to be opposed because it’s just another way for the university to silence opposition when they make decisions that fuck over students. Student unions need to stay in student hands.