Dane Luo and Caitlyn Chu
Semester 1 is quickly coming to an end and that means we are about to mark 50% of the way through our term as your Vice Presidents. But don’t worry, we’re not dropping out of the radar and we have exciting plans for semester 2 that we can’t wait to share with you. For now though, we are drowning in assessment tasks, final exams and admin work.
Vice President Consultation
The Vice President consultation drop-in times are every Thursday 11am to 1pm in the SRC offices. Come and have a chat! For satellite campuses, email us at email@example.com.
Improving Access for Students to Textbooks and Course Reader
Many students face many challenges moving to University. This is particularly the case for students with low socio-economic backgrounds. Universities Australia published the 2017 Student Finances Survey noting that 1 in 7 University students regularly go without food. One of these areas of concern is the perceived need to purchase textbooks or course readers to do well in courses.
s a result of lobbying from us, SUPRA, some faculties and others through the Student Life and Education Committees, from 2020, the use of eReserve for all first-year units will become part of the minimum standard for LMS sites for UOS coordinators. This will cover digital textbooks and course readers and will be organised using a week-by-week (or by lecture) format. Whilst we are delighted with this first step but we will continue to push to expand this beyond first year units and continue pushing reforms to make all learning materials more accessible including for students with a disability.
Know your Student Rights – Centrelink Advance Payments
Did you know that if you’re on a Centrelink payment (such as Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY, Austudy or Newstart Allowance), you may also be able to apply for an ‘advance payment’?
To do this, you need to fill out an application form.
For ABSTUDY, Austudy, Newstart Allowance, or Youth Allowance, the lowest advance you can get is $250 and the highest advance you can get is $500. Repayments to the advance are taken out of your Centrelink payments over 13 fortnights.
There is also Centrepay, which is a free voluntary bill paying service available to people on Centrelink. You can nominate an amount to be deducted automatically from your fortnightly payment, which is automatically sent to your biller. This means you’re paying your bills in advance as you go (think: set and forget) so you don’t have to pay a lump sum when the bill comes through at the end of the billing period. This could spare you any ‘bill shock’ and give you more control of your spending. But if your Centrelink payment is reduced because of your income, you should check your payments.
If you’re not on a Centrelink payment and would like to do a similar payment on your bills, contact your bank to see what automatic direct debits you can set up.