Vice President’s Report – Week 4, Sem 2, 2019

Hello to Satellite Campuses!

In weeks 4 and 5, we will join our caseworkers to visit Mallet Street and Cumberland. We are promoting the SRC’s Textbook Subsidy Program. If you’re an undergraduate student in need, apply for the Textbook Subsidy Program at www.surveymonkey.com/r/srctextbooksubsidy. Or for more information, go to www.srcusyd.net.au/textbooksubsidy.

SSAF

The University has changed the way that your student organisations get their SSAF allocation each year. Each year, the newly elected SRC would make a submission for funding in January, with allocations sorted around July. Under the new system, the outgoing SRC will make a submission in October with allocations decided in February for the incoming SRC. This can benefit student representatives, allowing them to plan in semester 1 with a budget. However, it means that the 91st SRC will be submitting TWO applications!

Committees

We have been busy bringing student voices to the University’s decision-making committees. We spoke at the Student Consultative Committee about contract cheating and raised the timeliness of appeals at the Student Appeals Body. We enquired at the WHS Committee about the WHS module completion rate of the University’s employees. We asked about the University’s student experience plan in the Education and Research Education Committees. And we will continue bringing a student voice to all decisions of the University.
Here’s Why Student Housing Isn’t Affordable

Let’s assume a student is over 18, have no children and live in a share house. Their maximum Youth Allowance would be $455.20 per fortnight and Rent Assistance would be $91.47 per fortnight.

Now, a person experiences ‘housing stress’ if they are paying 30+% of income in housing. So at the maximum rate, students should not be paying more than (30% x $455.20) + (100% x $91.47) = $228.03 per fortnight. That’s $114.02 per week on housing.

BUT the University’s Regiment Building charges $348 per week and the Queen Mary charges $328 per week. Even with the very small amount of scholarships through UAC, half price rent comes at $174 and $164. So how can we expect students living on Centrelink payments to afford housing?

We thank Mel de Silva for sharing her insights into this issue. If you need help with student housing, please contact our professional caseworkers at help@src.usyd.edu.au.