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Abolish the University of Sydney (USyd) Colleges- students need safe and public housing!

“Abolish the Colleges”- a feminist call for housing justice: USyd SRC and their successive Women’s officers and collectives have called on many previous NSW Governments and Federal Governments to take the actions highlighted in this proposal. The ongoing call to abolish the USyd Residential Colleges has been a historic feminist call for justice that cannot wait.

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Motion to Council 95th SRC August Council

“Abolish the Colleges”- a feminist call for housing justice: USyd SRC and their successive Women’s officers and collectives have called on many previous NSW Governments and Federal Governments to take the actions highlighted in this proposal. The ongoing call to abolish the USyd Residential Colleges has been a historic feminist call for justice that cannot wait.

USyd Residential Colleges are expensive: The costs associated with living in a Residential College typically include accommodation fees, which cover room rental, utilities, meals (in some cases), and access to college facilities and support services. These fees can range from at a minimum AUD 14,000, but usually closer to AUD 30,000 or more per year, depending on factors such as the type of room (single or shared), college location, and additional amenities provided.

Cost of living: University students typically have limited financial resources and often rely on part- time jobs, scholarships, or financial aid to cover their expenses. With HECS indexation rising for students and young graduates at a higher rate than their wages are, and very little in the way of welfare support - students need change now to ease financial pressures. The high cost of housing, particularly in major cities like Sydney where Universities are located, can pose a significant burden on students' budgets. Affordable housing options can alleviate financial stress and allow students to focus on their education.

Well-being and academic performance: Affordable housing contributes to students' overall well- being and can positively impact their academic performance. When students have access to safe, affordable, and suitable housing, they can focus on their studies without the added stress of financial instability or substandard living conditions. Adequate housing promotes an environment conducive to learning and supports students' mental and physical health.

Socioeconomic disparities: The cost of living in a residential college perpetuates socioeconomic disparities among students. The NSW Young Liberals establishment in the USyd Residential Colleges is just one example of the elitism that can and will be killed with the Usyd Colleges. The USyd Residential Colleges exclude those who come from lower-income backgrounds, gatekeeping access to the advantages and opportunities provided in the elite echelons of the Colleges — recreating generations of networks for conservatives and the rich.

Inclusivity and diversity: Affordable housing options play a crucial role in fostering diversity and inclusivity within universities. It enables students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to access higher education, promoting equal opportunities for all. By providing affordable housing, universities can attract a more diverse student population (including more options for regional students, First Nations’ students, Low SES students and International students), which enriches the campus community and promotes cross-cultural understanding. Instead of concentrating resources and students in isolated communities, a more inclusive model could involve integrating students into diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods, fostering a stronger sense of community and connection with the broader university environment. This can best be done with a public housing model or a co-op housing model.

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