An incoming Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association (WUSA) general representative has dismissed calls from his Labor and socialist counterparts to fund the student union with the university amenities fees.
Kyle Douglas said a proposal by incoming President Alec Hall for the union to take up to two per cent of the Student Service and Amenities Fee (SSAF) reveals a misunderstanding of the funding progress.
“That’s not how the funding of SSAF works. It needs to be a project-based application for funding,” Mr Douglas said.
“We have to say what we’re using the funds for. If WUSA is just going to say ‘we want one or two per cent of the total SSAF funding then that’s just incompatible with the current system.”
SSAF is a federally mandated university fee used to fund non-academic services.
Mr Douglas also rejected a suggestion from incoming environment officer Darcy Turner that WUSA should receive 100 per cent of the $6 million SSAF pool.
“I just find this quite unbelievable,” Mr Douglas said.
“(I don’t think) a bunch of undergraduate students, unprofessionals, would be able to manage $6 million dollars’ worth of funding.
“WUSA is a capable body, but that kind of funding is better left in the hands of professionals who have been providing excellent services at the university for years.”
Mr Douglas will sit on the 2020 WUSA council dominated by broad-left coalition Student Action. His ticket, the Liberal-led YES! For WUSA, secured two of 16 seats this student election.
“We’ll still be able to keep the association on track to make sure it actually delivers for students and reflects what student interests are,” Mr Douglas said.
“We’ll be able to keep the council in check as much as we can.
“You always need a healthy opposition there, that will provide different opinions and be able to criticise.”