The University of Wollongong (UOW) isn’t saying enough about how the multi-million dollar Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is being spent, a representative on Wollongong student union said.
Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association (WUSA) Secretary Imogen Draisma said UOW isn’t on par with level of reporting that campus clubs face.
“There is an increasingly high level of reporting that clubs have to do. There is stringent processes in place to ensure that funding is allocated appropriately,” Ms Draisma said.
“There is four reporting periods where you have to update UniClubs on where that money is going and how effectively it is being used, but there is no actual access to what determines the amount of funding that is allocated to each faculty and available to clubs.”
SSAF is a mandatory bi-annual student fee that funds non-academic activity, including sport and club projects.
Students can take part in an annual survey to nominate funding priorities, but Mrs Draisma said that isn’t enough.
“(We should know) how that decision is made, how much of the survey is included in that decision and how much is other factors,” Ms Draisma said.
The call follows the committee meeting in early March for Law, Humanities and Arts (LHA) faculty clubs, which revealed the LHA SSAF budget had been halved from $60,000 last year.
Ms Draisma, who is also an executive on the Wollongong University Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs Society, said she received little information during the meeting about the cut.
“It was mentioned in passing that the UniClubs member staff is limited in her capacity to participate in meetings about the funding,” she said.
A UOW spokesperson said university management consulted the student community on SSAF decisions.
“(SSAF) is distributed each year after an extensive application process and consultation with the student community by staff in UOW’s Student Services Division, who all work to identify the projects and services which are in greatest need and from which students will most benefit,” the spokesperson said.
“All successful projects are displayed on the University of Wollongong’s website, dating back to 2012, so all students are able to see where and how their SSAF funding is being directed for the calendar year.
“Any student body or organisation that applied for SSAF funding and was not successful is able to directly contact UOW’s the SSAF and Student Projects team on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
A breakdown of SSAF funding is available on the UOW website.