Student Rights Collective Report – February 2024

We are focused on campaigning to proactively take actions towards ending student poverty.

by JERYN CHANG & JORDY DUFFEY, Vice Presidents (UQU Student Rights) – [email protected]

As we enter 2024, the cost of living crisis continues to be an unrelenting force. Students are one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to worsening living pressures. They rely on cheap groceries and rent, public transport concessions, and Centrelink support to live and study. Students are living day-to-day: with many that skip meals to save money and many that are homeless.

As a priority, the UQU Student Rights department will be working this year to ensure that students across all campuses are supported during this tough time, and to also advocate and fight the University and the Government for systematic changes that would alleviate the pressures that students are facing right now. 

Welfare.

The UQU Food Co-op and Op Shop are open for business! In partnership with SecondBite and Foodbank, Food Co-op provides students with free and discounted groceries. Op Shop is selling preloved clothes, accessories, books, and more, where students can find cheaper alternatives. Both outlets are open from 10am to 3pm every weekday at the UQ Union Complex, St Lucia. Come meet our staff and say hi! 

In the background, we have also been working with UQ Union staff members to revamp and expand the Morning Marmalade and Kampus Kitchen menus. In addition, we are working to ensure allergen information is made available to students so that students with dietary requirements can stay informed. 

Both Morning Marmalade and Kampus Kitchen are operating weekdaily at St Lucia from 8am-9.30am and 5pm-6pm, respectively. Morning Marmalade is also running at Gatton on Wednesdays 7.30-8.30am; and Kampus Kitchen runs at Herston on Thursdays 4.30pm-5.30pm. 

These welfare programs are very popular, so be sure to come by early so you do not miss out! 

Students who are on placement are at greater risk of poverty. Most students who are on placement are unpaid, and the location of placement and living situation impacts their ability to get a part-time job. This is an issue that can impact students’ wellbeing, academic performance, and outlook.  

This year, we are expanding placement bursaries so that more students are supported for their daily living expenses and additional placement costs. It is unacceptable for students to live in poverty, and this bursary is designed to assist students where they most need it. 

Placement bursary applications are open now until Monday 11 March.  

Advocacy.

Our End Student Poverty Campaign has launched! As mentioned, the cost of living and housing crisis are all issues that we are focused on addressing throughout the year. We believe no student should be left behind as they study and that there needs to be more done to ensure that students’ welfare and wellbeing are a priority, and that students are provided with the support they need whilst studying.

That is why we are focused on campaigning both the University and the Government (in particular) to proactively take actions towards ending student poverty. We want to ensure that more action is taken to address the ongoing issues impacting students and their welfare and wellbeing.

Throughout the last few months, we have been engaging with Frankie, who is the National Union of Students (NUS) Campaigns Officer to see how UQU can be involved more broadly with their End Student Poverty Campaign. This has included attending several briefing meetings, engaging with other student representatives around the country, and having meetings to discuss more about actions that UQU can take as part of this campaign.

The campaign is focused on changing the age of independence from accessing Centrelink from 22 to 18 and increasing the rate of Federal Government student income support payments to at least above the poverty line, abolishing unpaid placements and advocating for paid placements, calling for accessible, safe, and affordable housing, and advocating for concessions for all students on public transport. 

We want to hear your story.

Get in touch if you would like to share your experiences of student poverty and the cost of living crisis. 

As part of our campaign to end student poverty, we are running a cost of living survey to collect qualitative and quantitative data on how students at UQ are struggling with the cost of living. Results from this survey will provide a foundational basis for us to submit to the Federal Government’s Select Committee on the cost of living.

 

You can still complete the survey below:

BLOG BY

Jeryn Chang & Jordy Duffey  

Vice Presidents (UQU Student Rights) 

Email: [email protected]

InstagramFacebook

Explore more posts...

From addressing placement poverty to library snack trolley runs, this month has been a busy one for Student Rights!

From launching welfare initiatives to advocating for student voice and representation, this month has been a busy one for Student Rights!

Exam time is around the corner, and we know it’s a stressful period! Ensuring that you are staying well in the lead up to your exams is important to reduce stress and anxiety, and will help you perform better for your exams.

Here are some scientifically proven methods to keep you better prepared and focused with your upcoming exams.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Keep up with the latest events, freebies & announcements.

I am:(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.