Over the past week there have been two very exciting changes to the support AUSA provides students. First, last Thursday at the AGM students voted to create a new Welfare Vice President role. We are so delighted at the chance to expand our welfare services further! Second, we launched our new Student Advice Hub, which will give students in difficult situations more access to help, support and information.

 

Establishment of the Welfare Vice President

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to vote for the Welfare Vice President position on Thursday. This was no easy achievement – we needed 200 students to open the meeting, and a two thirds majority to pass this constitutional change. It is because of all of you who turned up that we could create AUSA history.

The change from a Welfare Officer to a Welfare Vice President means great things for the future of AUSA’s welfare services. While we currently have a Welfare Officer, our welfare services (including the foodbank, the hardship grant program, textbook grants, and much more) are far too big for one student volunteer handle. We expect our volunteer exec members to do up to ten hours of work a week; most Welfare Officers have to do more than double that just to keep the bare minimum going. It is only fair that the student providing Welfare be given an honorarium for their work.

More than that, however, a paid Welfare Vice President will mean welfare can do more, and that it will be more consistent. Welfare will be more accountable; the Welfare Vice President will have to fulfil their hours in exchange for their pay. They will also have more resources and more time. We will no longer run the risk of having a less dedicated Welfare Officer, and we will hopefully be able to attract qualified candidates every time.

This is a change that has been planned for years, and we are so proud to have finally delivered it! Make sure you keep an eye out for the elections, which will be coming soon, and get out to vote.

 

The Student Advice Hub

Student life in general, and University processes in particular, are very difficult to navigate. AUSA does our best to help students through this labyrinth, providing support for students through advocacy, welfare and representation services.

This year, we are trying to simplify our own services. Lots of students during Orientation asked as exactly what Advocacy does, and were unsure who to speak to in order to access our support services. We were worried by these students’ concerns, so we are rebranding our services and creating one central location for all students to turn to for help.

Now, all students who need help with student life can come to the Student Advice Hub. We will still provide advocacy services, we will still provide welfare services, and we will still help student parents. But we will also do much more. We will give advice to students before a problem arises, we will be able to provide information on tenancy, Studylink and money problems and we will be able to help to answer student queries about University resources and functions. What’s more, all these services will be provided from one access point that sums up exactly what we do: the Student Advice Hub.

We’re here to make life simpler for students. We’ve listened to your feedback, and we are proud to announce the new Student Advice Hub.

Love,

Cate & Jess

P.S. Got questions? We would love to discuss this with you. You can contact us on president@ausa.org.nz or evp@ausa.org.nz