What is the Student Services and Amenities Fee?
In 2011, the Federal Government passed the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) and from 2012 each student will pay a set fee that is then given to the University to administer at their discretion to providers of services for students.
At La Trobe, you will pay this fee only if you are a full time or part time domestic student. The LTSU is receiving 37% in 2012. If you wish to know where the remaining money is going, you can clarify this with the university.
So, this is compulsory student unionism (CSU)?
No, SSAF is not CSU. As it’s up to the discretion of universities to administer this fee, some student unions and associations across Australia will not be receiving any funding at all from this fee, despite being major providers of key services.
How much will I have to pay?
In 2012, for full time students the fee is $131.50 per semester, for part time students it’s $98.50 per semester.
How do I pay and when?
This fee will appear on your statement of account and will have instructions about how to pay upfront (Due March 29th for first semester and August 23rd for second semester).
However, if you’re an Australian Citizen or have a Permanent Humanitarian Visa, you can defer the payment in the same way that you defer your HECs/HELP. Your Statement of Account letter should come with the relevant form and a reply paid envelope.
Why do I still pay for an LTSU membership?
The LTSU receives a portion of the SSAF that we have to negotiate with the university every year. Whilst we've gotten a significant budget boost, it's still nothing compared to when students paid the general services fee (when everyone was automatically a member of their Student Union), which is why we are still having a membership program at the LTSU, which is now $40 as opposed to $100 and still comes with exclusive members benefits.
But I don’t use any of these services, why do I have to pay it?
If you have no need for any of these services, lucky you! Unfortunately other students aren’t so well off and need access to a legal service, tax help, second hand books, Advocates, emergency food supplies, clothing, representation and other services to help them get through their time at university.
By everyone paying this (relatively) small amount of money, organisations like LTSU can provide a wide range of services to help students, as well as provide services for all students to enjoy like Clubs and Societies, Student Film and Theatre and events.