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March 31, 2014 | by  | in Opinion VUWSA |
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President’s column

Today, a really important email will appear in your inbox from me and Pam Thorburn, the Director of Student Academic Services at Vic. VUWSA has been working with the University to find out how you think your Student Services Levy (that $690 whopper amount on your fees invoice) should be spent, and what you think the ‘mix’ of services at the University should be. We’ve come up with a ‘budget simulator’ that lets you decide how the funding should look.

 Your Student Services Levy (SSL) helps fund a range of services for all students – like Student Health and Counselling, Clubs, Vic Careers, the Rec Centre, Childcare, and services brought to you by VUWSA, such as Orientation, Student Job Search, Student Media (Salient!), VUWSA Class Reps and Stress Free Study Week.

 This isn’t just another boring survey – you’ll get to ‘balance the budget’ and see what will happen if you cut funding from one area to increase funding in another. If you think funding counselling is important, then are you okay with an increase in user-pays gym memberships? Or if you think that VUWSA needs to help you more in dealing with dodgy landlords, then where should that money come from? VUWSA and Vic make these decisions every year, and we think it is time that you helped us do the budgeting. You don’t need to be an accounting whiz to do the simulator– just slide the buttons and see what might happen if you move some numbers around. We also want to know if there are NEW services that need introducing. For example, some universities or Students’ Associations have queer-student support services – this is an idea worth considering.

It can feel like there are too many surveys, but this one is different. Students have a real say over the Student Services Levy – last year, students told us that there needed to be more Counsellors, and right now, we’re helping the Counselling Service interview the candidates for a new Counselling position.

The changes from this consultation won’t be overnight – but will help us set the strategic direction for student services: Which ones need more funding from all students, and which ones could we focus on less? These aren’t easy questions, but really important ones.

You have three weeks – now do it! The consultation closes on Sunday 13 April.

To go to mySay, visit: http://victoriauniversity.budgetsimulator.com/

Have a great week!

Your Prez,
Sonya Clark | President
Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association
Phone: (04) 463 6986
Email:  sonya.clark@vuw.ac.nz
Website: www.vuwsa.org.nz
Twitter: @Sonya_NZ
In person: SU 403, VUWSA Offices, Level 4, Student Union Building (next to the new microwaves!)

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