Students at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) pay up to $303 in the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) each year, but where does that money go?
The allocated pool of SSAF across UTAS totalled $5.7 million in 2018, an increase of $1 million from the previous year.
$1.2 million went to leadership, career development and employment with the same amount also used on student wellbeing and mental health services.
Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) received just over $500,000 in funding and $433,000 went towards subsidising student gym memberships.
$82,500 went towards the development of the SafeZone app, which has now been rolled out across UTAS campuses.
The Tasmania University Union (TUU) receives around $900,000 of those SSAF funds each year, but also receives Baseline Funding, leaving it with just shy of $2 million.
A large amount of the TUU’s budget goes towards wages of Union staff, with almost $700,000 allocated in 2018. A further $100,000 went towards paying TUU student representatives.
Also last year, $20,000 was set aside for annual elections, but as there is now an online focus for voting, it is unclear how much has been flagged this year.
A TUU spokesperson said the Union has been conscious of providing accountable and transparent communication to UTAS students.
“As in previous years, TUU Clubs and Societies received a large proportion of the 2019 budget, with a total of $500,000 allocated,” the spokesperson said.
The TUU has set aside $105,000 to support the provision of information to students, which is facilitated through the Contact Centres in Hobart, Launceston and Cradle Coast.
$30,000 will be spent on the provision of free independent legal advice for students in relation to migration issues. As well as this, an additional $40,000 has been allocated for the provision of a student financial referral assistance program.
$150,000 is allocated to TUU/SRC led initiatives, events, resources and facilities.
The SSAF fee should be paid before census date each semester or students will attract a sanction which prevents them from accessing results. However, the SSAF can still be paid or deferred after census date.
In 2019, most units will attract a charge of $45.45, with the total yearly amount capped at $303.