What the SSAF?

By Jack Maguire

Students are forced to pay huge amounts of fees. This must end.

The case for change. Students are being saddled with unjust costs and are demanded upon to continue to pay them. This must change.


Those people who don’t have affluent families and must work full time to support themselves are never on campus to reap any benefit from their SSAF dollars. Those people who can live at home and coast through university using their parent’s hip pocket, can be on campus every day.

They will get their money’s worth and benefit from the money of those that work full time – especially if they’re employed by the student union.


Your money is mostly spent on things you do not need and do not want. Take for instance the money that is spent on NUS affiliation fees each year. Some university unions now pay upwards of $100,000 per year to affiliate with zero benefit to students. Do you know what your SSAF money is spent on?


As university students we are shouldered with the responsibility of fending for ourselves for the first time. We take up part time jobs and move out of home. We are entrusted with the ability to vote, purchase alcohol and make big decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. The university and the Government feel that we do not best know how to spend $290 a year and that the University should have the ability to spend that money on our behalf.


Each university is incredibly different. You should not be forced to pay the fee at your campus just because some politicians believe that smaller regional universities wouldn’t have a rugby club without taxing everyone else. Take the decision out of the hands of politicians. You best know whether your campus needs the SSAF or not. Don’t let politicians and university bureaucrats tell you otherwise.


The idea of giving students a voice on this issue had overwhelming success across the ditch. We could learn a lesson in democracy from our Kiwi friends.


Students would be given the opportunity to hold the university to account. The best way of suggesting that you don’t like your money going towards more faceless university bureaucrats? Be given the ability to tighten the purse strings.


Polling conducted out of the University of Queensland shows that 70% of students would prefer a vote on whether they should have to pay the fee or not. The other 30% you ask? Perhaps turn your mind to those students that actively benefit from your SSAF dollars. Think student unions on campus, a financial platform to spruik international hatred of Israel and burn Australian flags. These people are the real beneficiaries of your hard earned cash. The case for change. Students are being saddled with unjust  costs and are demanded upon to continue to pay them. This must change.

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