The Reality of Being a Student
By Caleb Pattinson, Student President
Being a student in 2016 is incredibly tough. One of the worst parts about being Student President is when I’m contacted by students and academics who are concerned about levels of student poverty and welfare. We already know that 2/3 of students are living below the poverty line. The added costs of textbooks, car parking and required certificates for some courses increases the inequality of our education system. It seems at a Federal level there is going to be a push for the inequality at University to extend to graduate life. Reduction of the repayment threshold affects those who are doing it tough. The argument that the threshold will still be well above minimum wage is bullshit and shows lack of real world experience.
2/3 of students are living below the poverty line
University is often about giving people a second chance in life. Burdening students with a lifetime of debt through deregulation of fees or cutting of funding to the sector not only hurts the individual, but the entire economy. Ultimately an educated society is a more effective society. This is why FUSA fights against hostile Government policy and importantly, poverty of Flinders students. This year I am proud to have played a part in expansion of our welfare initiatives. I am currently working with our Environment and Welfare Officers to find more organisations to play a role in reducing University poverty. There are services out there for students and I see our role as making them accessible to you.
If you are a student who is struggling financially or to get food on your table FUSA can help. Get in touch if you are unaware of our welfare services, become a FUSA member to get regular updates on our free brunch events and remember there is nothing to be ashamed about if you have no money. Unfortunately the political reality is you are in the majority, not the minority.