The University of Sydney Union (USU) and Sydney University have reached an agreement for the University to provide up to 200 Access cards for students from a lower SES (socioeconomic status) and those with an Indigenous background.
According to USU President Astha Rajvanshi, there was “no large financial incentive borne out of these agreements.” The move, she explained, simply provides more students an opportunity to get involved with the Union “who may not have otherwise had the chance.”
The Student Recruitment Unit and Social Inclusion Unit have been extensively involved in organising and funding the initiative.
Manager of the Student Recruitment Unit, Kaveb Ghezal, explained that the purpose of this initiative is in the hope that these students will “get the whole university experience…as the Union does such a great job outside the classroom”.
“We hope this is a solution for them to be able to be more involved in the community, to get the support they need, as well as make friends…which can be difficult for those with differing backgrounds at times” Ghezal said.
Such a move could be considered indicative of a strengthened relationship between the USU and the University following their bitter battle in 2011 over the University’s attempt to take control of all Union-run cafes and bars around campus. Rajvanshi believes it is indicative of a more positive, and more productive, relationship between the two organisations.
Questions still remain on whether the University and USU will reach an agreement whereby the Students Services & Amenities Fee will help finance universal Access for all students in the future, meaning USU membership for all student