Free stuff on campus

And so, my fellow students: ask not what you can do for university - ask what your university can do for you.

Each semester, most under- and postgrads are charged a Student Services and Amenities Fee. While the charges fluctuate, a three-year full time degree can leave you nearly $900 out of pocket. Therefore, it’s worth taking advantage of the small breadcrumbs the University throws at the masses. Be your own goddamn Robin Hood.

There’s always a catch…

🔑 ACCESS:  need username or password

🚧 BLOCK: a restriction on using the freebie

⏰ TIME: a time limitation on access

😤 ANNOYANCE: how considerate you’ll have to be

💭 KNOWLEDGE: prior information or understanding needed

Knowledge is power

  • The online library site gives full access to a plethora of databases, including Google Scholar and Factiva.
    • 🔑 If it’s not under fraudulent circumstances and you’ve sought permission, using your mate’s username and password will get you in after you’ve graduated
  • Free digital subscription to the Australian, if that’s your kind of thing.
    • 🚧 Only 50,000 individual users are eligible
    • ⏰ Access expires on 25th August 2018, pending re-subscription
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout campus to download your shows, submit assignments and do other internet-ly things. With five library spaces open 24/7 as well, browse in comfort.
    • 🔑 Unikey and password needed to login to UniSydney network
    • ⏰ Guests have to request, and are only allowed on the network for 24 hours
  • Fisher Library has a lot of rentable DVDs (educational or otherwise) as well as access to Kanopy, a streaming service with over 30,000 docos, classic and indie films.
    • 🚧 Student ID card is needed to borrow from USyd libraries and as always, Unikey and password needed for online resources
  • The SRC Bookshop is closing down and handing out free secondhand textbooks.
    • ⏰ Final closure is the end of Week 3
    • 🚧 The textbooks are undergraduate studies only

Objective fun

  • 3D printing and carving equipment at Fisher if you’ve lost a discontinued part on an appliance but don’t want to buy a whole new one.
    • 💭 You’ll have to make and save your designs on a certain file type if your design doesn’t already exist
    • 😤 Unless you patent your brainchild, it’s expected you share your creation with ThinkSpace
    • ⏰ Times need to be booked in advance
  • Table tennis is available around main campus with the introduction with outdoor tables (Molecular Bioscience building, Wentworth building, etc.)
    • 🚧 Some are exclusive to certain faculties or facilities, such as SUSF
  • Some campuses, such as main and Cumbo, have free phone charging stations.
    • 😤 Stay nearby? Obviously?? People can steal your stuff??? (even if some of them are lockable)
  • Free condoms at the SRC office.
    • ⏰ The SRC building is only open weekdays 9am – 5pm


  • It’s a given, but unlimited filtered water stations are scattered around campus. Fuck paying for water. Refill a 10L tap dispenser if your heart desires.
    • 😤 Filling up numerous, or large, containers can build a large queue behind you
  • FUNCH (Fun at Lunch) is run every Wednesday, usually on Eastern Avenue, from 12-2pm. The USU Board also occasionally decide to fulfil what seems to be everyone’s election promise – free breakfast sometimes takes place maybe once a year.
    • 🚧 Must present ACCESS card or know membership number to receive free food
  • In a determined effort to win the hearts of members and strangers through their stomachs, some USU clubs and societies sporadically host free food events or events that just so happen to have free food catered. These span from sausage sizzles to bake-offs and are catered by the sorts of VegesocCatholic Society and Sydney University Greek Society.
    • 🚧 As above
  • Similarly, companies literally buy your attention with food trucks, vending machines, coffee stands and free dessert (see: ASOS, Maggi, most recently, The Economist). They’re held anywhere from Eastern Ave, Cadigal Lawns or outside the Holme Building.
    • 😤 No catch, except the resignation of accepting you’re a slave to capitalism


  • Free legal service and caseworkers are on hand at the SRC.
    • ⏰ Appointments are needed outside drop-in availability (Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-3pm)
  • Emergency temporary housing for both domestic and international students at STUCCO Housing Co-operative, which is partially owned by USyd.
    • 🚧 Only six spots available
    • ⏰ Short term stays only
  • USyd financial assistance will offer you a bursary (you get to keep it) or loan if you are in financial trouble.
    • 🚧 Limitations on what given money can be used on
  • Most faculty societies are free to join and (often) let non-ACCESS members attend their events.
    • 🚧 While they (often) let non-ACCESS members attend events, this is not a blanket rule and you could be turned away
  • Major corporations are begging you to use their services to get a throttlehold on the student market. Thanks for the free Microsoft Office 365 and 15GB Dropbox cloud storage!
    • ⏰ Annual renewal
    • 🔑 Unikey and password
  • Keep your eyes peeled for USyd’s own council clear-out. Every so often, you can spot disowned, yet usable office chairs, tables and TVs hanging out near bins, begging to be picked up.
    • 🚧 You could be halted by campus security
  • On Eastern Avenue, near City Road, there’s a bike fixing station with tools and pumps to bring life back into your riding.
    • 💭 Need prior knowledge of fixing bikes

Discounted prices are available for USU ACCESS card holders—or just by being a current student both on and off campus. While nothing is as satisfying as a good old freebie, just remember that working with (or against) the system takes effort, consumes time and can involve legal ramifications.

“There used to be heaps more stuff,” says Melissa de Silva, caseworker and policy officer at the SRC. “But even [the number of] sausage sizzles have been reduced.” It’s worth asking where the money saved by culling freebies on campus is redirected to. But in the meantime, utilise what’s available–even if it’s not designed for taking.

Correction: This article initially used a false noun in the Legend. The article has since been amended.