The ANU Observer has been offered SSAF funding by the ANU for 2018, along with other key University institutions. This is a quick update to provide details of that allocation.
How much are organisations receiving?
|Name||2017 Allocation||2018 Bid||2018 Allocation|
|ANU’s Division of Student Life||554,379||Unpublished||642,193|
|ANU Student Media (Woroni)||202,467||187,607||179,682|
|The ANU Observer||0||68,800||32,000|
What is SSAF?
SSAF is the Student Services and Amenities Fee. Every student pays $294 a year into the pool, and the University distributes it to student organisations, and to some University projects. SSAF is created by federal legislation which requires the fund be spent in ways which enrich the student experience and support the student community.
How did Observer become SSAF-receiving?
The ANU Observer approached the ANU asking whether we’d be eligible to receive SSAF, as we’ve developed an intensive set of core operations that provide benefits to students, which we felt could be best supported by direct funding from the SSAF pool. The University agreed, and Observer submitted a bid including detailed line items and justifications, which was reviewed by other organisations and the University.
Observer is the first student organisation to be added to the SSAF recipients since the establishment of SSAF in 2011. As such there were several unforseen issues with our addition. To resolve these, the University has required Observer to make key governance changes, including:
- That all students be Members of Observer and have the power to vote at General Meetings
- That the Executive of Observer be elected at a General Meeting, and
- That the University Council have power to approve Observer’s Constitution.
Observer willingly assented to all these changes. However, given the timeframe for implementation, they will not be approved by Council until February of 2018, when the Council next meets. As such, Observer’s allocation is provisional until those conditions are met.
What does this mean for Observer?
This is great news – it means we can continue operating in 2018 and delivering you high quality campus news. In 2017 Observer operated on an extremely limited budget which meant Editors and reporters were putting in long hours for free, and often making purchases with their own money for Observer. This obviously isn’t a sustainable model, so funding means we can guarantee our continuation, as well as take on some great new projects. You can expect to see more and better news, improved livestreaming video and audio quality, a better website, reporting on NUS National Conference, and lots of other cool stuff.
That being said, Observer received less than half of our original bid, a bid which already made us by far the lowest-funded student organisation. There were big ideas we had for that money that now won’t be possible – we weren’t awarded funding for Freedom of Information requests, or computers for editing videos, and under this allocation Observer Editors will be paid less than any other Association’s executives, and approximately one third of what Woroni’s Editors receive. Nonetheless we’re committed to delivering the best possible service we can on this budget.
You can find Observer’s original bid and final allocation, with specific line items and justifications, here.
How can I have a say in SSAF?
Until the end of November the University is accepting submissions from students with questions, concerns, criticisms or suggestions regarding the SSAF allocations. If you’d like to submit your thoughts for consideration, you can email Professor Richard Baker, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Student Experience at [email protected]
If you have specific questions about Observer’s budget, feel free to email us at [email protected], or message our page, and we’ll be happy to answer.
The ANU Observer Board of Editors
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