USU membership to be FREE in 2019

oweek.jpeg

USU membership will be made free to all students, in one of the largest shakeups of how the campus service provider operates.

SURG understands the change will be rolled out next year, and comes after months of negotiations with the University.

The University of Sydney Union, or USU, operates food outlets and shops on campus and administers USyd’s extensive clubs and societies program. Pulp reports that “union membership will entitle students to sign up for clubs and societies, sit on committees, apply for student leadership positions, as well as apply for grants and participate in USU programs and services. It will also allow them to run in the annual USU board elections”.

Until now, ACCESS has not come cheap. Prices have fluctuated, but in 2018 sat at $75 for one year of membership, $175 for three years, or $275 for five years. Pulp reports that in 2019, ACCESS will cost $45 and will come with a 10% discount at USU outlets.

USU President Liliana Tai said:

Since voluntary student unionism was legislated, it has always been a goal for the USU to return to a world where universal student membership is possible. Over the past decade, we have struggled to reach this goal with the need of a pricing barrier to ensure the sustainability of our organisation. However, this locked out many students from low SES backgrounds and culturally diverse backgrounds from participating in the core of student life at the University of Sydney. For the first time ever, in 2019 we will be offering free membership to all students in order to join our Clubs and Societies program as we evolve the USU's legacy from the oldest student union to one that can also offer the best opportunities and experiences to all students.