2020 has been a year of transformation for La Trobe Student Union. In a year where transparency and a strong student voice was paramount, University management has made significant decisions around the future of Student Representation at La Trobe, through the reduction and redistribution of the Student Service and Amenities Fee (SSAF) funding allocation for student associations.
La Trobe University have gutted the allocation of SSAF funding to all Student Associations from $4.457M in 2019, to $2.3M in 2021. This will have a tremendous impact on the support and engagement services available to students next year, and the staff operating them. The majority of funding for 2021 will be directed by the university to a new organisation, the La Trobe Student Association (LTSA). LTSU has been handed a drastic reduction in funding between 2019 and 2021. For a full review of SSAF funding allocation, visit the LTU website here.
Despite the challenge of these changes, La Trobe Student Union will continue to operate in 2021, returning to its’ roots as an organisation dedicated to student representation and delivering our strongest student voice. You have elected who you want to represent you, and that’s what we’ll do. The LTSU will operate on the Bundoora and City Campuses, alongside the International Student Association and the Mature Aged Student Association.
LTSU’s purpose remains strong: promoting the interests and welfare of students and representing students within and outside the University. We believe in contributing powerfully to the La Trobe University student experience. That is our vision, and it hasn’t changed.
La Trobe University have chosen to allocate funding to the LTSA for the operation of a number of programs previously supported by La Trobe Student Union, Bendigo Student Association, Wodonga Student Association, Shepparton Student Association and the Mildura Student Association. This includes La Trobe’s Advocacy, Financial Counselling and Legal Service. These support services will close at La Trobe Student Union on the 22nd December. Students will be notified of contact details for the new services available in 2021.
The LTSU remains committed to supporting the thriving clubs and societies of La Trobe University. Conversations around La Trobe's club program are underway, and more information will be made available shortly. Representatives from our new team will be getting in touch with club committee members to discuss how the LTSU can best support clubs in 2021.
La Trobe Student Theatre and Film will be operating with a reduction in funding and staffing next year. This will have significant implications for the operation of the program. Student Theatre and Film will be releasing a statement when the outcome of their funding and staffing for 2021 has been confirmed.
The LTSU will bid farewell to staff on December 22nd, many of whom have helped build La Trobe Student Union from the ground up, since it was established in 2011. It is a difficult goodbye, and we know many of you share in our disappointment. Staff have had the privilege of supporting, advocating for, and building up the student community at La Trobe University over many years. We are grateful for the determination and passion for student life shown by staff over this time. LTSU will have a staff member working alongside the incoming student representatives in 2021.
Students can contact LTSU Reception on 03 9479 2314 or firstname.lastname@example.org up to the 22nd December and will be informed of the best contact after this date. Students and staff can continue to access La Trobe’s free Counselling service.
The start of 2021 will see LTSU begin with a period of reflection, consultation, and rebuilding, ensuring students have a say in what their union will look like. Our passion, determination, and resolve remain unbroken, and over the next year we will fight harder than ever before, to ensure that every single student has their voice heard.
- Students and Staff of La Trobe Student Union.