Last week, Craccum reported that the University of Auckland plans to use the government’s well-being funding to expand campus care, AUSA care packages, and its health and counselling services. The University told Craccum they will continue to discuss hardship issues affecting students with AUSA, but we did it first. Dawn if you’re reading this, you’re welcome. I did your job for you.
Welfare Vice President, Ishie Sharma told Craccum she hopes this funding will allow AUSA to provide more direct support like hardship grants and food packages. “Currently, our budget for hardship grants does not meet the demand of students that apply every year.”
Sharma states that many students, especially those who are isolating or struggling with food insecurity rely on their packages to get food on the table. “Our services have incredibly high uptakes of student engagement and there is a clear need for funding to be directed towards these services to keep them sustainable.”
UoA has hired more mental health staff, but Sharma says that “providing students with more direct sources of support is the best way to support students.” The University told Craccum that the $1.6M in funding they received from the Government’s Hardship Fund for Learners and the $500K they contributed was spent on students who applied for it.
AUSA also encourages the University to ensure Health & Counselling is safe and accessible for students. “Students need to feel they are truly valued and supported consistently with access to more specialised care if that’s what they require.”
UoA has not stated that AUSA’s Period Poverty Programme will be supported by the $3.8M of well-being support for Tertiary students in Tāmaki Makaurau. “We would love to ensure we can provide free sanitary products to anyone that needs them on all our campuses, as our funding for this programme currently doesn’t come from a sustainable source.”
AUSA wishes to consult with students to see what additional support they can provide to best suit the student body.