Brought to you by your SSA Fee
The Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding recently approved expenditure of $3,940,825 for student fees through the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Download the 2019 SSAF Expenditure Plan.
Below are some examples of how your Student Services and Amenities Fee has been used.
Student Representation and Advocacy
This SSAF allocation contributes specifically to the provision of advocacy services for students on a broad range of academic and welfare matters and also provides representation funding for members of the JCU Student Association to sit on various panels and committees, to ensure the student voice is heard in institutional decision making.
Student Health and Wellbeing
- The annual SSAF allocation has allowed JCU Health to continue to offer the bulk billing rate to students on the Townsville Campus.
- In 2018, the SSAF funded Student Wellbeing Counsellor had 790 appointments with students (including external students), developed and delivered 15 workshops/presentations including campus tours, conducted training on Mental Health First Aid, Substance Abuse, Bullying and Harassment and respectful behaviours with Residential Assistants, HDR training, O Week presentations and a Mental Health Program for Bachelor of Veterinary Science students.
Student Support Staff
JCU is committed to enhancing students’ access, participation and success through a ‘whole-of-institution’ approach to widening participation, learning, teaching and the student experience, including appropriate facilities and access to learning technologies.
The SSAF allocation continues to include funding for key support service personnel such as Student Welfare Officers, Academic Language and Learning Advisors, and a Career Development Learning Officer to support those studying on campus, in remote study centres and externally.
SSAF Support for Student Life Events for Commencing Students
SSAF funding is always made available to both the JCU Student Association and to other JCU student groups and bodies for a range of orientation, induction and student belonging events across the academic year. For example:
- The Student Life Team host a comprehensive JCU Orientation and Transition Program on the Townsville and Cairns Campus through a five-week schedule of preparatory courses, inductions, information sessions, course introductions, social events, drop-in sessions, special interest group activities and pre-census retention activities.
Library - Infohelp Rovers
This program has again been SSAF funded in 2019. Infohelp Rovers can help you to develop study skills and guide you through a range of services; for example, LibGuides and search skills, helping with IT issues, basic software support, connecting to the JCU Eduroam wireless network, printing and photocopying issues, use of online JCU services such as LearnJCU and finding information on the JCU website, helping with referencing and the like. In 2018, Library Infohelp Rovers dealt with over 3,152 individual enquiries.
After approval of a competitive bid process in 2017, the Estate Directorate conducted minor works on the informal peer spaces in Building 27 on the Townsville Campus and in the foyers of buildings A1 and A2 on the Cairns Campus. These projects were completed in 2018.
The SSAF funding also contributed to the establishment of the Indigenous Education and Research Centre on the Cairns Campus. The Centre provides a place of belonging and brings together research, teaching and support staff who were previously located around the campus. It provides space for students to study, collaborate and socialise.
In 2018, SSAF funding was approved for the following improvements to indoor and outdoor spaces:
- Cairns: Boatshed Precinct outdoor peer space (Bldg A23)
- Project paused - may form part of a broader project.
- Townsville: Veterinary Precinct indoor peer space (Bldg 97)
- Project was delivered for student use during O Week Teaching Period One 2019.
- Townsville: Medical Precinct outdoor peer space (Bldgs 39-42)
- Project was planned for delivery in late 2018, but deadline shifted to ensure minimal impact on students during construction. Work is scheduled to begin in May 2019. Completion by mid-2019.
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Support for Off-Campus Students
SSAF supports services available to Off-Campus students:
- Thanks to SSAF funding, the Student Life Team were able to develop resources for Off-Campus Students including a dedicated website and Off-Campus Information Guide.
- As part of 2018 SSAF allocation, students studying off-campus and living more than 50 kilometres from the JCU Cairns and Townsville campuses were able to receive free return post bags for JCU library books.
Support for HDR Students
In 2018, SSAF funding was used to support research students in delivering supportive group activities such as: seminar days, research student conferences, cohort activities for off campus research candidates, disciplinary-relevant career workshops and social events. This program has been approved to continue into 2019.
Support for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students
In 2018, SSAF funding contributed to a range of activities being delivered or supported by the Indigenous Education and Research Centre including Welcome Events, Awards Night, Health and Wellbeing Program and the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Games
Support for International Students
SSAF funding was also used to introduce an "International Higher Degree by Research Arrival Ambassador Program" to improve the welcome and arrival experience of international HDRs. Unlike undergraduate students, HDR candidates can commence their candidature on any day of the year and often international students are left to their own devices to orientate themselves until they arrange an appointment with their advisor or the International Support Centre. Each of the Colleges, along with the Coral Reef Studies Centre were approached to nominate a HDR International Ambassador to contact commencing students prior to arrival, arrange airport pick up, tours of JCU and delivery to accommodation. Students were also provided a "Welcome Pack" upon arrival. This program has been approved to continue across 2018.
SSAF support for students located at Thursday Island, Mackay and Mount Isa
This project continues into 2019 and delivers a series of interactive workshops and activities assisting students with their information needs, the finding and evaluation of information, effective reading, essay planning and writing, and referencing and learning skills.
Student Sporting and Recreational Activities
- Maintaining a healthy and active life is made easier and more affordable with support provided through SSAF. Recreational and cultural activities, together with a range of supporting services and amenities, are also provided across campus with this SSAF allocation. Find out more at the JCU Student Association.
- Sports Facilities on Townsville and Cairns campuses are supported by SSAF through an annual allocation towards field maintenance and improvements, contributions to water rates and for cleaning common area bathrooms in gym and football ovals.
The JCU Student Association held a number of activities during 2017 where free food was provided courtesy of SSAF, particularly during O Week and Exam Periods, on both Townsville and Cairns campuses. Free tea and coffee was provided in kitchenettes on both campuses throughout the academic year.
In 2019, the International Student Support Team will continue to hold Free Lunch Friday's three times every semester on both Cairns and Townsville campuses. Free Lunch Friday's encourage international and domestic students to interact and create friendships and connections. It's not all about the free food, activities run as part of this event include indigenous weaving, spear and boomerang throwing, traditional arts, crafts and dancers.
Interested in forming a SSAF supported Student Club or Society?
Clubs and societies play an active role in the University community by providing students the opportunity to meet people with common interests and to pursue those interests. The JCUSA offer funding from SSAF for financial and administrative support to these organisations and students interested in forming their own. Contact the JCU Student Association to find out more.