Guild Membership & SSAF FAQs
Plus you get heaps of discounts and free stuff on and off campus, and get to enjoy one of the most exciting campuses in the country!
NOTHING! Guild membership is totally free for all enrolled UWA students. We do not charge you any fees.
The Guild provides:
- The representatives that you elect from your peers work hard to improve your university experience
- They lead the Guild (making us the only body funded by the SSAF that is run BY students as well as for students)
- They sit on many important University boards and committees, making the student voice heard amongst staff right up to the Vice-Chancellor
- We’ve got over 100 of them – check them out! The Guild provides funding and practical support to help them flourish so you have a huge range of social and career-related activities to choose from
- We’ll even help you start your own club if you have an idea for something new!
Other social and cultural activities
- O-Day, Club Carnivals, End of Semester Shows, Multicultural Week… all these events and many more are run by the Guild
- Guild Volunteering provides you with a huge range of opportunities to volunteer, which is a great way to make friends, expand your horizons and become a more well-rounded graduate
- The Postgraduate Students’ Association, Mature Age Students Association, International Students’ Service and Queer Department
Student assistance and support
- The Guild Student Centre is your first stop for any Guild-related questions or when you just don’t know where to go
- We have a dedicated team of staff on hand to help you with anything affecting your study – whether it’s academic, financial or welfare-related. The Student Assist team can help you apply for special consideration, find help on a visa issue or even give you a grant or loan (to name just a few handy services)
- We run the Ref and seven cafes on campus where you get discounts on everything and super cheap coffee
- We also run the Tavern and coordinate food trucks
We exist to provide services that benefit you, so if you have feedback or ideas, we want to hear about it!
The Guild has three main sources of income:
- A portion of the income from the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) (allocated to us by the University)
- Profits from our Catering division (i.e. Guild-run cafes on campus, the Tavern and our event catering service University Function Caterers)
- Revenue from the property we lease out in Guild Village
Additionally, we generate smaller amounts of income to cover specific projects, such as:
- Selling advertising space to cover the cost of producing our publications
- Inviting external stallholders to O-Day to cover the cost of running it
- Applying for grants to support new initiatives (e.g. Pelican magazine’s new website was support by an Alumni Fund grant)
The SSAF, or Student Services and Amenities Fee, is a compulsory charge levied by the University. Income generated by the fee is spent on developing and providing a range of recreational, sporting and educational facilities together with social, education and representation activities and services for the direct benefit of all students at UWA. SSAF income is not used, and cannot be used, to support political parties and associated activities.
You can find out more about the SSAF, including costs and payment arrangements, on the UWA website.
(Tip: If you’re eligible for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP then you can defer paying your SSAF the same way, with SA-HELP!)
Nope! SSAF income is collected by UWA and they decide how to divide it up between the three bodies that are responsible for providing ‘student services and amenities’:
- UWA Student Services (including the Careers Centre, Counselling Service, Medical Centre, first year advisors, UniAccess – the disability office, StudySmarter and more)
- UWA Sports (offering gym memberships, Recreate short courses, sporting competitions and more)
- Us, the UWA Student Guild
Currently, each of these bodies receives 30% of the SSAF income.
In order to receive SSAF funding, the Guild and UWA Sports each have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the University. This is basically a contract laying out exactly what services we are responsible for providing. For the Guild, this includes:
- Student representation
- Student societies
- Other social and cultural activities
- Student assistance and support
- Catering services
We have to demonstrate to the University that we meet the requirements of the SLA each year in order to justify continuing to receive SSAF funding.
The annual Guild elections (held around September) are your chance to elect members of the next Guild Council along with UWA’s representatives in the National Union of Students and (every second year) a student member for the University Senate, the highest governing body at UWA.
The elected Guild Council serves a one-year term during which they lead the Guild and sit on a variety of important UWA committees to represent students.
There are usually several groups (and perhaps some independent candidates) running, so just like with any government election, it’s worth taking the time to check out their policies and visit the polling booths to vote for whoever you think will best represent your interests. And if YOU are passionate about improving the student experience, you could even run for a position yourself!
Guild Council (with 21 voting members) is the overall governing body for the Guild. It’s responsible for setting direction of the Guild and making decisions on all aspects of the organisation including Guild policy.
Guild Council meets monthly to debate and vote on a range of matters concerning students. They decide on new initiatives and policies for the Guild to carry out as well as the organisation’s stance on issues at the University level and beyond.
Guild Council members and other student representatives (such as Faculty Society committee members) sit on a range of important UWA committees so they can ensure that student opinions are heard on big issues.
Additionally, your student representatives work hard on a range of tasks such as organising events, supporting all the clubs and Faculty Societies, lobbying for improved educational facilities and campaigning on issues that affect students.
Elections for positions on sub-councils and department committees are held at various times of year: keep an eye out for announcements in the Guild Weekly email newsletter.
Most departments are always seeking volunteers to help run initiatives, so if you’re keen to get involved, get in touch with them!