News Article

Cost of Living Update

RSU President Amy Hopkins provides an update on the work she is doing to support students around the cost of living.

I realise it is about time you all get an update on what I have been working on to support you through the cost-of-living. You can read my previous update on cost of living work I have done here.

First, I am going to stop referring to the cost of living as a crisis. A crisis implies that it is short and will end. Unfortunately, as frustrating as it is to say, we do not know when this period of incredible struggle will be over. So, from now on it will be referred to as cost of living or not having the basic needs of students met.

I have been working behind the scenes to try and implement a few separate ways of supporting you as RSU (Roehampton Students’ Union) members through financial struggles. Here is how each of them is going:

Student Pantry

This has been a project of mine for a few months now, but I am happy to say that it is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. I very recently have had the tape measure out, measuring what shelving we need to install to stock the products on along with building the operational model that will allow the pantry to run.

The products I am hoping to have stocked for when you need them are non-food items. This includes:

  • Hygiene Products (body wash, shampoo, household cleaning items)
  • Stationery (notebooks, pens, used textbooks?
  • Baby Products (nappies, baby wipes, formula)
  • Kitchenware (plates, bowls, oven trays)

However, to start off with we are going to be asking for donations of any of the above items. Further details will be released soon regarding where to drop off products, if you are able to do so, along with regulations to follow regarding out-of-date products.

Access Fund

I've been considering for a while how we can remove barriers for students that want to take part in student group activity on campus but potentially don't have the financial means to do so. That's led me towards the development of a new initiative called the Access Fund.

The goal of the fund is to have a pot of money available for you, as students, to bid for to help with the financial aspect of joining student groups. We're looking to fund this using money sat in the accounts of old societies which have been dormant for at least two years.

Being a part of a student group has a significant impact on your experience at university as well as your academic achievements. Therefore, it is important that anything that resembles a barrier to joining a student group is broken down as much as possible. The Access Fund will be available to all students at Roehampton University, you will have to bid for an amount you need, and it must relate to a cost associated with joining or being in a student group, for example membership fees, any equipment/kit needed or competition costs.

The fund is still undergoing the writing and vetting process. The papers that form the policy will be going to the Roehampton Students’ Union Trustee Board soon to be looked at hopefully approved.

This Access Fund will form a large part of helping students through any financial hardship whilst at Roehampton. Many other student unions have a similar policy in place, and it has worked ever so well for them and the students who used their version of the Access Fund.

If you wish to get involved in any of the Cost of Living work I am doing, please contact me either via my email or Instagram. // @roehamptonsupres  

Make sure you keep up to date with all things RSU by visiting our website and Instagram, @roehamptonsu for regular updates.