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April 4, 2011 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Vicbooks Better Than Salient. Salient Disagrees.

Results from the VUWSA student survey have been released, showing low usage of the majority of VUWSA’s services.

With the lure of Apple prizes, 4551 students (more than 20% of the student body) took part in the survey in trimester two last year. The survey was aimed at measuring students awareness, use, performance and importance of VUWSA and the services it provides.

28 of VUWSA’s services were evaluated in the research. Though respondents showed a high awareness of what is available, two thirds of the services were used by less than 20 per cent of students. However 95 per cent of students used at least one service on offer.

vicbooks beat out Salient to be the most used service, with the free Handbook Diary, Wall Planner and Student Job Search also being popular. Least used was VUWSA’s tax advice, which only 2 per cent of respondents took.

Students were asked what they thought should be provided from a wide range of potential new services. A Flatting Guide and an Online Alternative Student Guide received the most support.

Pricing of the compulsory VUWSA Membership Fee at $143.70 was supported by some, however a significant proportion of respondents thought the fee should be lower. It is not yet known whether the price will incr-ease or decrease should membership become voluntary next year.

Students expressed a desire for regular communication from VUWSA that includes more information than is currently available. 82 per cent thought that they should send regular emails to students outlining upcoming events, issues, news and how they can get involved with things around campus.

There was significant support expressed in having a student-led organisation that provides representation and for VUWSA to continue to advocate for students. However they expressed a preference for them to focus on student-related issues rather than wider societal ones.

Respondents showed wide support for VUWSA having its General Meetings online, a move already adopted by the Otago University Students’ Association. One student spoken to by Salient expressed concern that this would make it difficult to get free pizza.


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  1. Tina says:

    Were the results weighted to take into account that some of the services are for students in need, and therefore won’t be used for all? I’ve been a student at VUW on and off for 7 years and only in the past year have I had to make use of the Student Welfare fund. I didn’t use it for 6 years, as I didn’t have the financial need and wouldn’t have meet the requirements. I am, however, incredibly grateful to have that service available when I needed it.

    I wouldn’t expect more than a small percentage of students to use it but I’m sure many would appreciate the option of a back-up.

  2. Janisa says:

    Hey, sulbte must be your middle name. Great post!

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