Thanks to SSAF funding, RUSU and Realfoods were able to provide over 23,560 healthy meals to students living in student accommodation during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. A total of 11,190 Realfoods heat and eat vegan meals, along with the 12,370 RUSU breakfast packs, plus many additional snack packs and care packages, provided a welcome relief to many students.
A collaboration between RUSU and SYN Radio resulted in the Uni Frequency radio show, a fun mix of tunes and chat, designed to give some light relief to students. Uni Frequency also operates a Facebook community, acting as a point of connection for students, giving them the chance to air their views and to win SSAF funded grocery vouchers.
RUSU delivered fresh grocery meal boxes to 750 students through our Compass Virtual Marketplace and RUSU Healthy Breakfast Boxes initiatives. The programme allowed students to pick from several meals, with ingredients boxes delivered to their home, along with supporting recipe cards and demonstration videos to help them recreate the dishes at home.
In April 2020, RUSU conducted the Student Experience through the COVID-19 Transition survey, and campaigned to RMIT to ensure that SSAF money be reallocated to programs that support student health, wellbeing & support, as well as for student advocacy & rights, along with financial relief packages for students experiencing hardship, including international students. Visit the campaigns page to see more of RUSU's achievements in 2020.
RUSU Student Rights Officers resolved close to 900 student rights cases in 2020 while our Student Liaison Team triaged student rights enquiries from 1012 students. RUSU trained volunteers provided a student voice on 56 RMIT committee hearings.
Please note this programme has now finished. RUSU Compass were able to help thousands of students throughout Semester 1, 2020 with our Covid-19 Grocery Voucher Assistance Programme, which provided thousands of $30 grocery vouchers to students in immediate need. Compass were able to help almost 2,000 students with this programme, and gave away over $100,000 worth of grocery vouchers.
In 2020, a total of 94 RUSU Clubs gained RUSU affiliation, including eight completely new RUSU clubs. RUSU Clubs were awarded $97,500 in SSAF funded grants in 2020, which meant many clubs were able to thrive during lockdown, and continued to host events, gain new signups, and foster community amongst RMIT students. In addition, the RUSU clubs department supported 80 clubs to hold their AGMs and IGM's in 2020 (the majority of which were online), with RUSU staff acting as Returning Officer for 79 Club AGMs throughout the year.
During lockdown RUSU & Realfoods produced several web series, including 34 cooking and gardening videos to help support students in preparing affordable, healthy meals from home. Our weekly recipe series, Cooking with Realfoods, produced 20 low cost, vegan recipes for students. Alongside this, our Healthy Breakfast Box (three episodes) and Compass Marketplace series (5 episodes) were designed to work alongside our SSAF grocery box delivery programmes. RUSU's Garden At Home series (6 episodes) empowered students with the knowledge to set up a garden and grow your own food at home with low-cost and easily accessible materials, even during lockdown.
RUSU provided over 600 $30 UberEats vouchers to HDR, Postgraduate and International students and their families, through the RUSU Eats initiative. Vouchers were emailed directly to applicants, who were free to spend them on whatever food they wished.