You may have seen a media report earlier this week about the President of La Trobe Student Union and subsequent conversation in student Facebook groups. Any suggestion that LTSU or its President, Annabelle Romano, misappropriated funds is simply untrue.
For students to vote to join the LTSA in 2021, proposing the transfer of LTSU assets to the new La Trobe Student Association, a Company Limited by Guarantee must first be in place. This company, La Trobe Student Association Ltd, was set up by the student-led project group as part of the process. All the current Student Association Presidents are interim directors for La Trobe Student Association Ltd. and the CEO of the BSA is the interim Secretary. It’s also important to note:
- No funds have been transferred from La Trobe Student Union or any of the student associations at LTU to the new La Trobe Student Association (LTSA) Ltd.
- The current Student Association Presidents sit on the board for administration purposes, which would exclude them from running in elections for the new student board in 2021.
- Once the new board of directors is elected all the interim directors will step down immediately from the board.
- The governing board of directors will be elected as early as possible in 2021.
- The change process for student associations at La Trobe University has been undertaken following extensive legal advice to ensure that all student rights are protected.
Since late 2019, La Trobe University’s student associations have been developing a model that proposes that the existing associations, Bendigo Student Association (BSA), La Trobe Student Union (LTSU), Mildura Student Association (MSA), Shepparton Student Association (SSA) and Wodonga Student Association (WSA), combine and transition into united La Trobe Student Association (LTSA) to service all campuses from 1 January 2021.
The aim is to have the new La Trobe Student Association in place by 1 January 2021 to provide sustainable, outstanding, and equitable student support and representation across the entire University. Creating one united student association for La Trobe’s campuses will enhance and enable the sharing of resources and expertise across all the University’s campuses and create University-wide representation for all La Trobe students. It will also establish a foundation for the delivery of robust, sustainable, equitable, and efficient services and support for enrolled La Trobe students. These changes will lead to productive and engagement with students at all our Victorian campuses and foster a stronger united student voice when working in partnership with the University.