The Student Advocate is here to give you advice about your situation, explain what your options are, and also help you navigate the university system.

If we cannot help with your situation, we can definitely put you in contact with someone who can.

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Independent Advocacy Advice

As an employee of the UCSA, which is independent from the university, the Student Advocate is able to act on behalf of you, the student (something that UC staff are unable to do). The Student Advocate is able to assist you with a number of matters here at UC.

We can assist with:

  • Academic Appeals
  • Grievances, Complaints, Concerns
  • Special Consideration Applications or Late Withdrawals
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Disciplinary Issues

The Student Advocate can:

  • Provide confidential independent advice and support
  • Assist you with drafting applications and letters
  • Attend meetings with university staff with you

How to get help:

Handy to Know:

We are not always available to accept drop-ins because of meetings or other work matters. If you would like to guarantee a meeting time you can always book an appointment in advance using the the form located under the make an appointment tab below.

Make an Appointment:
Call or Email:
UCSA Help Volunteers:
2019-20 Help Volunteer Poster

Applications to be a UCSA Help Volunteer in 2020 are now open!

The UCSA Help Volunteers are senior Law and Psychology students who have volunteered to be the first point of contact for students coming in to see the Advocacy and Welfare team with an issue.

Help Volunteers are trained in the art of client interviewing, and perform the initial interview when a student first comes in to see the Advocacy and Welfare team. They then deliver the relevant information from the student to the Student Advocate and Advocacy and Welfare Manager, and may also be subsequently involved in the provision of advice back to the student, or the implementation of a UCSA welfare service.

Applicants to be a UCSA Help Volunteer must be:

  • Senior Law or Psychology students at UC, in third year or higher of study in 2020;
  • Of good standing in both character and academic ability;
  • Able to attend compulsory training in February 2020, details TBC;
  • Able to dedicate at least two hours per week during term time to UCSA Help; and
  • Able to commit to at least one academic year as a UCSA Help Volunteer.

To apply, please complete the Help Volunteer Application form:

- UCSA HELP Application Form 2020 -

To find out more, or if you have any questions, please contact Nathan Simkiss at or (03) 369 0452.

Applications close at 5:00pm on Friday 24 January 2020.

UCSA has partnered with Specsavers (Riccarton) to provide enrolled UC students with $10 eye exams! 

Optometry - New


There are a number of financial assistance options available to assist enrolled UC students in times of hardship.


If finances have gotten a bit tight and you need some help with groceries, the Foodbank may be for you.  Enrolled students are eligible to apply for UCSA Foodbank once a term, and if approved will be provided with $30 New World vouchers and non-perishable items that the Advocacy & Welfare team keep in stock in their office. The vouchers, however, cannot be used on alcohol, cigarettes or phone cards.  To enquire about Foodbank, drop in to see the UCSA HELP volunteers or contact the Advocacy and Welfare Team members to make an appointment.


**Please bring your own bags to hold the non-perishable items**

Food Support Service
Hardship Grant
Medical Prescription Grant
Mickle Fund Loan
Mickle Fund (Small Loan)

Contact us:

Student Advocate
Nathan Simkiss
03 369 0452

Advocacy and Welfare Manager
Ee-Li Hong
03 369 0450

The UCSA office is open Monday to Thursday 8:30am till 5:00pm, and Fridays 8:30am till 4:30pm.