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QUT Guild Catchup: June

By June 19, 2020 No Comments

As a part of our commitment to accountability, we bring you a monthly executive update. This is to outline what your elected representatives have been doing and plan to do, so you know what’s up in the Guild!

Media: Em Readman, Jasmin Graves, Anahita Ebrahimi and Ashleigh North

Glass has reignited it’s media association, looking to gather community ideas on how to better manage Glass and serve the student body. You can find our group through the Glass Media Facebook page. We have signed off on the final edits of Uncharted Waters, and look forward to launching it this Sunday. Anahita, Jasmin and Ashleigh have planned an incredible launch full of fun events and prizes, so make sure to come along on Zoom.

Beyond this, we’ve remained active on our online site, introducing you to your faculty councillors, speaking on Domestic Violence Awareness Month, JobKeeper and the infamous Drew Pavlou. We also featured online articles from Cai Prochon, Taylor Smith and Olivia Woolridge. We’ve also been working hard on planning changes to constitutions, attending to our committee responsibilities and planning our theme for the next issue (stay tuned!) As always, if you have a story or a question, contact media@qutguild.com

President: Olivia Brumm

  • Conducting wide-scale research on the governance structures of student unions nationally as part of our commitment to major Constitutional re-structure. Reading through their Constitutions & Regulations and speaking to executive in other unions to identify what works and what doesn’t.
  • Compiling a SSAF report with the Treasurer and Student Rights portfolio which benchmarks QUT Guild nationally and looks comprehensively at the processes through which SSAF is distributed at other uni’s. We have also been looking into the frequency of consultation and review procedures for SSAF.
  • Initiating the process of discussing potential legislative reform with the Education Ministers office through senior policy advisors.
    Working collaboratively with the women’s and queer portfolio on a revised timeline for launching the collective rooms on campus (they’re furnished, decorated and ready to go! Just need to make them COVID-safe for the launch)
  • Participating in various university committees, working parties and boards as a student representative.

Secretary: Cameron Mackie

Over the past month, Guild Executives have begun the slow transition back to office work. It’s been challenging to work from home for so long, and it’s great to be able to see everyone face to face again finally. While we don’t predict that everything will be back to normal quickly, the Guild is working hard internally and externally to ensure that we are adhering to government recommendations, but also focussing on keeping up student engagement and representation.

The most exciting news from the Guild recently is the Botanic Bar at Gardens Point re-opening (yay). It’s been so great to see so many people back supporting our staff and bar, and we’re looking forward to being able to allow more and more people back slowly.

Throughout June, my portfolio has focussed on internal management and research into ongoing projects such as constitutional reform and advocacy campaigns we have and will be running this year. We have also begun internal consultations for the governing documents,and are currently planning our next steps with the process.

Another huge part of my role is organising and facilitating Guild Council. I have just called the next meeting, which will occur on the 22nd of June. At this meeting, we will be ratifying new internal policy, hearing from our Faculty Councillors, (hopefully) electing a second Health Faculty Councillor, and hearing questions and motions from attendees. If you are interested in attending this meeting, please see the details published on the QUT Guild Noticeboard.  

Other than these largescale projects, I have had a relatively quiet few weeks as a result of exams and assignment. The good news is that my assessment has wrapped up, so I finally have time to relax again. I hope everyone else’s exams went well and you enjoy your mid-year break!  

Treasurer: Liam Blair

Finally, we’re back in the office. It was getting a little claustrophobic working from home, and since my setup was in my bedroom, barely leaving that place, except to scurry to the nearby coffeeshop, was getting sad. 

The ongoing theme of my submissions to this great initiative by Glass has been large, ongoing projects or campaigns. Last month I discussed the huge late submission research report I completed, and I touched on another initiative regarding the funding from the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Not only is that well underway, but we have found some amazing information from other universities about how SSAF funding is distributed to student unions elsewhere. Much more to come. 

To make it a trifecta of large initiatives, the Governance team (Olivia, Cameron and myself) have begun extensive research on student union structures around the country. We believe the Guild would benefit from inheriting structural aspects of larger, better established organisations. We’re pretty keen to bring this research to a wider audience, so stay tuned for that. 

Moving into holidays and looking to semester two, we hope QUT handle the transition back to campus-based learning well. We’re keeping an eye on any changes to the COVID-19 extension and are keeping tabs on ongoing faculty-based issues with practical and performance-based assessments, ensuring no issues continue into semester two. 

Queer: Max Fox

This month saw the tail end of assessment for all of us here at the Guild. I worked with the Abilities portfolio on updating QUT’s bullying and harassment online portal, and am in the process of organising Wear It Purple Day 2020 in collaboration with Equity and Student Counselling and the Student Success Group. Also coming up, the newly refurbished Queer Lounge will be launched for Semester 2 on level 2 of C Block, Kelvin Grove. This fantastic space will feature a mural by local queer artist Samuel Leighton-Dore. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Women: Alicia Tonio

Alicia Tonio did not submit an update.

Abilities: Zoe Vail

The Abilities staff have been looking into various campaigns and projects this month. We are working with Disability Services to create a campaign around educating students about service animals on campus and how to interact with them. We are also working with Equity to update staff training programs for working with students with a disability, as well as on updating the information pages relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination for students. Our plan for the next month is to determine if there are any disability and mental health related on-campus events that will be able to go ahead this year. We will also be continuing with our campaigns and hoping for student input and feedback.

Campus Culture: Megha Prasad and Zach Noble

It’s been a quieter month for Campus Culture as while one of our VP’s completed their exams, our other VP began placement! Going into exam block however, we began the 17 days of wellness online campaign to provide study tips for students and support in the online setting. We have used the cooking Wednesday project to focus on eating healthy during exam periods. In terms of Club resources, we continued in writing sections of the Clubs Handbook – finalising the new start a club procedure and slowly moving into the writing phase for several other resources including the start a club templates. Going into next month one of our VP’s will still be occupied with placement however in conjunction with the QUT Guild Treasurer – we hope to organise a working group on specific resources such as the club funding process, club funding oversight, affiliation and disaffiliation terms!We have been having meetings with QUT, marketing and events to start planning on events for next semester and how we have become COVID safe during possible on campus events.

Student Rights: Sarah Balmer and Ramisa Raya

This month, the Student Rights portfolio has involved lots of planning for Semester 2. We have been planning to bring you more Masterclass Monday sessions after exam block concludes and have also continued our research into the inequities of QUT’s SSAF funding model. 

The delivery of food packs has continued weekly since the pandemic began, with the help of some incredibly generous charities and the hard work of some extremely dedicated Guild staff members.

In addition to the generous food packs, we also launched our first issue on the NewVote platform about the staff fund cuts. Due to the COVID-19, we have seen news reports of mass job losses in the higher education sector. For students, this means potential decrease in the quality of teaching or support from the university. There are a few possible solutions to minimise the impact — you can vote or even suggest your own solution to this issue here: https://qutguild.newvote.org/issues/potential-staff-cuts

We would love your thoughts on QUT’s plans to deliver most of Semester 2 entirely online, as since the announcements were made, we have heard from several students that they wish to return to their tutorials. Speaking on a personal note, I certainly want that. Let us know your thoughts at studentrights@qutguild.com We are here to represent you and your interests, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Sport: Harrison Pie and Jonathon Easton

For the last month, the sport portfolio has been taking on the Trivia Tuesday events. One of our most popular weekly events with 20+ people turning up on zoom every week. While we we arent’ running it during exam block, it is definitely something we will be looking at for Semester 2. Hopefully with Covid restrictions lifting moving to a physical location in the botbar. This week was the last week of our morning PT sessions. It was a great time during the coronavirus, with a few students consistently turning up every week, it was a good encouragement for both trainers and participants to keep active during a difficult time. If restrictions lift, it is unlikely this will continue another semester. For the next month, the portfolio will reshift its focus onto social sport and other activities, as well as the possibility for free sport options for students.

First Nations: Jennifer Barnaby

Hey Guys! since you heard from me last, lots have happened. As most of you know there has been a lot of turmoil in the Indigenous space, and a-lot more issue has light in the last month. The Guild has approached these issues with the most respect and sensitive to the topics. But on the back of this we have thought about how we can create awareness around the issues and better educate students on the importance of educating yourself on the topics. In the month we celebrated National reconciliation Week, and the guild also is in the final stage of developing their Reconciliation Action Plan, we could see the RAP being released in the next couple of weeks. Cannot wait to see what this month holds.

International: Dieu Linh

International has had considerably quiet time during the exam period. We maintain running online international hang through zoom to give people a little time to destress from assignments and exams. Our facebook group QUT Guild International is still growing with more members and supports for each other.
We will try to make up for the previous quiet time with a series of workshops and work-related webinar to assist international students with finding part-time or graduated jobs. We are also working closely with the Council of Internation Student Australia to come up with information sessions on workplace right. Please follow our facebook page and facebook group for more updates!

Post Grad: Nikka Turangan

The Postgraduate Team is growing and we’re working hard towards establishing a Postgraduate Council of Representatives. We have representatives from all faculties and even at the school level for some in the Higher Degree Research (HDR) space but lacking greatly for the Coursework and Honours cohorts. Do not hesitate to email postgrad@qutguild.com to express your interest or for more information.

Environment: Hannah Smith and Seren Wyatt

It’s that point in the semester when we are all super busy with assessments, but the grind for our eco-friendly ebook has not stopped! The plan is still for our ebook to be available from Semester 2, 100% free for download, and it will be full of facts and tips for turning your life more environmentally sustainable. Whether your goal is to be more waste free, to invest in eco friendly hygiene and beauty products, to lay off the animal products, or all of the above – this book will help get you started!

 

Em Readman

Em Readman

Em Readman is a writer from Brisbane, Australia. She is an editor of GLASS Magazine, and is completing a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Fine Art.

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