August Council Meeting: New Accountability Measures, New First Nations Officer, New Campaign for $5 Capped Parking 

Welcome back to the Glass coverage of the Guild Student Representative Council (SRC) Meetings of 2023. This is our coverage of the August Council meeting held on Monday 24th August 2023 at E554, Kelvin Grove Campus. 

We will be bringing students coverage of these meetings throughout the year, so you have insight into all the goings-on in your Student Representative Council. These meetings include the motions that Guild Executives and other students put forward for the SRC to vote on, and which will directly impact your university experience. 

All current students can attend SRC meetings. If you want to see change on campus, we encourage you to put forward a motion to the SRC. 

COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES     

You can find the minutes of the meeting here.     

You can also access the meeting agenda and documents associated with motions raised at the meeting in this folder

AND WE’RE OFF!   

The Chair, Curtis Wenzel, opened the meeting at 5:45pm and began with an Acknowledgement of Country.   

No leaves of absence were noted. 

DISABILITY COLLECTIVE REPORT   

The Disability Collective report was delivered by Convenor Michael Pendergast. 

You can read the full report from the Disability Collective here. 

The Collective has acquired five new members since last Council meeting and now currently has 97 members.  

They reported strong engagement at the last meeting on August 9, which six members attended. The casual vacancy for events officer was filled at this last meeting by Natalie Doolette. 

The Collective also reported they have not received funds from the Guild as per their governance framework. They said they have not received funds for the last three semesters. The have been working with Guild Treasurer Usama Shafiq to amend this. 

The Collective said their events for this semester have not gone as planned because they do not have a dedicated events officer. They are hopeful of better attendance and organisation with their new events officer and after an analysis of their events by their engagement officer. 

QUEER COLLECTIVE REPORT   

The Queer Collective report was delivered by Convenor Julian Trueman. 

You can read the full report from the Queer Collective here. 

The Collective has acquired 22 new members since last Council meeting and now currently has 249 members. 

The Collective’s last meeting saw a member of the executive bring a motion of no confidence against the Deputy Convenor over allegations of creating a toxic work environment and disclosing private information of others. The Deputy Convenor denied the allegations. 

As a result of these allegations, the Deputy Convenor and Secretary resigned.  

Convenor Julian Trueman also resigned at this meeting for health reasons. Trueman will remain as Convenor until the Collective’s next meeting on September 8. 

Advertising for the roles of Convenor, Deputy Convenor and Secretary have already been posted.  

The Collective also reported success from their recent events: trivia, games night, Wear it Purple Day.  

They also revealed plans for a collaborative event with the Guild and a gender affirming makeup tutorial event. Plans for the makeup tutorial event is being held up due to issues accessing the Collective’s bank account. Trueman stated they have been told to fund the event out of pocket and ask the Guild for reimbursement.  

WOMEN’S COLLECTIVE REPORT  

The Women’s Collective report was delivered by Deputy Convenor Denva. 

You can read the full report from the Women’s Collective here. 

The Collective reported on August 17 the executive elected Dhuvaraka Ravishankar as their new Secretary and Amelia Gilbert as their Events Officer.  

They are still trying to gain access to their Facebook page, had no update as to the number of current members and are hoping to hold events soon with their new Events Officer.  

FILLING ALL THE CASUAL VACANCIES 

Engineering Councillor 

Judah Adams applied for the Engineering Councillor role.  

Not sure what a Guild Councillor does? Then read this article.  

Adams presented over Zoom. He is currently a QUT student pursuing a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours) and Mathematics (Operations Research). He also currently holds the position of President in two student societies, namely the Electrical Engineering Student Society (EESS) and QUT Anime and Manga (QAAM). He spoke about his experience working as an electronics engineer and a practical tutor.  

Glass Editor-in-Chief Ciaran Greig asked whether Adams had any political affiliations to which he responded no. 

The Chair took a vote: unanimous votes for. 

Judah Adams was voted in as Engineering Councillor. 

First Nations Officer 

Aaron Lee applied to fill the First Nations Officer position! 

Lee is currently studying a Bachelor of Science and has links to many First Nations communities, including the Oodgeroo Unit here on campus. 

“I noticed that a lot of the internal affairs of QUT had a really dehumanising element to them. And I want to bring back the human element to my people,” Lee said. 

Lee said he is here to fight for students, advocate for First Nations people, and really figure what students want. One of the main things he would like to do in the role is imbed a First Nations perspective. 

In question time, Lee was asked multiple questions and spoke about his involvement in the QUT community, relevant work experience and stated he is not a part of any political party.  

The Chair took a vote: unanimous votes for. 

Aaron Lee was voted in as First Nations Officer. Finally!  

Lee is yet to be inducted. 

Business And Law Councillor 

Gia Callaghan applied for the Business and Law Councillor.  

Callaghan is the President of the AMPed club and has connections with faculty which she believes will aid her in the councillor role. 

In question time, Callaghan spoke about her desire to help connect the Business and Law faculty to the Guild and its services. She also said she has no political affiliations. 

The Chair took a vote: unanimous votes for. 

Gia Callaghan was voted in as Business and Law Councillor.  

CHANGES TO ELECTION REGULATIONS 

Environment Officer Isabella Foley brought a motion to make changes to the Guild Election Regulations. Erin Milne seconded the motion. 

You can view the complete motion here

“I think we are in the midst of a participation crisis in the union,” Foley said. 

Foley believes these changes will go a long way to fixing this issue, and said the proposed changes were based on last year’s Returning Officer Report about the previous Guild elections. 

“The core of the changes is more people being able to campaign and being able to have in-person campaigning, especially during the week of voting,” Foley said.  

Milne then spoke for the motion, touching on the importance of campaigning during voting week.  

“There’s no one for students to talk to in-person to and actually speak to campaigners ahead during the period in which they can make a decision and vote,” Milne said. 

Greig spoke on the motion and agreed that change was needed. 

“I think it’s so important that we do this. 350 people voting out of the 50,000 students that we represent, it just isn’t enough,” Greig said. 

“At the end of day, if we don’t have lots of students voting for us and voting for us to be in this union, we have no mandate.” 

Greig posed questions about the proposed instant disqualification and the powers of the Returning Officer, and stated her position to amend the motion. 

Science Councillor Declan Kerr soke on the motion and urged for a more collaborative approach when it comes to misdemeanours.  

“We need to move away from a punitive system. Move from where running in an election is a constant worry that you are going to get disqualified to making sure people just actually engage in the process,” Kerr said. 

Aaron Lee spoke on concerns of allowing changes to campaigning restrictions could lead to over campaigning and encourage less participation by students. 

“People need to feel like they have a place and an identity and representation in politics to want to be a part of them,” Lee said. 

After further discussion about the benefits and disadvantages of changes to the regulations, the motion was put to a vote with separate votes for each change to the regulations.  

There was a total of eight proposed changes:  

Change 1: 

Delete Election Regulation R10.1:  

“10.1 Only registered and approved candidates are permitted to campaign for election on campus. a) No other person or people are permitted to campaign on campus on behalf of a candidate.” 

The Chair took a vote; 15 for, 2 against, 1 abstained. The votes were as follows: 

For: Aamna Asif, Isabella Foley, Aaron Bui, Harley Manely, Moin Rahman, Eli Spencer, Madison Shepherd, Gaurav Vithalani, Deepika Sharma, Declan Kerr, Zac Hyde, Tegan O’Connor, Sia Hills, John Longwill, Veronica Palk 

Against: Usama Shafiq, Anisha Balalle 

Abstained: Madison Shepherd   

The motion was carried. 

Change 2: 

Edit Election Regulation 10.6:  

“10.6  All candidates must wear their student ID card prominently at all times whilst campaigning.”  

To say:  

“10.6  All students must wear their student ID card prominently at all times whilst campaigning.”   

The Chair took a vote: unanimous votes for. 

The motion was carried.  

Change 3: 

Delete Election Regulation 10.2:  

“10.2  No candidate or group may campaign for any candidate or group other than themselves.”   

The Chair took a vote; 15 for, 2 against, 1 abstained. The votes were as follows: 

For: Aamna Asif, Isabella Foley, Aaron Bui, Harley Manely, Moin Rahman, Eli Spencer, Madison Shepherd, Gaurav Vithalani, Deepika Sharma, Declan Kerr, Zac Hyde, Tegan O’Connor, Sia Hills, John Longwill, Veronica Palk 

Against: Usama Shafiq, Anisha Balalle 

Abstain: Madison Shepherd   

The motion was carried. 

Change 4: 

Insert R10.1:  

“These regulations apply for the whole duration of campaigning and voting weeks.” 

The Chair took a vote; unanimous votes for. 

The motion was carried. 

Change 5: 

Delete Election Regulation 12.1:  

“12.1 Campaigning shall be restricted to areas as set in negotiation between the Returning Officer, the Guild, and the University. This will be advertised to students through all non-commercial social media channels operated by the Guild and by any other means the Returning Officer considers appropriate and convenient, to ensure information is accessible to all students.” 

The Chair took a vote; 15 for, 2 against, 1 abstained. The votes were as follows: 

For: Aamna Asif, Isabella Foley, Aaron Bui, Harley Manely, Moin Rahman, Eli Spencer, Madison Shepherd, Gaurav Vithalani, Deepika Sharma, Declan Kerr, Zac Hyde, Tegan O’Connor, Sia Hills, John Longwill, Veronica Palk 

Against: Usama Shafiq, Anisha Balalle 

Abstain: Madison Shepherd   

The motion was carried.  

Change 6: 

Delete Election Regulation 12.2:  

“12.2 Campaigning shall only be permitted in the areas designated in regulation ER12.1 during designated times that are approved by the board and the University and communicated to all candidates by the Returning Officer prior to the elections.” 

The Chair took a vote; 15 for, 1 against, 1 abstained. The votes were as follows: 

For: Aamna Asif, Isabella Foley, Aaron Bui, Harley Manely, Moin Rahman, Eli Spencer, Madison Shepherd, Usama Shafiq, Deepika Sharma, Declan Kerr, Zac Hyde, Tegan O’Connor, Sia Hills, John Longwill, Veronica Palk 

Against: Gaurav Vithalani 

Abstain: Madison Shepherd   

The motion was carried.  

Change 7: 

Delete Election Regulation 17.1c:  

“17.1 The following actions shall constitute misbehaviour in an election:  

c) campaigning during voting” 

The Chair took a vote; 14 for, 2 against, none abstained. The votes were as follows: 

For: Aamna Asif, Isabella Foley, Aaron Bui, Harley Manely, Moin Rahman, Eli Spencer, Madison Shepherd, Deepika Sharma, Declan Kerr, Zac Hyde, Tegan O’Connor, Sia Hills, John Longwill, Veronica Palk 

Against: Usama Shafiq, Anisha Balella 

The motion was carried. 

Change 8: 

Edit Election Regulation 17.2:  

Remove: “17.2 Any candidate found to be guilty of misbehaviour shall face instant disqualification, as determined by the Returning Officer.”   

Insert: “17.2 Any candidate found to be guilty of misbehaviour may face instant disqualification, as determined by the Returning Officer.” 

The Chair took a vote; 15 for, 1 against, 1 abstained. The votes were as follows: 

For: Aamna Asif, Isabella Foley, Aaron Bui, Harley Manely, Moin Rahman, Eli Spencer, Madison Shepherd, Usama Shafiq, Deepika Sharma, Declan Kerr, Zac Hyde, Tegan O’Connor, Sia Hills, John Longwill, Veronica Palk 

Against: Gaurav Vithalani 

Abstain: Madison Shepherd   

The motion was carried. 

INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES FOR SRC 

Glass Editor-in-Chief Ciaran Grieg moved a motion to add a requirement into the Guild Regulations that states each member of the SRC must submit a report at each Council Meeting about what they have done since the previous meeting. Glass Editor Celeste Muller seconded the motion.  

You can view the whole motion here.  

“It makes it really clear to students what we’re working on. I think it’s important that we hold ourselves accountable. I think it’s important we hold ourselves accountable to a high standard,” Greig said.  

Welfare Officer John Longwill said while he supported the motion, many of the SRC had concerns about the proposed form for these reports.  

Queer Officer Eli Spencer stated he was against including information he felt was private, like hours clocked and hours paid. 

“I just think it goes against our privacy and I just don’t really think it’s a good idea,” Spencer said. 

Greig then moved to amend the motion to remove the sections relating to hours clocked and paid from the form. Muller seconded this motion.  

The amended motion was passed with a unanimous for vote.  

CHANGE PARKING TO $5 CAPPED FOR STUDENTS 

Glass Editor Celeste Muller moved a motion for the SRC to endorse and participate in a campaign to demand QUT change parking rates to $5 per day for students. Muller said this motion was a response to the increase in parking prices that came into effect on August 21

“I understand [QUT] haven’t done it since 2017… I think we can all agree this is a pretty crappy time to put parking rate increases,” Muller said. 

Greig seconded the motion. 

The room then discussed various systems across multiple universities and possible systems in place already at QUT, like those for students with disabilities. 

The Chair took a vote; unanimous votes for. 

The motion was carried. 

WHOOPS, WE LOST QUORUM 

The meeting then concluded as we lost quorum – meaning that voting members left the meeting and there were not enough members of the SRC left to be able to vote on the remaining motions. 

These motions were on the agenda but were not heard in the meeting and have not been voted on. 

SO, THAT’S IT  

Wenzel then closed the meeting at 8:38pm. 

Ben Steele
Ben Steele
Articles: 24

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