Daniel Soltermann: Science Councillor & NUS Delegate

Glass invited all candidates to submit a statement about why they’re running in the Guild elections and why you should vote for them. This statement is being published as received from the candidate.

Voting opens MONDAY 23rd OCTOBER 2023. You can read all candidate statements here.

I’m Daniel Soltermann and I’m running with Left Action for Science councillor and NUS delegate. Left Action is the only activist ticket because we aim to involve students in the union to fight for issues that concern students like cuts to degrees and continued inaction on climate change. Student unions should act as bodies for student democracy which fight for student’s rights rather than upholding the interests of QUT’s corporate administration.

Most guild councillors are committed to a strategy of asking the administration for minor improvements. An administration that has increased tutor’s workload to the point where they are allocated 5 minutes marking time per assignment. As an activist, I have been involved in building student support for a stop work last year in protest these conditions. Students’ representatives should publicly oppose the unpaid overtime our tutors have to do.

I have campaigned against QUT’s ties to climate criminals and weapons corporations by protesting and helping students get involved themselves. QUT claims to have divested from fossil fuels and pivoted to green energy; yet one week they will advertise a sustainability degree and host a fossil fuels career expo the next. After that, an information session on jobs to innovate more destructive weapons. QUT’s corporate dealings bring in $1 billion each year, and a $1.2 million salary for Vice Chancellor Margaret Sheil. The most profitable ventures create a worse world for students.

For society to improve there must be participation in campaigns like these, which is what I will aim to do whether or not I’m elected. Students have always fought for a better world from mass participation in the black lives matter protests to fighting the liberal party’s plans to implement American style student debt. Stagnating wages, inflation and soring rents have created a cost of living crisis which the government won’t legislate us out of. We need to organise opposition to these things in our student unions. Recently a student protest for affordable housing called partly against QUT for owning student accommodation but leaving it unmaintained and empty was joined by thousands of construction workers some who couldn’t afford rent themselves. Vote one left action for an activist student union which stands for student rights and social justice.

Articles: 108

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