Guild Catch-Up: June 2023

Welcome back to the Guild Catch-Up series! As your Guild Executives are elected by students into a paid role, we find it important to provide as much clarity as possible to students and created this series to show you what your elected students have been up to. This is a monthly series, so stick around and hold your QUT Guild Executive accountable, and keep in the loop with what’s going on with our organisation.

All Execs were given 350 words and have been provided with Guild Catch-Up submission deadlines for the rest of the year, as well as reminders via email to submit.

Past Guild Catch-Ups: May

President – Aamna Asif

The first month as QUT Guild President has been an incredibly busy and transformative period for me. As I stepped into my new role, one of the most significant milestones was attending the board meeting, where we delved into the strategic direction of the Guild. It was a valuable opportunity to contribute my insights and ideas. 

During the May council meeting, I passionately advocated for the voice of Parliament referendum, highlighting its importance in taking a step towards reconciliation and honouring the First Nations’ rightful place in shaping our future. I am excited to share that this was successfully passed. 

This month we are continuing to prioritise the Guild Foodbank by recognising its crucial role in supporting students. The SRC have been working closely to strategise a plan to implement measures to meet the growing needs of students who rely on this essential service I am pleased to announce that the SSAF committee allocated an additional $60k to our Foodbank, reinforcing our commitment to supporting students in need.

In line with our dedication to student support, I have been working closely with the Guild Treasurer to strategise a plan to negotiate the renewal of our MOU agreement. Our primary focus this year is securing an increased funding allocation to continue in enabling us to consistently deliver extensive support services, resources, and initiatives tailored to the specific needs of QUT students.

During this transitional period, I have still been taking on the additional responsibilities of Secretary. This involves organising meetings, streamlining communication channels, and promptly addressing Guild inquiries internally and externally. While we now have an elected Secretary, I am committed to ensuring a seamless transition by planning a in-depth induction to facilitate her integration into the organisation. I am devoted to empowering her to step into her role with a sense of confidence. 

I have also actively participated in QUT committee meetings, addressing critical issues that impact our students. Specifically, I have been vocal about the urgent need to combat food insecurity among students and working with the Postgraduate Officer to promote equity by addressing disparities in scholarships for HDR students.

If you would like to ask Aamna about what she has been up to, send an email to president@qutguild.com.

Treasurer – Usama Shafiq

Throughout the month, I dedicated myself to ensuring that students have a genuine say in how the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is managed. To achieve this, I worked hard to create procedures that would ensure that funding requests are ultimately decided by the SSAF Committee. By establishing these protocols, we made sure that the committee, consisting of students, have the final say in how the funds are allocated. 

In order to make accessing guild services easier and more convenient for students, I have started to work on an exciting project to combine all guild services into one user-friendly website. This way, you can find everything you need in one place, making your student experience smoother and more efficient.

To secure additional funding from the university, I am working on a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) plan. The aim was to highlight the importance of obtaining more financial support for our initiatives and student welfare. By demonstrating the positive impact that increased funding can have, we sought to gain the necessary resources to further empower our student community.

In my commitment to the students, I worked on creating supporting documentation and policies for our organisation. While they are still a work in progress, these materials will serve as essential guidelines, ensuring that our operations run smoothly and consistently.

Furthermore, I actively participated in the QUT University Academic Board, using that platform to advocate for increased scholarships for Higher Degree Research (HDR) students. It was important to me to raise awareness about the significance of supporting these students and creating an environment that fosters their academic growth and success.

In my efforts to promote student engagement, my suggestions were to allocate an additional $55,000 to clubs, enabling them to provide more opportunities for students to get involved and make the most out of their university experience. Additionally, recognising the importance of addressing food insecurity, I also recommended that we dedicate an extra $60,000 to the food bank, ensuring students get the help that they need.

Overall, my goal was to empower students, streamline access to services, secure funding, develop supporting documents, advocate for scholarships, and address student needs. By focusing on these areas, I aimed to create a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes student success and well-being.

If you would like to ask Usama about what he has been up to, send an email to treasurer@qutguild.com.

Secretary – Deepika Sharma

Elected at Council meeting held 24 May 2023. Stay tuned for a Meet the Execs article from Deepika!

Education Officer – Emme Muggleton

Did not submit. If you would like to ask Emme about what she has been up to, send an email to education@qut.edu.au.

    Welfare Officer – John Longwill

    Did not submit. If you would like to ask John about what he has been up to, send an email to welfare@qutguild.com.

    Clubs & Societies Officer – Madison Shepherd

    In addition to my usual duties, I have successfully secured additional funding for clubs and collaborated with the Engagement Officer (Zara) on event ideas. I have met with numerous clubs to discuss the next funding round and also facilitated funding inductions. In addition, I participated in SSAF committee meetings, executive committee meetings, and SRC meetings. Furthermore, I am starting to create/workshop the grievance policy for clubs, to ensure we are fostering a fair and inclusive environment for all students. Overall, I hope my contributions have had a positive impact on enhancing student life, campus culture, promoting transparency, and advocating for student rights.

    If you would like to ask Madison about what she has been up to, send an email to clubs@qutguild.com.au.

    Environment Officer – Isabella Foley

    Over the past month, I’ve been organising activism for QUT students to get involved in. 

    I helped to organise a speakout in the city, alongside Greens MP Stephen Bates and the UQU Environment Collective, against Labor’s recent federal budget. Protests like this occurred across the country through the NUS Education Office. I also hosted a craft day on the GP Kidney Lawn to have climate activists on campus paint placards for this speakout. This remains an important issue to fight against: the federal budget was not designed to tackle the cost of living crisis. Instead, Treasurer Jim Chalmers is splashing cash at nuclear submarines and stage-3 tax cuts. Students across the country should stridently oppose Labor’s class favouritism towards the rich. 

    I’ve also been helping to plan an upcoming protest against the AUKUS alliance and Australia’s drive to war. It’s a little further down the track – the date we’ll be protesting is Friday 18th of August outside the National Conference of the Labor Party. I brought a motion to the Guild’s council meeting in May seeking endorsement of this protest. The protest is now backed by our Guild council, and we can get started on promoting it on campus!

    If you would like to ask Isabella about what she has been up to, send an email to environment@qutguild.com.

    Women’s Officer – Sia Hills

    Hello everyone, and welcome to the Women’s Officer monthly check-in. May has been a relatively quiet month, with preparations for the end of semester studies taking up a lot of time. However, that does not mean Guild work took a back seat. From the end of April to the beginning of May, I worked tirelessly in preparing for the official re-launch of the Women’s Collective. How that looked was undertaking a meeting with the other Collectives to seek their advice in how to move forward, discussions with people on how to get plans in motion, and just how I could ‘do the thing’. Eventually, I planned the AGM/CGM. I managed the socials for the advertisement, something which put me well out of my comfort zone, and for the rest of May until the 18th I was in full AGM plan mode. 

    I am happy to say that the AGM on the 18th was a success! Four out of five executive positions were filled, with Lauren Cuthbert taking the helm of Convenor, Denva Butcher as Deputy Convenor, myself as Secretary, and Emily Alexander as Engagement. I am excited for what the Women’s Collective will achieve for the rest of 2023, and I issue a congratulations to all those who gained their positions. I am looking forward to working together with them – both as Secretary, and in my position as the SRC’s Women’s Officer. 

    I can safely say, our Women’s Collective is back! It was a project that I was passionate about and I am so happy to see it grow from here on out.

    Well, that’s all from me. Until next time, keep fighting. You all got this.

    If you would like to ask Sia about what she has been up to, send an email to womens@qutguild.com.

    International Students Officer – Moin Rahman

    From my side I have recently co-held the information session: Bond Back – Tips and tricks to ending your tenancy with QUT Student Services and TenantsQLD. This is one of the various other information session or equivalent events in the pipeline of things that I am looking to organise independently or in collaboration. Curation of the essential info-pack document for international students consisting of important links and information for new and existing international students is underway and will look to cover topics ranging from superannuation to tax, overseas student health cover, volunteering opportunities, work entitlements, etc. I am also working with QUT Guild’s Advocacy team and QUT Guild Welfare Officer on the prospects of establishing an International Students Visa Assistance Service – ISVAS. This is at early stage works and QUT International Compliance is being approached to ensure introduction of this prospect preserves existing QUT central authorities critical work on visa compliance whilst enabling international students to further avail tailored visa support services during their coursework.

    If you would like to ask Moin about what he has been up to, send an email to international@qutguild.com.

    Disability Officer – Harley Manley

    Did not submit. If you would like to ask Harley about what he has been up to, send an email to disabilities@qutguild.com.

    Post Graduate Officer – Aaron Bui

    Did not submit. If you would like to ask Aaron about what he has been up to, send an email to postgrad@qutguild.com.

    Queer Officer – Eli Spencer

    Did not submit. If you would like to ask Eli about what he has been up to, send an email to queer@qutguild.com.

    Engagement Officer – Zara Vaz

    Did not submit. If you would like to ask Zara about what she has been up to, send an email to engagement@qutguild.com.

    Glass Editors – Ciaran Greig, Celeste Muller, Konstanz Muller Hering, Ben Steele

    Hi hello! We’ve been busy bees over at Glass, and we can’t wait to let you know what we’ve been up to!

    We’re in the depths Issue 16 production at the moment. If you’ve submitted something, expect to hear from us soon! Right now, May, the Guild’s Marketing Coordinator, is helping us with graphic design. We’re aiming to launch it during O-Week in Semester 2.

    This year, we’ve had over 66 contributors to the magazine and published 83 articles online. In Semester 2, we’re excited to focus on increasing online submissions and feature as many students as possible in Glass before the year is out.

    We’ve collaborated with Guild Advocacy on articles for their “Kindness Campaign” series. Check out “Keeping Up Momentum” and “When Planning Doesn’t Go to Plan” as we head into exam season.

    Our coverage of SRC meetings through stories and articles has been engaging for students to learn about the Council. We’ve addressed teething issues with the live coverage by including a disclaimer before the stories commence. We’re currently working on articles about individual SRC members to be published online soon.

    Our monthly newsletter is doing well. Sign up here if you haven’t already.

    We’re excited to bring Battle of the Bands back to QUT next semester! It’s still in the early planning stages, but we can’t wait to have the Executive Committee onboard for this event at the Bot Bar.

    Our new Advertising Kit has been successful in selling some ad space in Issue 16 to supplement our budget.

    We’re also working hard to create resources on running in Guild elections and voting. If you can help with writing or researching articles for this, please let us know!

    Our wonderful Editor Konstanz is leaving uni and the Glass team this week. We will miss her and we wish her well for her next adventure! You can hopefully still expect to see Konstanz writing for Glass as an alumni contributor, and we look forward to hearing more unSEXpected tales.

    Drop us a line anytime. We’d love to hear from you.😊

    If you would like to ask the Glass Team about what we have been up to, send an email to media@qutguild.com.

    First Nations Officer

    These positions are currently vacant. Want to get involved? Find out how you can join the Guild Executive on the Guild Noticeboard.

    GLASS Team
    GLASS Team
    Articles: 111

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