Guild Catch Up: September 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 2023June 2023, July 2023, August 2023

President – Aamna Asif

  • Working with the club’s department to create comprehensive policies for clubs, as well as developing workshops aimed at educating club executives on the process of submitting funding applications and conducting risk assessments. 
  • Working with the club’s department to re-evaluate and revise the last club funding round.  
  • Coordinating with Governance and Postgraduate Officer to plan a full-day workshop designed for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. This workshop is designed to empower students on their career path by providing insights into graduate recruitment strategies, job search techniques, online application processes, assistance with crafting CVs and cover letters, interview preparation, and more. 
  • Collaborating with Governance and International Officer to work towards the Guild providing Visa support for international 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

Summary of University Academic Board Meeting: 

  • Facilitated discussions concerning the comparison between online and in-person education methods. 
  • Set up a meeting with the Chair of UAB to discuss how student involvement can be increased in matters pertaining to Academia.  

Highlights from Digital Advisory Group Meeting: 

  • Explored strategies and approaches to enhance Canvas accessibility and the overall teaching platform for both online and in-person students. 

Ongoing Initiatives: 

  • Streamlining internal committee processes and procedures. 
  • Providing support for club funding.  

Preparations for Future Activities: 

  • Collaborating with the team to ensure efficient planning for 2024’s initiatives and events. 

Engagement with QUT: 

  • Engaged in discussions with QUT to expand the Guild’s support for students, covering topics such as visa assistance, legal aid, and food bank services. 

Council Motion: 

  • Presented a proposal during the Council meeting to grant the Guild’s Treasurer access to the Guild Financial Software (Xero). The motion was unanimously approved by the Council but has yet to implemented by the Board of Directors.

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

Secretary – Deepika Sharma

In my capacity as the Vice President of the QUT Guild, my unwavering commitment lies in championing students’ interests. My focus remains on elevating the student experience, fostering transparency, and optimizing our internal functioning.

Please feel free to reach out to me to address student concerns and navigate university life effectively. 

Outlined below are the key initiatives I have been actively engaged in:

  • Taking charge of various QUT Committee meetings to ensure the amplification of student voices and effective incorporation of their feedback.
  • Orchestrating subcommittee gatherings within the organization and meticulously recording detailed meeting minutes to maintain accurate documentation.
  • Identifying and resolving pivotal issues concerning the Guild’s internal structures, thereby aligning them with the organization’s objectives to provide all Guild members with guidance.
  • Spearheading and reinforcing ties with QUT, fostering a collaborative environment between the university and the Guild.
  • Collaborating extensively with stakeholders to devise efficacious strategies that elevate engagement levels within the Guild.
  • Managing open positions within the Guild, addressing role-related inquiries, and validating completion of essential checks.
  • Providing comprehensive support and resources to SRC members to facilitate the effective execution of their responsibilities.
  • Carrying out all responsibilities together with the President and Treasurer.
  • Ensuring the seamless, uninterrupted continuation of ongoing projects and student services.

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

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

This month I’ve been working hard on a suite of policy to do with reforming the funding process for clubs. I’m also working on dispute resolution policy for clubs. We’re in the middle of AGM time so we’ve had those documents to look over as well as constitution reviews, general enquiries and a few grievances too. Kenyshia has been working super hard on making sure everything runs smoothly with storage, bookings, photography, club barbecues and much more! I’ve also been involved in meetings regarding the future of clubs on campus such as having discussions with organisations such as QPay The team are also in the middle of planning the Club Awards evening – more details soon! Other than that, I’ve been involved in several internal committees (such as the SSAF committee). A lot of the work left for the year is making sure clubs finish off 2023 smoothly and prepare for the next lot of club executives to come in.

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

This month I was part of the National Union of Students nation-wide protest for ‘welfare not warfare’. This protest was called because our government is passing tax cuts for the rich and boosting military spending, meanwhile the cost-of-living skyrockets. On university campuses across Australia, and even here at QUT, students are forced to decide between eating 3 meals a day or paying your bills. Today, it’s the Labor Party and price-gouging corporations who are responsible for our living standards going backwards. While this is happening, Anthony Albanese has also signed onto the AUKUS pact and been part of multiple deals to build weapons for war. Labor is telling us that there’s money for warfare but not health, education, or social services. It was important that students across the country came out to protest the backwards priorities of our government. 

I’ve also helped to promote a series of protests against the ALP national conference that was held in Brisbane. There were protest across multiple days over the issues of the AUKUS alliance, cost of living and the housing crisis, and climate justice. Labor has proven on all these questions that they are not on the side of workers and students. Our government made it clear in this conference that they want to rule for big business and the rich. Inside the ALP conference is not where any left-wing change will come from. We need to fight the Labor Party to see increases to our living standards, genuine climate action and an end to the drive to war. 

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

Hey everyone, Sia here. Back again for another monthly report.

This month has been relatively stressful. I had to take some personal time due to a family loss, which set me behind on several things, as I was close with the family member we lost. To say it has been rough is an understatement.

Outside of that, I wrote an article for Glass on my experience with sexual violence. This will be linked to an initiative I have in the works which aims to hopefully influence university policy change on SA and harassment, while also hopefully bringing about a new support service that’s more specific to SA. My goal is to foster a safer environment on campus, in line with nation wide awareness around such an important issue. Additionally, I plan to research further into bringing further change that can hopefully make campus life more safe and inclusive for all women.

I apologise that this is not the biggest report, or the best, but I just wanted students to know what I was up to, and what has been happening.

As always, if you wish to reach out to me, share your story, or just have a chat, please email me at womens@qutguild.com

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

I am recent engaged with external Multicultural Australia collaborating with them to enable QUT international students’ access and partake in their yearlong wide range of volunteering opportunities. Furthermore, I am currently also working along with QUT Guild secretary and general professional staff, QUT internal stakeholders to ideate a model to help establish the International Student Visa Assistance Service – ISVAS. This will, when developed and run as a service will look to provide visa assistance to all international students intermittent solicited visa assistance service, currently almost non-existent at QUT.

I am also in the ongoing process of collaborating with QUT Guild Clubs & Societies team and QUT Student Services for the formation of prospective QUT Bhutanese Club in line with increasing number of Bhutanese students expressing interest in starting a new student club that encompasses and exhibits their culture and community. Curation of the essential info-pack document still underway and progression, looking to cover topics ranging from superannuation to tax, overseas student health cover, volunteering opportunities, work entitlements, etc. In accounts of other internal responsibilities, I have been attending the weekly QUT International College Academic Misconduct Meetings and councils regularly, providing inputs and insights where needed and ensuring the process of decision meeting and its integrity is maintained.

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

Disability Officer – Harley Manley

I’ve been up to trying to continue a few of the projects I’ve been working on including trying progressing the disability safe space and I am awaiting responses on this.

I’ve been working on BindiMaps: a way-finding app that includes personalisation options based on support needs; doing some touch ups to the proposal and then sending that off ASAP.

Other than that: Meetings with the University and our normal internal meetings.

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

Queer Officer – Eli Spencer

    Hi there everyone, 😊  

    Since my July update a few new things have happened:  

    • I attended another LGBTIQAP+ working party meeting. To which I provided a general update on my projects. In that meeting discussions around QUT Allyship training were exchanged and what action points we can implement to better this training for current and future QUT staff members. And most importantly to provide a safer and more inclusive university life for students on campus. I alongside many working party members offered to help facilitate a session on how to incorporate Ally/LGBTIQAP+ awareness into teaching and learning, for teaching academic audiences. We discussed Wear It Purple Day (WIPD) which is on the 25th of August and how we are going to facilitate that event. (I have some more information down below.) The LGBTIQAP+ working party have worked very hard to create the LGBTIQAP+ Action Plan. The launch of this will be very soon!  
    • As you may know the Student Representative Council attend and are a major contributing factor to monthly council meetings. This meeting was held on the 26th of July 2023. During council agenda items were discussed and motions were voted on. I did quite a bit of speaking at this council meeting. I alongside SRC executives raised very important matters. I highly recommend that you read the council minutes, after each council these are shared publicly. All council minutes can be found on the QUT Guild website, and the QUT Guild Noticeboard.   
    • Queer Safe Services Project – I have been chipping away at this slowly. It is quite a big project, once completed it will be shared university wide to staff and students. This project compiles a very extensive and informative list about Queer safe services to utilise outside of QUT. This list includes but not limited to psychologists, general practitioners, gender affirming surgeons, and specialists. Sadly, not a lot of places offer bulk – billing so, finding services that do is quite tricky. However, I have completed extensive research on services that offer the Medicare rebate. It’s a big project, I am working very hard to ensure that the services I am listing are a safe place for you all to utilise.   
    • Wear It Purple Day! – this day is quite significant for the Queer community. I alongside the Queer Collective and the Guild will be holding stalls at both campuses. It will be lots of fun, I encourage yourself and your allies to be a part of this day. Wear It Purple Day is the 25th of August – stalls will be running from 11am – 2pm.   
    • Binder Drive – this is another project that I have been working very hard on it is still very much in the works. I am very excited for this – I alongside the Queer Collective will keep you posted 😊   
    • Upcoming Student Elections – I am very happy to announce that I will be running for the Queer Officer position again! As you may have seen the Guild alongside Glass has been posting information surrounding elections on socials. I highly recommend you and your friends check this information out and I strongly encourage you to run a ticket for an SRC position if you are very passionate and persistent on making and being the change for our students, you have a knack for regulations and policies (these are vital for things such as council). SRC positions are very time consuming, require lots of mental energy, enthusiasm and dedication and are truly such rewarding jobs. If you have any questions surrounding election or SRC positions, please feel free to pop down to level 1 of C block Kelvin Grove campus to have a chat to myself or other current SRC executives – we are more than happy to help!  

    Take care of yourselves, don’t study to hard and indulge in that selfcare.  

    Eli 😊   

      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

      1. Working on club awards to support Madison’s goals and initiatives: This year the Clubs and Societies Committee is planning a rather sophisticated gala to celebrate our hard-working club executives. Think “Grammy awards” but with more fun award titles. We are working full steam ahead on organising the venue and activities for the day, but stay tuned for (super cheap) tickets!
      2. Coming up with ideas for smaller events throughout the semester, for example, a stand-up comedy show: The hope for organizing such small events periodically is to keep the students engaged and bring campus culture back to full capacity. The stand-up comedy show, for instance, is going to be a fun way to bring the campus community together for an entertaining evening and some relatable humour. We have comedian Ting Lim doing a set for us so keep the 14th of September free to have a glass of wine and unwind!
      3. Coming up with engaging content for the Guild’s Instagram page: As social media plays a significant role in engaging students, maintaining an active and appealing Instagram presence is important. I have worked on some content to share updates about events and activities in efforts to build the QUT Guilds growing online community! Along the same lines, I have been working a lot of guild events in attempts to spread word about the guild and our work.
      4. Brisbane 2023 Relay for Life by the Cancer Council: I have been in talks with Danila Franz, Senior Coordinator at the Cancer Council about the 2023 Relay for Life this October. We hope to see people sign up for teams and donations for the same. My article with Glass will point out more details about the event. Once we get registrations, I will begin work on a fundraising initiatives for the same!

      Through conversation with students in person and on our socials, I have understood the need to implement a lot of different kinds of engagement methods, which I have taken note of. I hope to implement them and have a buzzing campus all year round!

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

      First Nations Officer

      Aaron Lee was elected to this position at the most recent SRC meeting.

      Glass Editors – Ciaran Greig, Celeste Muller, Ben Steele

      Issue 16 is almost gone! We could not keep up with the demand from QUT students and would love to see budget for expanded print runs in future so that as many students as possible can pick up a print copy of Glass

      Battle of the Bands It’s been amazing to see so many students turn up at the bar on Tuesday nights and the quality of the student bands playing each week has been outstanding. Come along! 

      Brewed Awakening Cup Desing Comp We had over 20 submissions and we’re so excited to announce the winner very soon! 

      We’ve been trying to publish as many students as possible online, especially through our Student Columnists initiative (currently 12 student columnists either publishing already or in the works!).  

      QUT and Guild reporting this month has been a mammoth effort from the team for a variety of reasons, not least of all being the sheer amount of research and fact-checking needed for a lot of this reporting.  

      We’re working on building awareness about the Guild elections (coming up very soon!!!) through flyers, articles and workshops. 

      We’ve continued to fight for accountability and transparency within the SRC through our Guild catchups (like this one you’re reading!) and an upcoming motion at Council this coming Monday 28th August. 

      Overall, the effects of Glass’ under-resourcing are becoming more and more apparent in how limited our current capacity is to report in a timely and high-quality manner on QUT & Guild matters, as well as support as many students as possible to be published and involved in other creative opportunities on campus. We’ve continuously been raising this as a concern publicly and within the Guild. We’re so incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved this year but hope the next Glass team is better resourced and better positioned to be able to give QUT students the student media they truly deserve. 

      We’re hopeful that we might be able to welcome some WIL interns into the Glass team soon! If you would be interested in doing WIL at your student magazine, please let us know! media@qutguild.com 🙂 

      Ciaran Greig
      Ciaran Greig

      Ciaran (she/her) is a Meanjin/Brisbane-based writer and an editor at Glass Magazine. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing)/Bachelor of Laws.

      Articles: 50

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