QUT Guild

Guild Catchup: August

By August 28, 2020 September 25th, 2020 No Comments

Welcome back to our 5th Accountability Article for 2020! There’s been some switch ups since our last article, including the election of our new Queer and Women’s Officers, Amy Sargeant and Genevieve Hitzke. Read on to hear from your executive and what they’ve been up to during their elected term:

Glass: Em Readman, Jasmin Graves, Ashleigh North, Anahita Ebrahimi

Glass has been busy with three main projects. We are debuting a Writer’s Festival in week 8, which is collaborating with many groups across the Brisbane university writers scene. You can read all about the events on our dedicated site here: https://www.uniwritersfestival.com/

We’re also collaborating with the Environment Portfolio to prepare for sustainability week, and continuing with our regular scheduled content online. Click around our site to check out all the interesting things going on (spoiler: there’s a lot happening next week!)

Besides this, Grit and Glitter is well underway – and we will be having a launch soon. As well as this – our submissions for Down the Rabbit Hole are open, which is the last chance to submit to Glass in print this year so *hop* to it!

Environment: Hannah Smith and Seren Wyatt

Hello Everyone! We have been very busy this month! Firstly, we had our clothing stall, which was a huge success. Thank you so much to everyone that donated we could not do this without all of your donations! We hope to run another stall in a few weeks’ time, so please bring in those donations (the green bin is located outside the Guild Office – C Block Level 4).

A few weeks ago we had an interview with Sarah from Student Rights discussing all things sustainability. If you are interested about any topics ranging from fashion, travel, diet and reusable items check it out on the Guild’s Facebook page.

We have also been planning Sustainability week for week 8. We are going to have many amazing topics ranging from Oceans, First Nations Knowledge, Sustainable Fashion, Climate Change and sustainability as a student. We will be having interviews with researchers, articles by students on GLASS and a competition (with daily prizes of $100) so keep a look out on our socials!

Unfortunately, the graphics for our eBook is taking a little longer than expected, but, we will hopefully have it available in the next few months. It will be filled with recipes, facts, how-tos, and printables. Our aim is for it to be the perfect handbook for students and hopefully you can all get something from it!

Lastly, we have been talking to QUT Waste Management and Laura from Uyo discussing how we can reduce single use plastic on campus. We are currently focusing on coffee cups and different strategies to reduce disposable coffee cups altogether. Once we have compiled our report and presented it to QUT, we will update you all on our progress!

As always if you ever have any environmental concerns or projects in mind please don’t hesitate to send us an email at environment@qutguild.com We are always keen to hear from students and learn how you think QUT can be more sustainable!

Queer and Women’s: Amy Sargeant and Genevieve Hitzke

After beginning our new roles on August 4th we’ve hit the ground running, picking up the baton to continue the remarkable work done by Alicia and Max, our predecessors in the Queer and Women’s portfolio.

On August 5th, we held a launch event for the new Women’s Room and Queer Lounge, exciting new spaces located on Level 2 of C Block. These are beautiful, freshly outfitted spaces with big screens for Netflix, radical queer texts and resources on hand, and the most comfortable couches you’ll find on campus. Did we mention dimmable, colour-temp adjustable lighting? Come by any time – and don’t hesitate to give us a buzz at the Guild Office next door to catch up!

We’ve also re-launching the Guild Women’s and Queer Collectives, with executive elections in late August.

Gen has continued stocking and expanding the Little Emergencies initiative across GP and KG campuses, in unison with the Facilities Management team.

We’re getting up to speed with the new Student Sexual Harassment & Assault Working party – a crucial initiative making our uni safer for all.

See you around!

Abilities: Zoe Vaill and William Kroger

What a busy month we have had in Abilities! We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Disability Feedback for our Be a Better Human campaign which should be going up next month around campus. We have collaborated with the Queer and Womens officers to set up the governance documents for the collectives to make sure they run smoothly and securely so please start engaging with the Abilities, Womens and Queer collectives because the more people engage the more we can offer. Next month along with the BABH campaign we have a Q&A panel on studying with a disability. This is aimed at informing staff and academics about what it is like to study with a disability and how they can support students and find information and support about helping students with a disability. We are also working on an action plan to make on campus businesses like the bars and stores more accessible and disability friendly. So look out for the BABH poster around campus over the next month and get involved in the collectives.

International: Dieu Linh

International has hosted successfully two International Hang, one of which with the amazing presence of QUT Malaysian students Association. International clubs council meeting has been conducted among 10 QUT international clubs to come up with collaboration ideas for clubs during semester 2. We started working on the project to stop fee hikes for international students in 2021 and also arrange with ISS to introduce a Christmas exchange event for international students.

First Nations: Jennifer Barnaby

This last month we have seen more activity on campus and the campus picking up more foot traffic which is good, but in my portfolio the RAP is still in the process of being released and am looking to continue advocating for culture appropriation in more units by working with the learning and teaching  team and Oodgeroo unit. it’s still important to educate yourself on Indigenous issues and understanding the Indigenous culture.

Post Graduate: Nikka Turangan

The postgraduate team has been busy with developing initiatives and opportunities for more postgraduate-specific communities to grow throughout the university, through more funding for postgraduate clubs and societies. We are also working with a group of student representatives on the upcoming Postgraduate Collective, the fourth collective under the QUT Guild!

For the Guild’s R U OK Campaign, we have developed the 2020 QUT Guild Wellness Survey for all students. This survey will in part directed towards specific groups (women’s, men’s, LGBTQIA+) and in a broad sense, asks the question, what mental health concerns do you face as a student and how can the Guild and QUT provide support in these areas.The postgraduate team is deeply passionate in mental health and the importance of a continuous dialogue in this area. More to come so stay tuned!

Sport: Harrison Pie

So for the last few months the sport portfolio have been focusing on COVID safety for our social sport programs. I have been attending games making sure that people and employees have been following the registration requirements for us to continue our social sport program for students during COVID-19 restrictions.

Campus Culture: Megha Prasad

Another hectic month has passed for Campus Culture! Over the month of August, a few big things have happened – first up we had our first round of Club Funding for this semester to get our amazing clubs back on their feet. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to one of our awesome Campus Culture Vice-President’s – Zach Noble, who was offered a job with the Queensland Ambulance Service fitting with his degree of Paramedicine and Nursing. We are going to miss him but we are super happy for him too!! In other news, The Guild has been able to secure an extra $504,000 worth of SAFF Funding from underspend earlier this year and with that comes a whole host of possibilities for Campus Culture including monthly Club Funding rounds, a Club Awards Night and even more events on campus!!! In the background besides ALL of this extra fun stuff, Campus Culture and the Clubs Coordinator have been hard at work on our very first set of Club Regulations EVER, an Executive Handover Guide for all the AGMs that will be coming up and working through the nitty-gritty of the online Clubs Portal that will be coming VERY VERY SOON!! Lots of fun stuff is happening so keep an eye out on The Guild pages for more information!

Student Rights: Sarah Balmer and Ramisa Raya

August has been a busy month at the Guild! For one, we’ve had a massive win in securing $558k in SSAF funding! More specific to Student Rights, our Adulting 101 program is well underway. We interviewed the Environment Officers about sustainability last week and next week, we’ll have a conversation with a representative from Hostplus all about super. I’m personally very excited for this because of how important, yet often undervalued superannuation is. Look out for the info for that session next Wednesday on our Facebook page.

Exciting times are ahead for welfare within the Guild as well, with significant investments and improvements to be made inthe foodbank, our grocery voucher initiative and an exciting initiative to be run for international students.

We are excited to commence a new project, MOPP Mondays! MOPP Mondays is an educational series aimed at debunking common misunderstandings and empower students in their understanding of QUT MOPP. As the title self-explains: there will be a true/false statement uploaded every week on the QUT Guild page with a brief, insightful explanation. Keep an eye outfor the posts! If you have any questions about the MOPP, advocacy or generally, we are here for you – drop us an email.

For this week in specific but going forward, the Student Rights portfolio will take the lead in the partnerships with Student Success Group. We have the first-ever running Student Forum next week, which aims to connect student reps to the broader population.

As always, if you’re in need of any support, or if you have ideas as to how we can better support students, please get in contact with us at studentrights@qutguild.com

Treasurer: Liam Blair

This month, the Governance team have had a few really big wins. We’ve made some great progress on constitutional reform and had the massive win on SSAF. The latter is of course allowing us to improve services across the board and deliver new ideas, my favourite of which being the International student homestay over Christmas.

This year has been really rough for us as an organisation, but it’s been disastrous for some, particularly International students. I’m proud that we can provide them with a good Christmas so they aren’t on their own on a day in which everyone will be together with family.
The SSAF win also marks a milestone for the Guild in its bid to secure base level SSAF funding from the University. We’ve submitted a huge proposal and we hope that next year, the Guild gets a better figure and can exponentially grow from then on. Ultimately, SSAF funding was created for student unions, so students at QUT deserve to see their SSAF in their union.

On the side, I’ve been leading the charge on the public transport concession fares issue, given that there was confusion around whether students were being kicked off their discounts or not. Keep an eye out for more news on this topic as we’re looking to push harder and to hold the state government to account.

Secretary: Cameron Mackie

Over the past month myself and the QUT Guild Governance Team have been extremely busy focusing on large scale and long-term projects. Specifically, among many other things, in August I have worked on the following:

1. Engaging in consultation surrounding proposed constitutional and regulations changes;
2. Securing approximately 840k of SSAF;
3. Beginning to plan and execute the many exiting events and initiatives that we can now undertake with SSAF;
4. Chairing the Clubs and Societies Committee and assisting with preparing for club funding rounds; and
5. Chairing the most recent meeting of QUT Guild Council where we elected two new Gender and Sexuality Officers.

I am greatly looking forward to continuing these projects over the coming months. And, as a reminder for all who are interested, the next meeting of QUT Guild Council is scheduled for Tuesday 1st of September at 6:00 PM.

Have a wonderful rest of semester leading up to Mid-semester break!

President: Olivia Brumm

Over the last couple of months, myself and the governance team have managed to tick off quite a few of our long-term goals. Here some of what I’ve been up to:

  • SSAF Report & Proposal: We have compiled a comprehensive 40 page report that examines the history of SSAF at QUT, what allocations every other student union around Australia receives and the funding arrangements they have with their universities, the different models of consultation that are utilised and a proposal for a new SSAF funding allocation for the Guild. This report also outlined how a new funding agreement would allow the Guild to expand its services, embark on new projects and provide better support and representation to QUT students overall.
  •  SSAF under-spend & additional allocation: In the latest meeting of the QUT SSAF Management Group the Registrar indicated that there was a significant amount of underspend due to the unexpected changes that had to be made during COVID in semester one. I indicated that the Guild would be able to utilize this money effectively on initiatives to support students this semester. I presented a breakdown of the projects we could use the underspend on and the SSAF Management Group and the Registrar endorsed an extra $558,400 worth of SSAF funding for the Guild. This will allow us to do some truly amazing things for students including:
o 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐐𝐔𝐓 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬!
o 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 gocard 𝐯𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝
o 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐛 𝐟𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 and a catered 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛𝐬 & 𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭.
o 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐗𝐦𝐚𝐬: a scheme that connects domestic families with international students they can host over Christmas. The Guild is also commissioning a First Nations artist to provide each student with a commemorative Australian gift.
o 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭, new 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦𝐬 𝐚𝐭 𝐆𝐏 & an 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 the 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐬 initative providing free pads and tampons in bathrooms on campus
o 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭 to include a trained legal practitioner and finance expert & professional 𝐂𝐕 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 workshops
o Money to pay student artists to perform at the bars for the rest of semester
  • Constitutional change: I’ve been working with the governance team to address the concerns from last year and draft changes to our governing documents that provide stability and structure to the Guild. We have been consulting with the broader executive and councilors to ensure any changes are in the best interests of all students and the future of the organization.
  • University Boards & Committees: In the last few months I’ve participated in meetings of the University Health & Safety Committee, the University Equity Committee, Student Misconduct Committee, The Sexual Assault and Harassment Working Party, University Academic Board and the ACCSA Steering Committee. In all of these meetings I’ve asked question, put forward proposals and ensured that the student voice and perspective is at the forefront of the decisions that are made.

 

See you again in September!

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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