Welcome back to the Glass accountability series. July is the fourth instalment of the Executive accountability articles, aiming to ask more of the people you elected to the QUT Guild. Read on to see what your exec got up to this past month. We ask executives to write about what they’ve done so far, what they’re working on and what is to come.
Glass: Em Readman, Ashleigh North, Anahita Ebrahimi and Jasmin Graves
Glass has launched our Eighth issue and just closed submissions on our Ninth! So many wonderful submissions have come our way and we are beyond grateful.
We have redesigned our website (as we’re sure you can see) to be more responsive and better for students.
In regards to articles; we have collaborated with Advocacy Officer, Jessica Michael, to write a piece on how to approach grade reviews. We collaborated with Sarah Balmer from Student Rights to cover the Respect and Safety at QUT Module and covered the Kangaroo Point Blockade. We covered the QUT Guild Council Meeting on June 22 and published Liam Blair’s article on Fee Hikes. We interviewed incoming First Nations Officer, Jennifer Barnaby, and wrote about Brisbane’s historic Black Lives Matter protest.
Coming up, we have more articles coming your way, as well as a fresh issue and the QUT Guild Writer’s festival (more on that soon!)
Environment: Seren Wyatt and Hannah Smith
Women: Alicia Tonio
The Women’s Collective portfolio has had a busy year despite the pandemic. During the pandemic I created Quarantine Buddies, a project that matches applicants with random strangers to be buddies. This was a highly successful project which garnered over 100 applicants. The Little Emergencies Initiative was distributed effectively throughout Semester 1. In Semester 2 I have negotiated with Jules Crowther to expand the availability of free pads and tampons to the following new locations at Kelvin Grove:
- Z2 level 1,2 and 3
- Z6 level 2
- Z9 Ground Floor
- C Block Level 3 (Food Court)
- E Block Level 2
- S Block Ground Floor
- N Block Level 5
- R Block Level 3, Level 4
I am currently in negotiation with the Gardens Point team to expand the Little Emergencies in Gardens Point. A domestic & sexual violence campaign was launched throughout the year. Facebook posts with resources were regularly published. Articles were published in GLASS. Posters were created for the Women’s Room and as an extension to the Be a Better Human Campaign. The Women’s Lounge is in the process of being furnished and filled with art from small artists and students. The room has been filled with resources and informative posters. Interactive art, boardgames and a book swap is in the room to entertain users. The Women’s Collective has undergone a complete revamp. A new email and social media pages were created. A Collective Framework and Terms of Reference has been completed. An election will soon be called for the new Women’s Collective Executive Team.
Queer: Max Fox
Over the last year-and-a-half I’ve had the privilege of being your elected queer officer. To focus on my studies, I’ve made the difficult decision to resign, but before I’m gone I’ve been working with the Abilities and Women’s Portfolios on securing Guild policy that will set QUT Guild Collectives up for the future. Plus, the brand-new Queer Lounge is open on Level 2 of C Block. This is a fantastic new space for queer students to relax, study or socialise. Check it out! It’s been truly wonderful working for students, and I look forward to seeing you around campus soon.
Nominations for Queer Officer are currently open, please see QUT Guild Noticeboard on FB to learn more about the casual vacancy.
Student Rights: Sarah Balmer and Ramisa Raya
This last month has been one of change at the QUT Guild, with the transition back to working from the office. Nevertheless, we have continued working on new initiatives to help you all out! Let us know is there is anything specific we can help with at firstname.lastname@example.org
NewVote has kicked off with the upload of a whole range of issues from online-learning to poverty on placement. We have reached our most engaged issue yet (21 people voting) and cumulatively over 500 votes. But this is only the beginning: we expect even more engagement and closing of the feedback loop by the end of 2020, including proposed features by NewVote to comment/engage with others on an issue. You can be part of the action by logging in here: https://qutguild.newvote.org/
Preparation for our new ‘Adulting 101’ sessions has continued, with the first focus to be tax help on July 29th. Next up, with our first video session will be sustainability with the Environment Reps on August 12! There will be multiple sessions throughout the semester covering topics many of us were never taught in school, including important subjects like budgeting, investing, superannuation and industrial relations. Let us know if there are other subjects, you’d like us to cover!
Respect and safety at QUT have also been an important focus this month, with many members of the Guild completing an online module and are soon due to undertake bystander training. We have made it mandatory for executives to complete both forms of training. This is super important so that students can feel confident that their elected representatives are fully aware and informed about how to respond to sexual assault and harassment so we can better serve students.
Campus Culture: Zach Noble, Megha Prasad
No executive report was provided for this portfolio.
Sport: Harrison Pie, Jonathon Easton
The sports portfolio has shifted focus from events and personal training sessions to the delivery of social sport. Social Sport 2020 is on track to start on the 27th of July with a 10-week competition. We are offering 4 sports across Kelvin Grove campus (Soccer, Touch, Netball and Volleyball). Safety is of utmost importance for the Guild, so for the last few weeks, we have been making sure that social sport is being compliant with COVID-19. We are monitoring the spread of the virus throughout Australia very closely and will make a judgement call later in the semester of what is best for student safety.
First Nations: Jennifer Barnaby
This month not much happened due to the university being on semester break. Over the course of the last month, I have planned what projects I want to work on the next half of the year which includes advocating for units to be more culturally appropriate and moving towards posting regular and holding more regular event about Indigenous issues, so am hoping this half of year will be great, looking following to seeing what this month wholes. Jen.
International: Dieu Linh
For Semester One social events, we collaborated with ISS to hold some welcome party for new international students. International Hang has been moved online and is expected to be held back on-campus next semester. Besides that, we ensure International students get access to all the services or support they need during the pandemic, including visa support, rentals, financial and study support. We created a Facebook group for QUT International students to get engaged with Guild events more. From that group, we can also provide timely support for students that need help.
Postgraduate: Nikka Turangan
No executive report was provided for this portfolio.
Abilities: Zoe Vail, William Kroger
This has been a busy month with some great accomplishments. We kicked off our service animal campaign with the international students and will be following it up with a campaign for the rest of the students soon. We are continuing with our joint Be a Better Human campaign, thank you for everybody who filled in and sent back the studying with a disability template, hopefully, the resulting posters will go up in the next few weeks and everybody can get a better understanding of different disabilities and their impacts. We are also revamping the Abilities Collective with some fancy new policies and hope that more people will join the QUT Guild Abilities Collective as it is a great support and social network.
Treasurer: Liam Blair
Back on campus and back to normal, almost? Things are getting a little better for us in Queensland, and for me, the month has been a transition back to things we were doing before the lock down. We love that social sport is back and we’re super excited for the bar events and activities on campus this month. The week 1 events were super successful, especially the comedy night, so expect more of that this semester!
My time has been focused, as usual, on a few large campaigns. We’ve made some great connections with student unions in QLD for a SSAF campaign and we’re super excited to bring about better awareness surrounding SSAF fees and funding and what it can mean for student unions. Additionally, the 0% policy feedback sessions are going quite well. They are being run so much better this time and the staff are engaging really positively with students.
We hope everyone is coping well with the transition back to campus study, and are happy with how their school/faculty is dealing with things. Remember to reach out if not, and seek help when you need it.
Secretary: Cameron Mackie
This accountability submission signifies the halfway point of my term as the 2020 QUT Guild Secretary. Over the course of the past six months, the Governance Team and myself have overcome an unprecedented amount of hiccups (and disasters) including, by absolutely no means limited to, a global pandemic.
This month, the Guild has completely transitioned back to our offices at Kelvin Grove. It has been a difficult three months acclimatising and managing a completely different work environment, however, as a team I believe that we’ve come out the other end more focused and excited to deliver for students in semester two.
As a recap for the first six months of my term, the following are my completed and ongoing projects and campaigns for 2020:
1. Completed Projects/ Campaigns
COVID-19 Survey and Campaign
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the QUT Guild distributed a survey to gauge what issues were most important to students and then ran a campaign lobbying the university for the five key identified demands: to enact expansive academic concessions, ensure all learning content is available online, provide clarity on all practical classes and assessments, adjusting fees and deadlines, and streamlining communication. The demands were also taken directly to the University Registrar, and many of these demands were eventually implemented.
Semester 1, 2020 Election
In March 2020, the QUT Guild ran a second election on the recommendations from the 2019 Electoral Tribunal. For this reason, it was unfortunately difficult to begin or complete any large-scale governance work, as we did not have a Council. The election ran smoothly and afterwards we had a full council.
Managed the Campus Culture Portfolio
While our campus culture representative was away, I managed the portfolio on top of my own responsibilities. During the time that I oversaw the campus culture portfolio, myself and Guild Treasurer, Liam Blair ran the first major round of Guild funding. We developed an approval and funding consideration process and managed new club affiliations.
2. Ongoing Projects/ Campaigns
2.1. Late Submission (0%) Policy & SSAF Review and Re-allocation campaign
2.2. SSAF Review & Re-allocation Campaign
2.3. Constitution and Regulatory Reform
2.4. Governance Transparency
Looking to the future, in addition to the ongoing projects listed above, there are several initiatives and projects that I will be focusing on until the end of my term. During the election at the end of 2019, I ran on platforms that so far have been impossible to implement due to pandemics and having to facilitate a second election in March 2020. All going well, I am hoping to be able to focus on these platforms in semester 2. These include:
1. Secretary Transparency (open door policy)
Now that we can return to campus, I am currently working on scheduling an open-door policy for my position. This will mean that students can drop in and ask questions about the Guild and the university and/or provide feedback on Guild projects.
2. Election Planning (what this will look like in a COVID-19 world)
The Governance team is currently in discussions with the university to assess how we should be planning for the end of year elections and what safety measures we should be established to accommodate for CVOID-19.
I’m greatly looking forward to being back on campus this semester and to be able to hold events for QUT students again. See you all around campus!
President: Olivia Brumm
No executive report was provided for this portfolio.