Hands off our hangouts: A open letter to QUT Campus Services

To QUT Campus Services,

We urge QUT Campus Services to maintain the Botanic Bar and the Grove Bar under the management of the QUT Student Guild. The Botanic Bar especially holds a significant place in the QUT community, serving as more than just a bar but as a student-led business and community space for generations of QUT students.

The Botanic Bar and Grove Bar have been operated by the QUT Guild for decades under a non-profit model. The Guild has upheld student-friendly pricing, provided free events, and offered Clubs and Societies the opportunity to host events at the venue without charge. Profits generated from the bar have been consistently reinvested back into Guild student welfare services, and the maintenance and upkeep of the bar itself.

Maintaining the Botanic Bar and Grove Bar under Guild management ensures that it remains an accessible and inclusive space for the QUT student community. Furthermore, we support the Guild’s efforts to secure a longer lease from QUT to facilitate proper food licensing, the provision of hot food at the bar and much more.

We commend the QUT Guild for its dedication to gathering direct student feedback and continually improving its services to better serve the student community. We stand in solidarity with the Guild’s mission to preserve the legacy of the Botanic Bar and Grove Bar and advocate for their continued management by the QUT Guild.

We urge QUT Campus Services to support the QUT student body’s desire to maintain the Botanic Bar and Grove Bar under Guild management and to work collaboratively with the Guild to ensure its continued success as a vital student space.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


QUT Guild

Why does this matter?

We are facing a critical moment in preserving the heart of our student community: our beloved student bars. The threat of these spaces being taken away from us and handed over to profit-driven private companies is real, and it’s a cause for concern for all of us.

First and foremost, student bars are more than just places to grab a drink; they are the beating heart of our campus culture. These spaces have been managed by our student union, the QUT Guild for over 30 years. By keeping our bars under Guild management, we ensure that they remain accessible, affordable, and inclusive for all students.

But why should you care about who manages our student bars? Because it’s about more than just where we go for a drink after class. It’s about protecting our student voice and agency on campus. The University’s decision to take away Guild services and businesses like graduation gowns, The General Store, and social sport has already diminished our sense of ownership and control over our own student experience. What’s next? Will the University continue to chip away at the resources and spaces that make our student union strong?

Think about it: if our student bars are handed over to private companies whose primary goal is to maximise profits, what happens to the values and priorities that matter to us as students? Will these companies prioritise student welfare and community building, or will they prioritise their bottom line?

The University’s actions raise serious questions about their commitment to a strong student union and a vibrant campus community. By taking away essential services and potentially handing over our student bars to external entities, the University is sending a message that they do not value the role of students in shaping our own campus experience.

We cannot afford to stand idly by while our student union and the spaces that define our campus culture are under threat. It’s time to stand up and demand that our voices be heard. We must rally together to protect our student bars, preserve our student union’s autonomy, and ensure that our campus remains a vibrant and inclusive community for generations of QUT students to come.

Join us in signing this petition to show the University that we care about our student bars and that we will not let them be taken away from us without a fight. Together, we can send a powerful message that the QUT student body stands united in defence of our student union and the values it represents.

If you care about keeping student money in student hands, and keeping the QUT uni bars student-focused and in Guild hands, sign the petition here.

We would also love your feedback on how we can make the bars better. Fill out this quick survey here and go into the draw to win two passes to see Abigail the movie.

QUT Student Guild
QUT Student Guild
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