Guild NewsQUT Guild

Meet the Execs! President, Secretary, and Treasurer Edition 

By February 14, 2022 March 13th, 2022 No Comments

You’re probably aware that as a QUT student, you’re entitled to vote in the QUT Guild elections when they roll round at the end of the year. In this article, we introduce you to three of your fellow students who you elected to fill the roles of President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Guild from 1 December 2021. These are paid positions and the individuals who fill these roles are elected to advocate for you, the students, in order to optimise your experience of studying at QUT.  

Without further ado, please meet Oscar, Aamna, and Tori!

Oscar Davison – President 

Hi, I’m Oscar and I will be your QUT Student Guild President for 2022. I am from Birmingham in the UK, but completed my high school education in Kingaroy, which is about three to four hours west of Brisbane. I am about to start my final year of a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). I have been a part of the QUT Law Society for the past year as an Events Officer, and shall also be their Director of Events in 2022. Outside of QUT, I volunteer at a pro bono legal centre in South Brisbane, and I am heavily involved in the Romani Rights Movement 

What are you studying and how many years of your degree have you completed? 

I am studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). I have 1 year left of my degree, so I shall be completing my term as President alongside my degree, which it quite a nice way to head out! I have also attained a Bachelor of Justice from QUT which I completed at the beginning of 2019. 

Why did you run for this position?

From the above answer, it’s pretty evident that I’ve been studying at QUT for a long time—it’s now coming up to 6 years. I’ve seen QUT, and my education in various forms, and for the most part, it’s been pretty good. But then COVID-19 came, and like most students, I noticed a serious decline in the quality of my education. I put some of the blame on QUT: the sacking of teachers and other facilitative staff has directly led to poorer learning outcomes. Some of this, however, is the fault of the pandemic itself. It’s had an enormous toll on me— physically, emotionally, and mentally. I, and I’m sure many students, am not the same person I am was before the pandemic. I don’t think any student can say they’ve exactly felt supported by QUT through this period. So, when previous QUT Guild President Olivia Brumm asked me if I would be interested in running for the position of President, I felt it was an opportunity to be able to demonstrate to QUT the extent to which they have let down so many students, including myself, over these past few years. Hopefully I can push the university to implement some real changes, and our education can return to what it once was, and fingers crossed, make it even better. 

How do you hope to be able to support students?

By virtue of studying at QUT, all students are members of the Guild. I’d hope that students would feel as if they can come up to me and raise individual concerns they’re having regarding their university experience, so that we can implement changes that accurately reflect the needs of students. The Guild is the voice of the students. The Guild is the tool students can use to change the quality of their education. To support students, we need to actively be seeking out their opinions, and truly listening to what they need. 

How do you believe the QUT student Guild can be improved? 

I think the biggest issue within the Guild is cultural. It became a running joke in the Stalkerspace moderator chat, back when I was a part of the team, that the Guild so often advertised casual vacancies over the past year. I would love to make it through 2022 with the same team we started with. I desperately want to create a guild where everyone is excited to come to work every day, and where they feel supported in everything they are doing. Everyone should feel like they can say ‘Hey, I’m struggling at the moment’, Ideally, when someone is struggling, instead of leaving the Guild, we can work together to help each other get through difficult times, and we hopefully we can all come out the other end better for it. 

What are the main challenges for QUT students? 

QUT is moving towards an ‘integrated system of learning’, which involves both online and in-person learning. QUT has been of the opinion that there is no difference between the learning outcomes of online and in-person learning, but any external student, and more recently, any student who has been forced into external learning during the pandemic, can tell you that online learning outcomes can be terrible. You would think that the Queensland University of “Technology” would have fantastic online learning services, but that’s just not the case. If QUT is truly wanting to change to this integrated system, online learning needs an overhaul. 

The 0% Policy is another major issue in the university. The Guild made great headway this year with the introduction of the automatic 48 Hour extensions, but this has its own issues. Realistically, this feels like the university is making a concession to make us go away. QUT needs to have a sliding scale late policy, similar to other universities. 

Why are you interested in this your new role? 

Overall, I’m just excited about the possibility of making a difference. These past few years have been tough, and I haven’t seen things getting better. That’s why I’m here. I want QUT to be better for the future students. Any positive changes we manage to introduce won’t affect me personally, as I’m on track to graduate at the end of 2022. But imagining that incoming students will have a better education I did is incredibly exciting. I have hope that student experiences at QUT will improve. 

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months? 

In the next 12 months, I hope to build upon the work of our previous President, Olivia Brumm. The QUT Guild needs 50% of the student services and amenities fee (SSAF). That money needs to be redistributed to the students of QUT through support programs that will actively benefit their university experience. Advocacy, breakfasts, the foodbank, Prac Packs — these are all amazing initiatives, but the Guild needs more funding in order to provide these services to more students. Additionally, I desperately want to make online learning better. We need relevant, up-to-date content in units. We need better captioning, and we need captions available in multiple languages to better assist our international students. In terms of in-person learning, we need our lecturers and tutors back. It’s as simple as that. 

How can students get in touch with you? 

People can get in touch with me via Facebook or email (president@qutguild.com). If people would like to have a proper chat, my door is always open. Come to the QUT Guild offices on the Kelvin Grove campus, C block, Level 2 and we can have a chat about anything you need help with. 

Aamna Asif – Vice President (Secretary) 

What are you studying and how many years of your degree have you completed? 

I’ve just finished my third year of my Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Justice! 

Why did you run for this position? 

I ran for the position because I am very passionate about advocating for QUT students. As someone who has been at this university for three years, I understand how crucial it is to have a strong guild that fights and advocates for our rights and needs. Ultimately, I feel that a student guild should be implementing things that makes student life better and easier. I feel I have an important role to play in this! 

How do you hope to be able to support students? 

As the Guild Secretary, I hope to support students by working collectively with all executives and ensuring we listen to students about what they want from their Guild. Having an open and healthy communication with students, helping put together important meetings and events will ensure that students are provided with the best support possible. 

Although my role as a secretary may seem like it’s ‘behind the scenes’, I believe that I have an important role ensure we have a positive impact on the lives of QUT students and ensure all our events for students run smoothly. 

How do you believe the QUT student Guild can be improved? 

One of the major ways that I believe the Guild can be improved is by increasing awareness and engagement with the students at QUT. I think that there are a lot of students out there who are unaware of what the Guild is and what we can do for them. I want to reach out to the students who are unacquainted with the Guild and its purpose (to support them!) and cater to the needs of students and fight for advocacy on their behalf. 

What are the main challenges for QUT students? 

There are many challenges that students face in their time at university and QUT is no different! I know from my time here that there are many things I would love to change and hope become better. However, I think one of the main challenges for students at QUT is that they may find it difficult to identify and obtain the support they need during difficult times and situations. I want to make the Guild a place where students can get the help and support, they need for any challenges they face in their time at QUT. 

Why are you interested in this your new role? 

Many reasons! But the main reason has been my own time and experience at QUT, I wish to make a change for students that makes their university experience the best in their life. I am interested in this role as it will also allow me to make a change that lasts beyond my time as a student at QUT and be able to give students support I believe they deserve. I also I believe that I would be a good fit for this role as I want to help the rest of the executive achieve all our goals, together! Finally, I believe this role will help me support fellow QUT students as well as teach me important skills along the way. 

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months? 

In the next 12 months I hope to provide ample support and assist students with what they need to ensure that the goals that they have set are achieved. I am hoping to work closely with everyone at the Guild to advocate for major changes that the university needs – such as upgrading the online education system, increasing SSAF funding, and upgrading the textbook hiring schemes. 

How can students get in touch with you? 

I would love to hear from QUT students! All students are able to get into contact with me via email via secretary@qutguild.com

Victoria Barns – Vice President (Treasurer) 

Why did you run for this position?
I want to support students and make the university experience the best it can possibly be!
I also want to be able to give back to the Guild – which has helped so many students throughout the years.

How do you hope to be able to support students?
I hope to be someone students can trust to represent them. If you have any queries or concerns regarding your university experience, I am more than happy to point you in the right direction of where to get the best assistance suited to your situation.

How do you believe the QUT student Guild can be improved?
The Guild should be more visible. If more students know what the Guild is, and where it is, we will be able to assist a wider proportion of the QUT community. Uni should be accessible for everyone – and everyone should know they have a union to support them.

What are the main challenges for QUT students?
Online learning and recycled content has been frustrating for many students.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months?
My overarching goal for the year will be to advocate for a higher SSAF allocation to the student Guild.
SSAF is student money – so students should have a say in how it is spent.

How can students get in touch with you?
Email me at treasuer@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.

Leave a Reply