Zoe here, 2023 Student Guild President!
I’ve just read my last two ‘Meet the Execs’ articles written for Glass (2021 and 2022), and it would be foolish if my typical response changed! So, unashamedly, my love for coffee and plants lives on, I’m currently re-watching Greys Anatomy (for the 7th time), just tried out a stellar new pulled-chicken burrito bowl recipe, and spent my Sunday morning at the Milton Markets – some things never change! I’m a Bachelor of Business (Advertising) and Secondary Education (Maths) student, in my final year (but taking a few years to finish up – cheap drinks at the Botanic Bar are partly to blame).
I’ve been at QUT since 2017, and I have seen QUT through a pandemic, GYG closing down (RIP), a drastic move to online learning and even a flood. Between all this, my time at the Guild started in 2021 as an Education Faculty Councillor, then as the Clubs and Societies Officer and NUS Delegate in 2022, and now here as President in 2023. Just like my interests, my reason for being part of the Guild has always remained the same (but each year grown with more passion); helping students navigate university life and the institution they’ve chosen to support them in tertiary studies.
My central goal for my Presidency is to build community back into QUT in two key ways. The first is very near-and-dear to my heart, which is more integration and celebration of student-run clubs at QUT, both online and on-campus. In my time as the 2022 Clubs & Societies Officer, I have seen just how important these clubs are to QUT students personal and professional growth, and how the clubs’ wellbeing is vital to bringing student back to campus post Covid-19. Further to this, I have also witnessed how much these clubs make student lives better (the Guild’s own motto), and why the Guild should really be supporting these clubs better. The second is a forming a sense of community between QUT, and its many divisions, services and students. For far too long, students have had their experiences at QUT disrupted and challenged by poor teaching, learning and culture – I’m talking recycled content, to duplication of services, to closing of services which directly support student health. As the President, I find it is my duty to fiercely advocate for better community to be formed within the QUT organisation, which better assists students in being able to complete their studies from a university which offers high-level curriculum, innovation and opportunities.
In reflection of these goals, another massive priority is improving current Guild offerings. I’m a firm believer that communication is key in being able to assist students, and this is something that the Guild itself needs to improve on, but also in better advocation of this to QUT. Whether it’s better organisation in getting plans and information out faster, or being a more central channel for general QUT information; how the Guild communicates needs to change. More visibility, friendly faces and too much information, rather than not enough.
There are so many possibilities for me in this new role. In the last few years, I have gone from looking after the interests of education students (12,000 students), to clubs (37,000) and now to a whole university (55,000+)! While a little bit overwhelming at first, I’m looking forward to the challenge to see just how much support and how many goals we can tick off – like increasing the amount of SSAF the Guild receives (we use this for club funding and services like the foodbank), reducing the impact of recycled content on students’ education and bringing free dinners to campus during exam block. Each one of these is a massive goal, but I’m looking forward to working with the team together to make these happen for the benefit of students!
If you would like to get in-touch with me, flick me an email at email@example.com or come chat to me at the Guild Offices at KG, C Block, Level 2. My door is always open, and so is the possibility to come grab a coffee with me and chat any problems you would like us to tackle.