Welcome back to the Glass Coverage of QUT Guild Council Meetings of 2020. With a mix of Zoom and in-person attendees, the Guild Council meeting took off at 6 pm on Tuesday the 4th of August. Don’t you worry, there was plenty of hand sanitiser to go around. It was the longest council meeting to date of 2020, clocking in at over 2 hours.
Council Meeting Minutes
Find the official minutes of this council meeting here.
Cameron Mackie began with an Acknowledgement of Country and then commenced the meeting.
Attendees: Olivia Brumm, Cameron Mackie, Liam Blair, Emily Readman, Anahita Ebrahimi, Ashleigh North, Harrison Pie, Sarah Balmer, Ramisa Raya, Megha Prasad, Zach Noble, Jennifer Barnaby, Dieu Linh Hoang, Genevieve Hitzke, Tully Grimley, Sam White, Saskia Mathers, Hamish Killen, Eleanor Rogers, Suraj Nijjar, Katherine Nguyen, Rusha Joshi, Nikka Turangan
Zoe Vail and Will Kroger (Non-Voting)
Absent: Jasmin Graves, Hannah Smith, Jonathon Easton, Nelson Reed-Banyard, Dominique Lew, Jeffrey Wang
Attendance was recorded and confirmation of the previous meeting’s minutes was confirmed. QUT Guild Secretary, Cameron Mackie, chaired the meeting as the regular Chair Camille Etchegaray was unavailable, as was the QUT Guild General Manager.
Queer and Women’s Officer Nominations
The first order of business was the elections for the Queer and Women’s Officer Casual Vacancies. These roles became available as Queer Officer Max Fox resigned from the role to focus on his studies as of July 31st and Women’s Officer Alicia Tonio resigned from the role on the 3rd of August. Glass would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Max and Alicia for their service in their roles during their respective terms, and wish them all the best in the future with their studies and professional careers.
Nominations for each role concluded at 5 pm on Tuesday, an hour before the council meeting’s commencement. There were four nominations for Queer Officer and six nominations for Women’s Officer. This was a wonderful turn out of interest, especially considering the nominees for Women’s Officer put together their applications in less than 24 hours. The nominees were invited to advocate for themselves in front of Guild Council, detailing why they believed they were best suited to the position.
The speeches from nominees were emotionally invested, passionate and well-considered, with many students attending in person to state their case. Many people put forward their plans for what the role of Women’s Officer or Queer Officer could be, which was a wonderful reminder of how many passionate people exist within the QUT Guild Community. Glass would like to commend all nominees for their efforts, it was a difficult choice for both positions.
The vote was cast with written ballots that were tallied by the Chair, Cameron Mackie.
Amy Sargeant was voted in as the Queer Officer and Genevieve Hitzke was voted in as the Women’s Officer. Congratulations to both of these wonderful women, we at Glass wish you all the best during your term. Stay tuned to hear more from the newest QUT Guild Executives soon on Glass.
As Genevive Hitzke was the Creative Industries Councillor for 2020, her role as that Councillor has now lapsed and there is a casual vacancy for the position which will be filled at the next council meeting. Keep an eye on the QUT Guild Noticeboard to hear about nominations.
There was then a quick break in which Treasurer Liam Blair set off a rigorous debate between councillors and executives about orange juice, specifically whether pulp or pulp-free orange juice was better. A conclusion was not met before Council recommenced.
National Union of Students Affiliation
Liam Blair brought a motion to affiliate the QUT Guild with the NUS, seconded by Cameron Mackie. Liam explained that the NUS had been supportive of the Guild over the part two years, and affiliation was an opportunity to receive support and resources for national and QUT student campaigns.
Sarah Balmer brought some questions regarding a fee for affiliation, while expressing that she was supportive of joining the NUS. Liam explained the motion did not carry any financial liabilities to the QUT Guild, and that affiliation was a non-financial agreement rather than a financial commitment to accredit. Olivia Brumm clarified that any monetary commitment would be conducted with proper negotiations with the NUS and with thorough discussions with the Guild Council. Olivia Brumm then spoke for the motion.
The motion was then put to a vote, and the motion was carried unanimously.
QUT Abilities Collective Governance Documents
Liam Blair brought the QUT Guild Collective Governance Framework motion to council, as the former Women’s and Queer officers who prepared the documents were unable to take the motion to council after vacating their roles.
These frameworks would serve the QUT Guild Women’s, Queer and Abilities collective.
Cameron Mackie spoke for the motion, explaining that the Queer, Women’s and Abilities representation on the QUT Guild worked to put the document together. Olivia Brumm also spoke for the motion, saying that the motion is significant, representing all the work that went into revamping the collectives on campus.
Multiple questions and concerns were posed by council members, citing inconsistencies and loopholes in the documents. Ashleigh North highlighted issues surrounding safeguards to prevent vote stacking, pointing to the UQ Women’s Collective. Ashleigh North also spoke on the fact that the collective documents give the relevant portfolio executive disciplinary powers within the collective, compromising autonomy. Ashleigh North also raised some questions about auditing of financial spending.
Zoe Vail was called to clarify the points raised by Ashleigh North. Zoe Vail also worked on the documents but due to the constitution not recognising Abilities Officers as a voting role, she was attending in a non-voting capacity. Zoe provided feedback and explanations, stating that some of these loopholes are designed to prevent a defunct collective from coming into place as there has been in previous years. Olivia Brumm also commented, saying that multiple changes were supposed to be made by the drafting team but had not been submitted to council edited.
Councillor Tully Grimley queried whether the passing or not passing of the document would prevent the collectives from operating, which Zoe Vail clarified. She explained it was not essential for the collectives to run but would be helpful, suggesting that amendments could be made at a later date.
Sarah Balmer then raised concerns about the disciplinary regulations of the framework, citing that they were too broad and too subjective.
The motion failed unanimously.
QUT Guild Safer Spaces Policy
Liam Blair also brought the Guild Safer Spaces Policy to council, again on behalf of the former Women’s and Queer Officers. This policy extends to spaces that the QUT Guild owns and runs events on, with the intention of making spaces safe and inclusive. Cameron Mackie spoke to the policy, saying that the intention of the policy is to protect marginalised groups from bullying, harassment or discrimination. She also highlighted that the policy was modelled on state and federal anti-discrimination legislation.
Sarah Balmer raised an amendment to section 3.3.1, suggesting that the section should be aligned with section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. This amendment was carried unanimously.
Ramisa Raya then raised an amendment for section 3.1.6, to align it with Sarah’s amendment. Ramisa Raya then dropped out of the Zoom connection accidentally, and Tully Grimley brought the ammendment on her behalf. This also passed unanimously.
The motion was then brought to a vote. The Safer Spaces policy passed through QUT Guild Council with all Ayes bar a singular abstention.
The meeting closed at 8:06PM.