Euan’s official candidate statement
“ENSURING EQUITY. Hi everyone, I’m Euan. I’m an engineering student. I’ll cut to the chase. The past 3 months I’ve been aggressively campaigning the university to establish long-term equity programs to support our poorest students, I’ve met with state and federal MPs and wrote proposal documents to get the job done. Being on QUT Council means I can seal the deal. It is unacceptable that our university doesn’t support its academically gifted equity students.”
What do you think sets you apart from other candidates?
What sets me apart from other candidates is my drive and passion to improve things for students at QUT and improve QUT as a whole. I want your QUT degree to only become more valuable as you get older and further into your life and career. After all, for the price we’re paying for our degrees, it’s the least we can ask for.
I also think my history of fighting for better equity programs at QUT, long before Council elections were even considered, sets me apart. I want QUT students to know that I didn’t invent this fight for equity as soon as nominations were called. I have been doing this for 4 months now and I wanted to run because I knew I could deliver what I’ve been fighting for. Better outcomes, better programs, and a better university.
What do you think QUT Council does and what is your understanding of its power?
That’s an interesting one. At the moment, the QUT Council essentially acts as a reviewer/governance board, that simply provides advice. This is the Council, in its lowest form, is one that only exists because the State legislation mandates that as such.
The power and potential of the Council, however, is so much more than that. Under the legislation, the Council is ultimately responsible for the University’s governance and management. It can delegate those powers to QUT staff members (as it has with the Registrar, for example) or the VC. However, none of that actually restricts the Council from exercising those delegated powers (as per the Acts Interpretation Act). If the Council chose to, it could mandate the tone of paint used in a broom closet, or close the entire university down for 2 weeks. The Council is an interesting mix of a board/parliament, it’s designed to hold the VC accountable whilst also providing influence and input from the elected members and their electors.
I think it’s a genuine shame to see the university executive slowly trick and convince the Council it can’t take action on things and issues it absolutely can.
I’m going to change that.
You’re campaigning on a promise to use your position on QUT Council to expand QUT’s equity programs and to lobby for cheaper parking. Why is this important to you? Why are you the person to get these things done? Why is this something students need?
Why wouldn’t it be important to me? If you are an equity student and you’re getting straight 6’s and 7’s, the idea that the university should turn around and provide you the means to properly study and engage with your education is not even an idea, it’s an expectation, it’s a norm around the world.
We pride ourselves on being a nation that gives people the opportunity to pull themselves up in society as long as they put in the work. Well? They put in the work! Why shouldn’t they get our help? Genuine help, not just enough “help” to make it look like we’re helping (which is the current university strategy).
Cheaper parking is important because the best way to relieve the cost of attending university is to literally reduce the cost of attending university campuses, which means lowering the cost of parking. We’re all under a cost-of-living crisis and the university’s annual report makes it pretty clear it can be doing a whole lot more to assist with that.
Why am I the person to get these things done? Well, I’m one of them, but there are others. To claim that I’m the only one who could pull this off would be vain and also incredibly inaccurate. If you care enough about these problems, about our university and the students you go to class with, and if you have the drive, the confidence and frankly the gall to have a genuine crack at addressing these problems, then yeah you’d also be a person who could get these done.
What I can say is that I’m confident I’m the only person running for Council who has those above qualities and has the drive to get this across the line. I don’t think the other candidates seem to care that much, nor am I confident they would push as hard as I know I and many other passionate students would.
Why is this something students need? Well, it’s less about what students need and more about what students deserve. We put in the work, we do the hard yards. All we want is for our university to respect us as much as they demand we respect them. We aren’t just a $10,000 yearly revenue stream, we are members of this university community and we should get a say in how it’s shaped, how it’s governed and how it educates.
It’s time our university treats us as what we are, students, not customers.