Statement from QUT Guild:
“In November the Guild held elections for the officers and councillors for the 2020 term with a provisional declaration of the poll being released on the 15th November. Shortly after, four separate appeals were submitted to the Independent Electoral Tribunal and we now have the decisions back from the Electoral Tribunal.
The Guild officers of 2019 were elected on a platform of reform and worked hard to try and make the Guild a fairer and more equitable place whose purpose and focus was on representing students. Following the vote that stalled the changes to the constitution, the team changed the regulations to try and ensure elections that had a high probability of a diverse team in the Guild and that avoided the super-majorities of the past.
These decisions resulted in the election of a diverse group of different people from a range of electoral tickets. This was partly due to the single people put up for officer positions by some electoral groups that ensured people from more than one group had a chance to win a role in that position.
Unfortunately, the tribunal has taken the decision that this was unconstitutional and as such has invalidated those elections, on the basis that people could, if they wish, run 2 candidates together to share the officer roles (with specific direction around Gender and Sexuality) and in the case of the Newspaper team up to ten people to run together for the role. The opinion of the tribunal is that unless it is prescribed in the constitution, it cannot be overridden through changes to the regulations.
A good example of this is that the ability to vote for Indigenous, Postgraduate or International officers is only open to people who identify themselves as eligible. This is prescribed in our constitution. Identifying yourself as a Women or Queer person is not prescribed in the constitution and as such, we are obligated to allow any student the right to vote for such a position, which is not how the Guild believes such roles should be elected, and why we attempted to change that rule.
The Following roles are confirmed as elected as per the original declaration of Poll;
President – Olivia Brumm (Reach)
Secretary – Cameron Mackie (Reach)
Treasurer – Liam Blair (Reach)
The following roles will be recounted using preferential voting, quotas, and redistribution of votes as per the old election regulation R87.
Science and Engineering
The Following roles have had their elections invalidated and will be reopened for election in semester 1 (timetable to be confirmed shortly)
VP Campus Culture
VP Student Rights
VP G&S Women
VP G&S Queer
Post Graduate Officer
The following role has been deemed unconstitutional and the election invalidated. It will not be reopened for election under the current Constitution.
Although the Guild respects and understands the reasoning behind the decision it is of-course disheartening, particularly that students identifying as living with a disability at QUT do not currently have an elected representative in the Guild. However, whilst disappointed in the outcome, especially the appeal against the appointment of an abilities officer, we must stay positive and move forward for the betterment of the students and the Guild. We are still committed to representing QUT students in this demographic and as such will continue working towards establishing an abilities officer role in the future.
We will be working towards an announcement shortly around an election timetable for late February/early March.
In addition to this we will be working with the students who were provisionally elected to employ them casually so that the portfolios continue to grow and develop and are able to support QUT students until we can elect new officers into those roles. Ultimately, this means that not a lot will change before the new elections, and in our view, this method will have the smallest impact on students and the services that we provide.
Look out for election news coming soon.”
What this means:
Essentially, the above roles that were invalidated will have to have a new election, and that includes Emily, Jasmin, Jess, Persis, and Ashleigh – the provisionally elected newspaper editors from 2019. We as a group are disheartened by the result but respect the process that it went through. In regard to GLASS up until the election begins – business will continue as usual! Look out for the submission for Issue One opening this week and more scheduled content coming up. GLASS is continuing in this period between now and the new elections. We will not be discussing elections apart from in a capacity that notifies our readers – we will never use this platform to promote ourselves. Thank you all so much for your patience surrounding all this, more information will be available soon.