Whether you’re beginning your first semester or you’re in your last year, there are some staples of QUT culture that every student should be aware of – like the tyranny of the KG steps, the Stalkerspace dramas, and the Bot Bar opening hours. But there’s one QUT institution that tends to get a little less shine, which is strange given that we all own it, it runs our beloved bars, and is our biggest advocate in the University. I’m talking, of course, about the QUT Student Guild, and if you don’t know what the Guild is or what it does, you’re in luck – this comprehensive explainer is just for you!
What is it?
The QUT Student Guild is a student-led, not-for-profit organisation made up of students elected by you. Their aim is to make your university experience the most engaging, enjoyable, and memorable it can be by providing services and resources to students. If you want to get involved in a Club, and event at one of the QUT bars, or need help getting out of trouble, you need to know about the Student Guild.
They are also the primary advocates for students when it comes to university policy affecting students, like the 0% policy or online learning. An active and robust student union is in every student’s best interest.
How does it work?
The QUT Student Guild is the union that represents QUT students, and every student is able to vote for their representatives each year. Once a student is elected to the Student Representative Council (SRC) they begin work in December for the coming year.
You know that Student Services and Amenities Fee you have to pay each semester? Kind of annoying, right? Especially since classes have mostly been online anyway. Well, in fact, about a quarter of that fee goes toward funding the Student Guild. The Student Guild uses a share of your SSAF to pay their staff and student representatives and run initiatives for the students. A key part of the Student Guild’s role is to advocate on behalf of students and provide essential services – such as academic advocacy – that the University doesn’t run or wouldn’t run with student interests in mind. Guild executives are also involved in university committees and organising groups, and have regular meetings with high-up university staff. In all of these contexts, your elected representatives argue on behalf of QUT students when it comes to policy and potential policy changes.
The Student Representative Council includes two councillors for every faculty (Science, Engineering, Business and Law, Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice, and Health) and another fourteen Executive Officers. These portfolios include:
- Vice-President (Secretary)
- Vice-President (Treasurer)
- Welfare Officer
- Education Officer
- Engagement Officer
- Clubs and Societies Officer
- Queer Officer
- Women’s Officer
- Abilities Officer
- First Nations Officer
- International Students Officer
- Environment Officer
These executives form four subcommittees: Advocacy and Representation, Welfare and Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion, and Community and Culture. These subcommittees run the different parts of the Student Guild and report to the President and Vice-Presidents.
Executives and Councillors meet eight times a year at Student Guild Council meetings (which are publicly documented and open to all students) where they can all vote on changes to regulations or motions submitted by other students.
The board has general control over the management of the administration of affairs, property, and funds of the Guild. All board members have a vote and must exercise their powers and discharge their duties to the SRC in good faith, in the best interest of the Guild (In the best interests of students) for proper purpose and with due care, diligence and honesty at all times.
The Board comprises:
- Six students elected by QUT students (including the current President of the Student Guild)
- The General Manager of the Student Guild
- One member of the alumni of the university (must have 10 years’ practical experience in their area)
- One business, community, or educational representative (who may also be an alumni)
The Student Guild also operates a Media Portfolio, with dedicated funding to report on student interests. This portfolio falls outside the Guild management to retain objectivity in reporting. Currently, that Portfolio is known as Glass Media – that’s right, a responsibility of the Student Guild is to ensure Glass can exist.
Ever gotten in trouble at uni? Maybe you’ve been treated unfairly, or maybe you were accused of academic misconduct. Whatever the situation, the QUT bureaucracy is labyrinthine and extensive. That’s where the Guild Advocacy Team come in. They’re the staff employed by the Guild specifically to assist students in navigating these situations. They provide advice, and are with you every step of the way of the process. Kind of like your uni-lawyers. Oh, and they’re free to chat to, so give them a call anytime.
Clubs and Sports
There are 160 clubs at QUT, and five social sports, all operated by the QUT Student Guild. That means over 36,000 students that we have direct involvement with through QUT clubs! The Guild funds these clubs and sports to make your university experience as interactive and positive as it can be. So, if you want to get involved, to enhance your uni experience, or just to meet like-minded people, the clubs and sports offered at QUT are funded by the Student Guild, so you have nothing to lose checking them out.
Foodbank and Other Services
Students in need at QUT can access the Foodbank operated by the Student Guild. The Student Guild also funds and maintains the collectives, including the Women’s and Queer Collectives, and the Queers and Women’s rooms on each campus. These collectives host events and run campaigns for marginalised students at QUT, and provide safe spaces on both campuses for students to relax and be themselves.
Who is in the Guild?
The current Student Guild President is Oscar Davison, previously a Stalkerspace mod. The Vice-Presidents are Aamna Asif (Secretary) and Victoria Barns (Treasurer). You can find out all about the executives and councillors here.
C Block, Level 4 QUT Kelvin Grove Campus