I began my term as President of the Student Union midway through December, and it has been a busy few months!
The big priority this month was UQU’s SSAF applications. Each semester, every UQ student pays roughly $300 in the form of a ‘Student Services and Amenities Fee’, which is used by UQ to fund non-academic services for students. UQ collects about $12 million in SSAF each year, and the Union gets 20% of that, although it’s not our only source of revenue. Each year, we have to go through an operating plan for the next 12 months and show UQ what we’ll be spending SSAF on. The applications were due on the 29th of January, so fingers crossed UQ gives us the all clear!
We’ve also been organising activities for O-Week. Our marketing team and Campus Culture Vice-Presidents have been hard at work organising Market Day, the Toga Party in the Great Court, and heaps of other events like Speed Friending and Wine & Painting nights. Keep an eye out for all the fantastic things UQU will be doing at the beginning of semester - if you’re a first year, it’s the best time to make friends. If you’ve been around a couple of years, socialising on campus is the best way to slowly ease yourself back into uni life.
Our Business Trading team has been working on UQU’s new bar, in Building 41 opposite Wordies, which will replace the RedRoom once the UQU complex redevelopment has begun. We will also be updating the Natural Ampitheatre, improving the seats, acoustics and stage so the space will be perfect for events. It’s a long term project that won’t be ready until 2020, but it’s great to see it all unfold.
In amongst all this, I got to travel to Poland with a group of Australian student leaders and the Australian Union of Jewish Students. We visited Jewish communities and learned about how to fight discrimination, especially in the politically polarised world we are living in now.
Overall, January was a pretty busy month! It’s great to see so many projects happening and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. Like Jeremy, I have an open door policy, so if you have any questions, you’re always welcome to come and say hi.