University of Queensland Union
|Full name||University of Queensland Union|
|Native name||'UQ Union'|
|Affiliation||University of Queensland|
|Key people||Rohan Watt (President), Kieran Shaw (Secretary), Priyanka Luecke (Treasurer)|
|Office location||Level 4, Union Building (Building 21A)|
The University of Queensland Union (UQ Union) is a student organisation established to provide service, support and representation to the students of the University of Queensland. It remains the largest student representative body in Australia.
The specific aims of the UQU as defined by its constitution are:
a) to specifically promote the educational and academic activities and progress of the University community; and generally to further the aims, objects and interests of the University community;
b) to further the right of all people to a quality education on an equal basis;
c) to advance the interests of students in the fields of social security, health, welfare, equity, equal opportunity and cultural activities;
d) to represent students within the University and the community;
e) to financially assist affiliated bodies;
f) to provide quality facilities and services to students;
g) to foster the principle of student unionism; and
h) to do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of these objects and the exercise of the powers of the Union.
The UQU operates most of the campus' student eateries, cafes, bookshops in addition to the university bar and cinema. These facilities and services are concentrated at the Union Complex at the St Lucia campus.
The UQU organises the university's orientation week ("O-Week") activities, regular barbecues and free bands, as well as a range of larger events, such as Oktoberfest and, as of 2009, the annual Toga Party. Recently the UQU introduced a club funding scheme that supports over 180 clubs and societies, including faculty, ethnic, and a variety of social groups; sporting groups, however, fall under the domain of UQ Sport. The UQU also provides a free legal service to university students. In addition, it also organises the weekly Wednesday markets at the St Lucia campus.
One of the other roles of the UQU is to see that minority groups on campus are adequately supported. To this extent, it provides a Queer Space at St Lucia campus and Women's Spaces at St Lucia campus and Gatton campuses. The Ipswich Campus Queer Room has since been closed down, as a result of frequent vandalism by the occupants. UQU also has queer, women's, environment, disabilities and Indigenous collectives to represent their respective interests.
UQU coordinates student representation to the University through its Student Representation, supporting students to take positions on faculty and University committees, and the Academic Board. UQU recently successfully negotiated for the University to contribute 1 million dollars to the Union annually for student services. UQU also negotiated for the "formula marking" scheme (under which markers can deduct marks in multiple choice exams if a marker believes the student guessed answers) to be abolished.
In 2011 UQ postgraduate students formed a postgraduate representative body within the UQU, called the UQ Association of Postgraduate Students (APS). This new body has been in regular contact with CAPA and sent a representative to the 2011 CAPA annual conference in Sydney.
UQU Clubs and Societies
The UQU oversees over 190 student run Clubs and Societies, with a combined membership across these clubs of approximately 36,000 students. Clubs fall under one of four broad categories based on where they derive their membership base. These categories include: Faculty/School; International Students; Colleges; and General Interest.
Clubs play a vital role on campus, with the majority of social events at UQ being run by these student groups. The ten largest clubs by membership base in 2012 were:
|Rank (by Number of Members)||Name||2013 President||2012 President||Type||Number of Members|
|1||UQ Law Society (UQLS)||Chad Hardy||Ganesh Jegatheesan||Faculty/School Based||5,000+|
|2||UQ Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS)||Miranda McLachlan||Annabelle Hassall||Faculty/School Based||1,500+|
|3||UQ Business Association (UQBA)||Sambit Mishra||Victoria Sing||Faculty/School Based||1,400+|
|4||Society of Undergraduate Science Students (SUSS)||Scott Miller||Harrison Bolt||Faculty/School Based||720+|
|5||QUEST||Rachel English||Jennifer Ross||General Interest||650+|
|6||UQ Interfaculty Competitions (UQIC)||Rachel Zammit||Tate Stubbs||General Interest||600+|
|7||UQ Liberal Club (UQLC)||Brodie Thompson||Brodie Thompson||General Interest||580+|
|8||UQ Economics Society (UQES)||Nathan Johnston||Alexander McLaren||Faculty/School Based||530+|
|9||Singapore Student Society||Sherman Lee||Aaron Ang||International||520+|
|10||Mechanical Engineering Student Society (MESS)||Seamus O'Connor||Blaice McCaul||Faculty/School Based||500+|
Executives of the UQU
|1981||David Barbagallo||Fiona McKenna||Nigel Pennington||Labor Right|
|1982||Ken Macpherson||Fleur Kingham||Nigel Pennington||Labor Right|
|1983||Fleur Kingham||Danielle Bond||Paul Lucas (politician)||Labor Right|
|1984||Tony Kynaston||Ric Moore||Karen Axford||Labor Right|
|1985||Brad Bauman||Kate Greenwood||Tony Kynaston||Liberal/ Labor Right|
|1986||Jillann Farmer||Jenny Fox||Mark Herbert||Labor Right|
|1987||Andrew Lamb||Jorge Jorquera||Scott Barclay||Ind/ Left|
|1988||Dirk Moses||Robyn Finken/ Andrea Napier||Mark Bahnisch||Labor Right|
|1989||Victoria Brazil||James Jarvis||Julian Sheezel||Liberal|
|1990||Jane Lye||Kirsten Greathead||Rebecca Keys||Reform|
|1991||James Gifford||John Briggs||Donna Sinopoli||Liberal|
|1992||Michael Kleinschmidt||Anne-Marie Valentak||Marcus Clark||Liberal|
|1993||Sandy Brown||Daniel Varghese||Martin Bush||SEA|
|1994||Murray Watt||Jenny McAlister||Mary Thorpe||Focus-Labor Left|
|1995||Maya Stuart-Fox||Timothy Ward||Michael Caldwell||Labor|
|1996||Jody Thompson||Luke Myers||Michael Barry||Liberal|
|1997||Cynthia Kennedy||Anna Straton||Jamie Dawson||Labor Left|
|1998||Bede Nicholson||Katie Connolly||David McElrea||Labor Left|
|1999||Matthew Carter||Alissa Macoun||Benjamin Turnbull||Labor Left|
|2000||Sarah McBratney||Matthew Collins||Rebecca Lang||Labor Left|
|2001||Juliana Virine||Angela Setterlund||Adam Kent||Labor Left|
|2002||Christopher Vernon||Lisa Chesters||Aaron Meadows||National Organisation of Labor Students-Labor Left|
|2003||Aaron Marsham||Antonio Ferreira-Jardim||Jemma MacGinley||NOLS- Labor Left / Liberal coalition|
|2004||Margot Balch||Jonathan Hames||Michael Wright||Vision - Labor|
|2005||Leah Sanderson||Jorn Herrmann||Alex Main||Focus-Labor Left|
|2006||Lucinda Weber||Erin Fentiman||N/A||Thrive-Labor Left|
|2007||Julie-Ann Campbell||Diana Mackay||N/A||Voice-Labor Left|
|2008||Josh Young||Lisa Colyer||Ben Riley||Fresh - Liberal|
|2009||Brandon Carter||Luke Walker||Lisa Colyer||Fresh - Liberal|
|2010||Michael Zivcic||Michelle Delport||Robert Hilmer||Fresh - LNP|
|2011||Benjamin Gorrie||Brodie Thompson||Hannah Bona||Fresh - LNP|
|2012||Colin Finke||Brodie Thompson||Linda Cho||Fresh - LNP|
|2013||Rohan Watt||Kieran Shaw||Priyanka Luecke||Fresh - LNP|
|2014||Joshua Milroy||Rachel Paterson||Nathan Johnson||Reform - Labor / Independents coalition|
Vice Presidents of the UQU
|Year||VP Student Rights||VP Campus Culture||VP Gender and Sexuality||Ticket|
|2009||Robert Hilmer & Aurelia Connelly||Matthew Chadwick & Sam Bool||Laney McLaren & Nick Sowden||Fresh|
|2010||Rory Broadbridge & Brayden Soo||Alexander Tate & Alisha Musil||Laney McLaren & Christopher Balean||Fresh|
|2011||Michelle Delport & Isaac Robertson||Nelson Martoo & Kiran Srinivasan||Natalie Keys & Duncan Stubbs||Fresh|
|2012||Bridget Young & Kieran Shaw||Abby Nydam & Nathan Flett||Ashleigh Ross & Rohan Watt||Fresh|
|2013||Elliot Johnson & Harrison Bolt||Jared Peut & Jonathon Hare||Eloise Shaw & Anthony Deacon||Fresh|
|2014||Laura Howden & Richard Lee||Natalie Morris & Stephen Kakoniktis||Kathryn Cramp & Lotte Scheel||Reform|
Politics of UQU
1991-1992, the union was run under the umbrella of the Liberal (or Young Liberal) party. 1994- 2007, the union was almost exclusively under the control of parties aligned with the Labor party, usually the left leaning wing, with liberal party candidates regaining control for just one year in this period (1996).
2008 - 2013, the Union is run by a party under the banner "Fresh" (Liberal National Party of Qld)
2014, the Union is to be run by Reform (Australian Labor Party and Independents).
2012 Student Election Controversy
In 2012, there was controversy surrounding the conduct of the annual student elections. The incumbents FRESH made rule changes that resulted in other teams submitting their nominations in an incorrect manner. This specifically related to last minute changes to union election rules removing the protection for previously used party names, which resulted in campaign material for opposition parties becoming unusable. This resulted in all other opposition parties (including "Pulse" and "I just want my voucher") having their names invalidated. These Allegations were denied by the current President.
Minutes and a recording from the 101st UQU Council meeting show that new regulations were brought in on the 10th of August. The recording shows that an objection was raised by Councillor Flynn Rush on procedural fairness and constitutional grounds, though this was circumvented through amending the factual basis for the objection. The incumbents did not give the requisite 5 'clear days' notice as per the UQU constitution. The regulation changes went ahead regardless. They were not available until elections and nominations opened.
Fresh party president Colin Finke responded to the allegations, challenging claims the council meeting was held in "secret" and said Pulse group presidential candidate Abraham O'Neil had been present when the changes regarding procedural regulations were made. Furthermore, UQ Union returning officer Alexa Faros-Dowling (family friend of a FRESH incumbent) said the UQ Union elections were governed by the UQ Union constitution and regulations. She was quoted stating "The two electoral tickets in question were required to change their name to comply with the electoral regulations. Those tickets subsequently chose to withdraw from the election rather than select a new name." The 2012 union president also stated that members of the Pulse party "can complain all they want" but had 12 months notice on the introduction of new regulations on the use of registered ticket names, and that the 'last-minute' changes to the regulations were to different provisions (namely the timing of the electoral process to reduce it from 4 weeks to 3 as well as adding an entirely new process/form for nominations).
In response to the situation, an activist group titled 'DEMOCRACY 4 UQU' was started by a number of Fresh opposition groups and other students concerned about how the measures introduced affected the student elections. Their goal is to correct what they perceive to be an unbalanced and unfair election process.
UQ deputy Vice Chancellor (academic) Professor Mick McManus, said in response to the situation that UQ was concerned that this issue had a significant impact on students and would be considered in full and addressed appropriately, and that the university would work to resolve the issues. On 22 August, the University announced that the current union administration would be required to provide access to the constitution and changes to it, financial reports, and notices and minutes of meetings held under the current union on its website. Graeme Orr, Professor of Law at the University of Queensland, has pointed out in a radio interview that the power of the electoral tribunal convened to assess whether the elections were held properly was limited only to whether or not the electoral rules were violated, not whether they are valid or were created in accordance to union policy.
On 24 August, the University declared that in line with their funding agreement with the University Of Queensland Student Union, they would carry out an audit into the management of finances. The results of this audit are available online.
On 29 August, hundreds of students gathered at UQ's great court to protest against Fresh and call for democracy.
On 3 December, the annual general meeting of the UQU was cancelled after those calling it neglected to inform students and most members of their own executive, resulting in too few people present for the meeting to be openend. However, the outgoing Vice-President spoke briefly about the conduct of Fresh, slamming their circumvention of the wishes of the student body by locking out the opposition that was likely to win any open, fairly managed elections, Fresh's misuse and embezzlement of funds, and their use of the union as a vehicle for particular members of the LNP's youth wing.
- Sir Thomas Groom, UQU President 1928, Lord Mayor of Brisbane
- Sir Harry Gibbs GCMG, AC, KBE, QC, UQU President 1936, Chief Justice of the High Court
- Ivor Cribb, UQU President 1944, Deputy Chancellor of the University of Queensland
- Sir Walter Campbell AC QC, UQU President 1942, Governor, Supreme Court Judge, Chancellor of the University of Queensland
- Barry Murphy, UQU President 1963, CEO of Caltex
- Robert Wensley, UQU President, QC, Deputy Chancellor of the University of Queensland
- Anna Bligh, UQU Women's Officer 1981, Premier of Queensland
- Jillann Farmer, UQU President 1986, Medical Director of the United Nations
- University of Queensland
- UQ Engineering Undergraduate Society
- University of Queensland Business Association
- Semper Floreat (UQU Publications)
- University of Queensland Debating Society
- Union College
- University of Queensland Intercollege Council
- UQU Schonell Theatre
- National Association of Australian University Colleges
- "UQU Clubs and Societies".
- "Allegations of Corruption".
- "SMH/Brisbane Times Article on student unrest".
- "102nd UQU Council Meeting".
- "102nd UQU Council Meeting Minutes".
- "See C55 of the UQU Constitution".
- "UQU Constitution".
- "University of Queensland to hold hearing over union Fresh's 'dirty tactics'".
- "Opposition candidates withdraw from University of Queensland student union election after incumbent party changes rules".
- "University committed to transparency".
- "UQ student elections cause a stir.".
- Kirkland, Janelle (24 August 2012). "UQ management considering an audit of UQU". UQ News. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- Jason Tin (29 August 2012). "Students rally at the University of Queensland to protest election tactics of ruling Student Union party". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 29 August 2012.