University of Western Australia Student Guild

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UWA Student Guild
Full name University of Western Australia Guild of Undergraduates
Native name UWA Student Guild
Founded 1913
Affiliation National Union of Students (ANUS)
Key people Nevin Jayawardena (President)
Office location Perth, Western Australia
Country Australia
Website uwastudentguild.com

The UWA Student Guild is the official student representative body at the University of Western Australia, representing the interests of students to the university, government and the wider community, as well as providing services to students. The Guild's published mission is to be Western Australia's leading campus student representative organisation.

Background[edit]

The UWA Student Guild is the premier student representative body at the University of Western Australia. The vision of the UWA Student Guild is to be Australia's leading campus student representative organisation.

The Guild provides a number of services, and is instrumental in promoting and sustaining student life on campus. The Guild runs a number of activities including Prosh, Orientation Day (O-Day), End of Semester Shows and other major campus events. Guild Departments and Subsidiary Councils run other events, such as Multicultural Week and Spring Feast (run by the International Student Services department), Club Carnival (run by the Societies Council) and the PAC Pop-Up series of performances (run by the Public Affairs Council).

The Guild also supports and assists a network of more than 100 affiliated clubs and societies on campus, catering to a very wide range of interests (religious, theatrical, cultural etc.). The Guild also runs the majority catering outlets on campus, including the Tavern, as well as a second-hand bookshop and a volunteering centre. For most of the organisation's existence, it maintained a monopoly in on-campus catering, although in 2012, the first three independent catering outlets were introduced.

The Guild's Student Centre provides one-on-one academic advocacy, as well as financial counselling and interest-free loans.

Guild Council is the overall governing body of the Guild and consists of 23 voting members democratically elected at the annual Guild elections. The current Guild President is Nevin Jayawardena, who took office on 1 December 2016.

Former Guild Presidents include notable figures such as former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, former federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and former Health Minister and Attorney General of Western Australia Jim McGinty.[1]

Annual elections[edit]

Student representatives are elected to their positions by students in annual elections held in September. Elections are conducted by the Western Australian Electoral Commission. Both independent and party candidates run in the elections, with the historical bias leaning towards grouped members becoming elected. Elected office bearers take office as of 1 December in the year they are elected.

The 2016 Elections took place from 19 to 22 September 2016, and were for the 104th Guild Council. Three parties contested the 2016 elections: STAR, Launch and Left Action.

Racism Controversy[edit]

100th Guild President Cameron Barnes caused significant controversy when he approved a racist article in the annual charity "Prosh" paper. The article, "dream-time horoscopes" lead to a public relations disaster for the Guild, with major charity beneficiary ICEA withdrawing support from the paper.[2] [3] President Barnes immediately back flipped on the decision, claiming he was not responsible, despite having personally reviewed and approved the paper.

Missing Money[edit]

In May 2014 the Guild hired audit and tax firm BDO to investigate financial irregularities in the Guild's 2013 accounts, which found about $870,000 had been misappropriated.[4]

Based on the initial findings of that investigation, a staff member was dismissed for serious misconduct. No action was taken against Cameron Barnes, who had been president at the time of the theft.

Guild structure[edit]

The Guild is administered by a council of student representatives elected for one-year terms at the annual elections. There are twenty voting members of council, and several more non-voting members. Members may hold a voting and a non-voting role concurrently. Unlike some other campus unions, there is no financial compensation for student representatives, with the exception of the President who works at the Guild full-time during their term. The following list shows the Councillors and Officer Bearers elected at the 2015 Guild Elections (with the exception of the Vice President, Chair and Secretary of the Guild - who were elected at the first Council meeting on 1 December 2015 - and OGC Lewis Hutton who was elected via a recount):[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Hon Jim A McGinty BA BJuris(Hons) LLB JP MLA – Biography". Department of the Premier and Cabinet Western Australia. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  2. ^ The Australian
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Mitchell Nadin (24 September 2014). "Liberal senator urges police to investigate alleged uni fund ‘theft’". The Australian. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  5. ^ West Australian Electoral Commission Official Results