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02 May 2024  •  Student News

UTSSA April Meeting

From OB Reports to the inclusion of new policy, read what your elected representatives got up to in their fourth council meeting of the year.

By Raphaella Katzen (she/her)
UTSSA April Meeting

With quorum finally met, President Mia Campbell (Student Unity) opened the meeting at 6:36PM with an Acknowledgement of Country, before moving straight into her president’s report. 

President’s Report

UTS’s sexual violence response model has been a continued point of concern under Campbell’s leadership. She began her address by outlining plans for QR coded google forms to be put on the back of bathroom stalls throughout the university over the next few weeks, inviting student feedback and input on their perception of the uni’s responses. Campbell stated that she hoped the forms could act as an informational asset, giving them insight into the thoughts of the students instead of just relying on the opinions of UTSSA members. Campbell stated that once she received a decent amount of responses, she would make a report with their findings. She continued that this model of information gathering, if effective, could be a great resource for the UTSSA.

Campbell closed her address by stating that the Nationally Rally Against Violence would be taking place that weekend, and that she would lead a UTSSA representative group from the Alumni Green to Belmore park to participate. Campbell commented that she expected all UTSSA representatives, especially the male councillors, to be in attendance.

OB Reports:

General Secretary Adam Levett (NLS) opened the report readings, stating his as read. Levett spoke to the fact that the Vertigo/UTSSA working group had held its fortnightly meeting the week prior, and that it was having successful results. Levett noted that in addition to this, he had received Vertigo’s annual printing schedule for the year. 

Bridie O’Kelly (Student Unity), who joined the meeting via zoom, also took her report as read. 

Alisa Hamilton (NLS), the Education Officer, was not present at the meeting, and their report was taken as read. 

Mariam Yassine (Student Unity), the Women’s Officer’s report was also taken as read.

Raghav Motani (Student Unity), the International Students’ Officer, took his report as read, but spoke on his recent work with the Fair Fares, a campaign organised by the University of Sydney Student Representative Council and Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association earlier last year for concession Opal cards for both international students and part-time students.

He commented that on the 8th of April, the City of Sydney passed a motion to send a letter to the NSW Transport Minister, requesting the NSW Transport Minister to legislate eligibility for concession Opal cards. A formal reply was given by the Ministry of Transport, however, it was copied and pasted from an email response sent years prior, which Motani characterised as disappointing. Motani noted that they would soon head to a Parliamentary debate, and were planning to take 30 UTS international students with them. Motani also spoke to the success of a cybercrime workshop that the International Students Society ran the week prior, educating international students on cyber safety. 

Salma Elmubasher (Student Unity), the Ethnocultural Officer, took her report as read. She spoke to the fact that the transformation of the Ethno-Cultural Collective safe space was underway, and that she was currently gathering qualitative and quantitative data on racial discrimination at UTS to be used in reports. She encouraged any BIPOC individuals to contribute via an interview. She spoke about the Ethno-Cultural Collective’s event, hosted on the 12th of April, which she noted was a success in their goal of providing a safe and comfortable space for BIPOC individuals. 

Samiha Emran (NLS), the Disabilities Officer - took her report as read. 

Daewah Thein (NLS), the Queer Officer, spoke to the fact that the collective was working toward connecting with twenty10, who advise consultations, housing and other services for LGBTQIA+ peoples, and invited any members who would like to get involved in the project to reach out to them.

Jeremy Higgins (NLS), the Environment Officer, took his report as read, but spoke to the fact that their project to launch reusable/returnable keep cups across the university was facing troubles, as the company had conducted an examination and did not think UTS was a successful candidate for the model. Also noted that the Rising Tide community that ran the blockade in the Port of Newcastle late last year, had made contact about the possibility of events with UTS in the future - expressed excitement at this potential network. 

UTS Council Reports

Kurt Cheng (Student Unity), UTS Council Undergraduate Representative, took the majority of his report as read. He spoke to the fact that UTS is in the process of responding to notes from a recent ethical partners research report. Plans to implement changes derived from the report and to see what changes are made over the next three months. He and Peter Munford (Student Unity), Postgraduate Representative, also advocated against the restriction of International Student’s having access to concession cards. He continues that the council are in the process of addressing the issues regarding The Goods Line elevators to Building 6 which repeatedly break down. They will instead be putting in a lift until a more permanent solution is found. Lastly, he encourages any and all UTSSA members to be involved in writing student UTS policy.

Campbell seconds this conclusive point regarding policy, and sets a deadline for any expressions of interest in policy to be notified to her before Friday the 3rd of May. 

Vertigo Report

Raphaella Katzen (Managing Editor for Vertigo), spoke to the Vertigo Report, stating that Volume one of Vertigo was released prior that week, and that Volume two was due to be sent to the printers over the next few days. She added that the callout for content to be featured in Volume three was released via their instagram that day. She concluded her report by stating that her editorial team was currently reworking their annual printing schedule, and that the UTSSA could expect a revised version of that in the next few weeks. 


Campbell then moved the meeting to address a new policy that herself and O’Kelly had been working on over the last few months. She drew the council’s attention to part of the UTSSA By-Laws, dealing with new Communications policy, asking O’Kelly if she would like to speak to it. 

O’Kelly advised the council to make a conscious effort to consult section 8.1, where chapter 1 outlines email etiquette, meeting room etiquette and other protocols that will be relevant to everyone. 

Campbell elaborated on this further, to conclude that this chapter simply puts precedent into policy. She continues to say that it will help those coming into the council understand the regulations and protocols expected of them. Campbell directs the council’s attention to section 2.2, which governs external communications. She emphasises its regulation over communicating within business hours, and using particular and professional jargon.

Higgins was the mover for Campbell’s new policy, and Dirk Hoare (Student Unity) was a seconder. There were no dissents for the policy, nor any abstentions. The motion passed. 

Additional Motions: 

Campbell also put forward a motion for $100 for snacks and paint required for the National Rally Against Violence. Joseph Naffa (Student Unity) was the mover, Neeve Charlesworth (Student Unity) was the seconder. There were no dissents for the policy, nor any abstentions. The motion passed. 

The meeting closed at 7:44PM.

Additional Reporting by Tyberius Seeto


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