Queer Collective Portfolio End Of Year 2021 Overview

Elias Blanch, VP Gender & Sexuality

Read Elias’ Student Executive Overview here.

That semester sure did drag out a bit, but we still had a tone of fun! We started off with some of our favourite events, a welcome picnic on the grassy knoll, a stall at both St Lucia and Gatton Market Day, and a pop-up stall at the Science O-week orientation lunch. These where a great chance for new students to meet us and see what we are about, and we had overwhelming support from the collective with volunteers to help run these events.

St Lucia Market day, left to right: Emmett and Lilian (Social Officer)

Dante, with Elias behind the camera, running the Science O-week stall.

Gatton market day stall, run by Elias.

Welcome Picnic run by Hailey Rufus, one of our Social Officers.

In week 1 we started our Clothes Swap in the Carden Queer Room, St Lucia, letting students donate clothing and swap it for clothing they like, all left over clothing went to LifeLine.

Clothes swap in week 5, packed with all donations we received.

With Pride Ball in week 12 we ran an Op Shop Crawl, where a bunch of members visited local second-hand shops together, we had a blast and the vintage shops in Annerley where definitely a favourite.

Throughout the semester we ran movie nights every fortnight, with free pizza, which was honestly great to just spend time with queer folks a watch movie like Megamind in the queer room. We also had online games nights and a study group around mid-semester exams to reduce the stress. In late September a team of people on our discord server launched the UQUQC SMP Minecraft server, a big thank you to Dante, Jasper, Daniel, Max and Moss for organising and running it, it has been popular as a way to escape uni stress.

In the same week it was Bisexual week, in which the wider queer community raises awareness around how bisexual folks are one of the most targeted for sexual assault in Australia, and that biphobia is still grossly common. We ran a stall to raise awareness, selling badges to support our future events and giving out free flyers informing people of what being bi is. Thank you to Cordelia, Daniel and Austin for helping out that day, it was amazing.

From left to right: Daniel, Cordelia, Elias, and Austin running the Bisexual Week stall.

In the mid-semester break our social officer Rebecca organised and ran an arts & craft workshop in the Union Hub, where we taught how to make badges, bracelets, draw, knit, crochet and make origami. This was a two day event, and a much needed break for everyone to chill out during exams.

UQ students, with Rebecca on the far right.

Oragami table of the arts and crafts workshop.

Later in the semester, in the height of student politics season, we ran our annual International Lesbian Day stall with the Women’s Collective, giving out snow cones, flyers of sapphic books, information about bi-lesbians and non-binary lesbians, and selling badges. Often this event feels like only student politic people come by, but regardless we found it was a great opportunity to teach the folks in student politics about queer matters.

Cordelia on the left and Marisha (Treasurer) on the right, running the Lesbian Day stall.

One of our favourite annual events to run is Coming Out By Candelight, in which we invite the UQ Queer Community to come in on a Sunday, light a fake candle, share their coming out stories if they wish and honour those that might not be able to come out.

Coming up to final exams we had Asexual Awareness Week, we ran a stall with awareness material on Ace Day, giving out fairy floss to entice folks that might not normally come over. We also put together social media posts about how to be an Ace Ally, as UQUQC understands there needs to be a stronger understanding of what it means to be ace and how to support folks that are ace, as that specific identity is just as important as every other identity in the queer community. This day is especially important to us as we wanted to make it clear to all folks on the asexual spectrum that UQUQC is welcoming and a safe, inclusive space for ace folks, we never want people to question that.

Come the end of semester, and our fan favourite event is back, Pride Ball. After weeks of planning it was finally time to celebrate UQUQC in the best way, with a big party in the Rose Room in Cloudland

Prideball. We had four welfare officers on that night to ensure the well-being of everyone attending, Marisha, Hailey, Caspian and Elias checking on people and giving out earplugs where needed. It was truly amazing, with the venue in the theme of Camp and stunning outfits from everyone attending, we only had fun.

Marisha, Hailey, Bones and Elias together.

We where able to organise Mental Health First Aid training with UQ for collectives only, free to current students. This is particularly vital as marginalised groups are more likely to experience mental health related issues, so knowing how to respond and support is what builds a trauma informed community.

Throughout this semester Elias has organised new furniture for the Carden Queer Room, that should be arriving in the break, but we finally have working air-con and a mostly clean space, its hard to keep clean with so much use. We have new posters and a new layout in the study space, the Carden Queer Room becoming more and more functional to the people that use it. Check out how cursed the whiteboards can be in Carden.

How is Elias doing? Tired, very tired. They have been busy ordering supplies for the queer room, cleaning the room, making badges, making posters and social media resources, and most importantly pre-paring to hand over to next years Queer Officer Marisha. They aren’t going anywhere, don’t worry, Elias will be one of next years Disability Officers, and still helping out with UQUQC.

You can find the Queer Collective Portfolio Semester 1 2021 Overview here.

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