The beginning of the semester saw 230+ UQ Union Clubs and Societies showcase at Market Day, Clubs & Societies Day and faculty orientation days where a record number of sign-ups were received overall. As COVID-19 restrictions tightened, club members were able to stay in touch with like-minded individuals through a variety of online events run by clubs.
The UQ Union also hosted a variety of virtual events including art and crafts workshops, speed friending evenings, productivity workshops and photography workshops. We provided tips on keeping a positive mindset in lock down and how to manage stress.
Hundreds of free meals provided to students four days a week through UQ Union initiatives such as Morning Marmalade and Kampus Kitchen in February and March. We also delivered a total of 700 free survival boxes to students across the St Lucia and Gatton campuses during lockdown. The contents of these bags was designed with input from students and included essential items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, non-perishable food items and toiletries.
Our Student Advocacy & Support team has continued to provide important services to students throughout the pandemic by transitioning to online delivery. These services include Visa and immigration assistance, legal information, academic, and welfare and wellbeing support.
As well as making important services accessible for students, we have been working on important campaigns and workshops including online graduate Visa webinars, and a campaign that aims to improve the welfare of students on campus that identify as transgender through issues pertaining to preferred names and mandatory training for staff. Additionally, UQU launched one of our biggest student rights’ campaigns in recent history this semester, focusing on the use of ProctorU by UQ for a number of its courses. Many course coordinators reversed their decision to use ProctorU after a tremendous amount of support from students resulted in over 7000 signatures from UQ Students on a UQU-endorsed petition.
Semester 1 has brought a range of unprecedented challenges with it but UQ Union has been quick to pivot and address these to ensure that we are still able to provide representation, support and social opportunities for all UQ Students.
By Rebekah Thornton, Secretary