Underutilized Services & Tools of the UQU

In September we spoke with the UQU 2020 VP for Gender and Sexuality, Dakoda Titmus, about the underutilised yet convenient and beneficial tools within the UQ Union.

Studying a dual degree in Economics/Arts (Philosophy and International Relations Majors) along with a Diploma of Languages (Russian), Dakoda still finds time in his busy schedule to promote his passion for the LGBTQI+ community and student mental health and welfare issues.

Throughout his role as a VP, Dakoda has made it his aim to open up the queer collective to working more harmoniously with the student union, and providing a safe space for queer students within such a like-minded environment.

“One component of my job is to manage the queer collective and the queer related issues that students have on campus,” Dakoda says.

“I think there are a lot of students that could benefit on campus that aren’t involved in anything like that, that maybe are questioning, or aren’t out yet, or just don’t know in general.”

“Students could really benefit from getting involved with activities that are run by the collective and getting involved with the people that are in the collective. It’s just about opening it up so that people feel like it is a safe environment where they can walk into and participate in,” he says.

While Dakoda’s passion is advocating for the LGBTQI+ community, student welfare is also at the top of his priorities. He urges students to utilise the many great resources and advice that the UQ Union has to offer.

“We do a whole range of things from an advocacy point of view for students; we offer visa, academic, legal and welfare support services,” Dakoda expressed.

“So, if students are having problems with their visa, they can come to us, or if students have an academic misconduct trial or something, they can come to us for support.”

“We have a proper lawyer here that can support students and basically offer legal advice, and it’s not just uni related, she can help you with any legal issue she’s amazing,” he says.

Although the COVID-19 restrictions have made it quite difficult for the UQ Union to engage students, they are continuously trying to adapt and encourage students to take part in the many activities they have to offer.

After a bit of an inside look into Dakoda’s world within the UQ union, he shared some great advice for all students:
• Get involved in clubs and societies, as it’s the quickest way to meet people on campus.
• The UQU runs over 200 clubs on campus, so if somehow you can’t find your niche, try something new!
• Reach out for support. Whether it be from the union or your faculty, regarding anything academic or personal, there are so many people ready and available to help.

What you should know about the UQU Student Executive:
• It’s not all political!
• Students have the power to step up into roles without having any experience at all – you just need to be a friendly face willing to take on suggestions.
• You can get involved in the student union no matter what UQ campus you are at.

So, if you’re passionate about issues that affect students then get involved. All you have to do is contact the union and just go for it, there are so many positions available to suit you.

by Lauren Bozzetto

Editor's Note:  UQ Union Elections are on this week.  Your vote matters.
Here is the Polling Schedule
Seach on Facebook "for UQU" to find most of the parties running this year.