Queer Rights Officer (QRO)

Hours: 10 hours (voluntary, but eligible for performance based-bonus)

Key Working Relationships:

  • AUSA Officers
  • AUSA Executive
  • AUSA Staff
  • Queer students at the University of Auckland
  • University Equity Department
  • Queer Clubs and Organisations (internal and external)

SUMMARY/PURPOSE OF ROLE: The Queer Rights Officer (known as the QRO) was a position created by an AGM in 2012 to be responsible for supporting, representing and advocating on behalf of queer students to the University and AUSA. The QRO works closely with the Equity Office, runs events and campaigns around queer issues, and is responsible for looking after Queerspace, a safe space provided by AUSA for queer students. In the past, the QRO has lobbied for and celebrated marriage equality, successfully created a designated Queerspace, and lobbied on issues like use of preferred names and access to queer networks on campus.

ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

Queerspace management and pastoral care

  • Primary responsibility for ensuring that AUSA Queerspace is a safe place for queer students and allies. This includes:
    • Regular engagement with students in the Queerspace community
    • Providing a disputes resolution system for any issues that arise (in conjunction with the President and Welfare Vice-President)
    • Being proactive in publicising and raising awareness of Queerspace for current and prospective students
    • Setting Queerspace opening and closing hours and enforcing these (in conjunction with the AUSA Custodian)
    • Ensuring that Queerspace is kept tidy, and that any broken furniture or other safety hazards are removed and the AUSA Executive and Custodian notified
    • Any other general duties to ensure the safety and quality of Queerspace
  • Management of the Queerspace budget line, including:
    • Purchase of new Queerspace furniture and resources
    • Any required maintenance in Queerspace
  • Providing a basic level of pastoral care for students:
    • Holding regular office hours and being available to speak to students during these times
    • Providing advice, comfort and support to students in distress
    • Recognising the role of the QRO as a source of comfort, but not as a trained counsellor, working with University Health and Counselling to develop a system whereby students can be referred to professional counsellors.

Contacts and Networks

  • Establish and maintain positive and constructive relationships with:
    • Equity Office leadership and staff
    • The Staff Student LGBTI Network (regularly attend these meetings)
    • Queer student activists and clubs at the University of Auckland
    • Any queer organisations outside the University that may be relevant to the QRO’s work or who may want to collaborate on queer issues with AUSA
  • Ensure that a contact list is accurately maintained to ensure that successive QROs are able to continue contact

Events and Initiatives

  • Lead the design and implementation of ‘AUSA Pride Week’
  • If desired, collaborate with the Editor(s) of Craccum to create a Queer issue
  • Organise and implement any other events and initiatives relating to Queer students and issues throughout the University year
  • Collaborate with other AUSA portfolio members to contribute queer related events to their themed ‘weeks’
  • Create detailed and high quality reports on events and present to the Executive

General Executive duties

  • Contribute to AUSA decision making using good governance techniques and representing the views and perspectives of queer students at the University of Auckland
  • Attend and contribute to weekly AUSA Executive meetings
  • Provide support and assistance for other AUSA Executive members during their events and other initiatives
  • Report on progress on a fortnightly basis

Reporting Duties

  • Create and speak to the following reports for the AUSA Executive
  • An Annual Plan, which includes all planned events, projects, key contacts and other goals for the year
  • A Semester One Report, tracking progress against the Annual Plan and analysing success
  • An Annual Report, tracking progress throughout the year and reflecting on success
  • A transition document, containing all information necessary to ensure that successive QROs are able to transition into the role smoothly and efficiently