Illuminate candidate Shubhika Lal came to Australia as an international student one year ago, which has helped her understand what other international students need.
“I was able to understand whatever problems you face like adjustment issues, language issues and understanding how our rules and regulations are working,” She said.
Lal said she wanted to solve these problems for students, and knew that she could do this more effectively by joining the Guild and running for the presidency of the International Student Committee.
The ISC President is the head of the representative body for international students at Curtin. They are responsible for making sure international student’s voices are heard and that they settle into university and Australia.
Statistics from 2016 show almost 30 percent of Curtin students were from abroad. With so many international students to cater to, the ISC president has their work cut out for them.
Lal is currently doing her Master’s degree in Commerce and Applied Finance, and has been the incumbent ISC vice president for the past seven months. .
Her election opponent for the Student Guild election is Independent candidate Avin Daljit Singh.
Singh is in his third year of Civil Engineering, and said his mission was to create more activities for international students.
“The reason I chose to run is because I feel that there’s not many activities for the international students,” he said.
The International Students Committee has held three events so far this year, with one of the biggest annual events, Pasar Malam coming up in October.
“When I first moved to Perth I honestly didn’t know anything,” Singh said.
Singh said international students felt more comfortable if they interacted with people experiencing similar situations.
“I actually want to bring all the international students together,” he said.
If elected as ISC president, he promises to hold more activities and provide more opportunities for like-minded students to socialise.
Singh believes the current committee is not doing enough for international students.
Lal said Illuminate has created very good student policies, and all the issues she faced were solved when they were in power.
A report released by the Australian Human Rights Commission this year found that one in five students were sexually harassed at university.
Lal said it was important that these problems were addressed quickly.
“If you’re not able to address those issues immediately then what is the purpose of having the power?” she said.
Lal said you had to fight to resolve student’s problems, and if even if you couldn’t help, you should at least inform the university about it.