In this year’s Guild election, there are two candidates for the role of Science and Engineering Faculty Representative: Illuminate’s, and current faculty rep, Hana Arai, and Socialist Alternative’s Angus MacFarlane.
Grok spoke to both of the candidates to get their take on this year’s elections, the role of Science and Engineering rep, and why they are the best candidate for the job.
In no particular order:
Hana Arai is the current Science and Engineering Faculty Representative, running again with Illuminate for the same role. Last year she was elected unopposed.
“I will continue to develop the strong working relationship between the Illuminate Guild and the faculty,” she tells Grok, “I will make sure the student’s voice is put first and I will fight for the right of [the faculty] students to have a quality education.”
She also promised to fight against the cuts to the technical and administrative staff. She said that she will negotiate within the system, make her opinion very clear on the faculty board, and produce persuasive feedback and consultation. “If that does not work,” she said, “I will engage students and clubs and make the issue more public.”
This year, along with fighting against education cuts, Hana wants to engage more clubs and increase communications with WASM students through video chat. She also wants to fight against reported gender imbalance and sexism within STEM.
“As a woman studying science … sexism is an issue of great concern to me. I am ready to continue the fight if and when inequality rears its head.”
Hana totes Illuminate as the “only ticket [she] would trust to make real change happen, and the only ticket [she] would trust to value the student experience.”
“Illuminate is the only ticket with a genuinely diverse range of candidates who will be able to represent students from all walks of life,” she adds.
Hana says she’s the best person for the job because she has a year’s worth of work and experience under her belt, has a track record of creating good working relationships, will bring science and engineering issues to a national level with NUS, and is “always ready to fight for the rights of my peers.”
“Vote for me,” she concludes, “If you want to see a student representative who is in touch, who will continue to push for the best outcome for science and engineering students, and who is not afraid to make their voice heard!”
Angus MacFarlane, from Socialist Alternative’s Left Action ticket, said he’s the best person for the job because he will bring an activist voice to the Faculty Representative team.
“The Curtin Guild is a political body that exists to represent students and fight for their rights,” he said, “Currently, there are 50 staff in the science faculty facing job loss—yet there hasn’t been a peep [from the Guild] about it. I aim to change that.”
Angus said that he will strive to represent the faculty on a platform involving climate change awareness, the opposition of defence and militarisation of universities, with a focus on human rights and social justice.
“These are topics that come hand in hand with science and engineering,” Angus remarked, “As future scientists we have a vested interest in bettering people and our planet … Left Action is the only ticket with a demonstrable history of this.”
Angus criticised the current Guild for what he said was, “silence on the matter of the faculty staff cuts.”
“I will fight tooth and nail against budget cuts,” Angus told Grok, “I want to help bring awareness and mobilise other students for issues that affect us all.”
Angus also praised the efforts of fellow Socialist Alternative candidate Erin Russell for her fight against sexism in the faculty, with Left Action promising to prioritise the abolishment of the pay gap.
“Left Action candidates are activists all year round,” Angus sums up, “If you want to see activists fight for your rights and involve you in the struggle to be heard, vote Left Action.”