Faculty representatives provide representation and advocacy for the students in their respective faculties. Sitting on multiple boards and committees, they help to provide the student perspective when important decisions are made. Faculty reps also participate in Guild-run campaigns or initiatives like the unit outline review or the course representative system that will be introduced next year.
Our three candidates for Health Faculty Representative—in alphabetical order—are Briana Hodgkinson of Revive, Jeru Sundar from Illuminate and Richard Birchall of Left Action.
Briana (Revive) has been at Curtin for almost two years, studying a Bachelor of Psychology. She describes herself as a cat-lover with a passion for politics. Jeru (Illuminate) has been at Curtin for three years and is studying pharmacy. Both candidates are relatively new to Guild representation, however, both are members of multiple clubs around campus. Briana plays an active role in the Curtin Politics Club as their secretary.
When asked about their motivations for running for Health Faculty Rep, both display a clear passion for improving outcomes for Health students.
“…I believe Health Science students have had a rough time as of late. With constantly changing units, a lack of student support and outdated laboratories, it’s no wonder people are moving towards different universities,” says Briana.
“Health Science students need a positive and uplifting environment in which to work, study and enjoy themselves. I want better outcomes for Health Science students, and for our laboratories to be the envy of every other campus in WA.”
Jeru echoes this same sentiment, expressing her desire to influence change.
“During my time in pharmacy I have represented pharmacy students through WAPSA and have been a part of conversations and decisions altering assessments, exams and even the outline of the course to better help the students,” she says.
“Given my past experience I know there can be a lot of changes yet to be made to the Health Sciences as a whole, especially when it comes to interprofessional practice. I am deeply passionate about Health and its importance and I wish to make the Health Professionals at Curtin have the best experience and outcome they can during their degree.”
As Health Faculty Rep, Briana says she plans to secure funding for new laboratories for Health Science students, increase student support within the faculty and throughout the campus in general.
“With Revive itself, I plan to bring more food to campus during exam periods, because everyone knows living on red bull isn’t the most healthy and nutritious exam diet there is,” she says.
“I also plan to cut the red tape for clubs, making accessing grants for their chosen club easier and more efficient. On the whole, I want to see a revived (sorry, pun not intended) campus that focuses on more than just political agendas.”
On the other hand, Jeru plans to listen to what her fellow students are concerned about.
“…from what colour they want the hexagon to be to changes they wish to see in their course and anything else. Illuminate has some absolutely wonderful policies this year and I am fully on board with them as they all centred around providing the best experiences to students at Curtin,” she says.
In addressing the student body, Briana asks students to consider a perspective that doesn’t come from the two main parties or a joke ticket.
“Only 1% of our campus partakes in student elections, and this is sad because we want to fight for you and your rights on campus. A vote for me ensures better outcomes for all, and more of a focus on you and your needs as students,” she says.
While Briana is a member of the Labor Party and the faction Progressive Labor (also known as Labor Right), she is confident that this will not influence her ability to do her job.
“I believe in a diverse guild that operates in an apolitical manner and I don’t believe my political affiliation will affect running a strong representative guild that delivers positive outcomes for its students,” she says.
In her final words, Jeru talks of the pressure students face at university.
“I know that uni can be stressful with work, events, assessments and assignments and all the other things we juggle but if I can do anything to make it easier from my role in Illuminate or simply be someone to talk to, I am always ready to help,” she says.
Both candidates display a clear desire for achieving better outcomes for Health students and a passion for improving our campus, however, it’s up to students to decide who will be their representative.
Note: Richard Birchall was contacted for comment but did not provide a response.
Briana Hodgkinson is a member of the Labor Party and the faction Progressive Labor/Labor Right. Jeru Sundar has no political affiliations.
Election polls close at 4pm today, 19 September 2019. For more information on Guild Candidates visit the Guild website.