Illuminate’s Madison Ainsworth and Progress’ Jeremy Gilchrist are the running candidates for the 2021 Humanities faculty representative at Curtin’s Guild.
The position represents the interests of humanities students to the Guild and will be an important position in the upcoming year following the 113 per cent increase in costs of humanities degrees at Curtin.
The role, held in 2020 by Connie Martelli, plays an important part in advocating for humanities students’ rights and ensures Curtin’s policy and procedure align with student interest.
Gilchrist says that he will focus on engaging as many students as possible following the increase in the cost of humanities degrees.
“The Curtin Student Guild is a student union representing a lot of students so with such a large body collectively I believe there is more scope than is utilised for making change.
“As the Humanities faculty representative, I would engage with the state government over the federal degree pricing proposal. Universities are great assets to states and I think we can get some positive action and have the state recognising the value of higher education.”
While Gilchrist is currently an International Relations student, he spent two years as a screen arts major.
Reflecting on his time as a screen arts student, Gilchrist says,
“Over the two years I took the Screen Arts major multiple lecturers and tutors were lost to a lack of funds and others no longer had an office on campus. Many electives offered in Screen Arts are no longer offered today.”
Gilchrist believes that if Curtin Guild continues to integrate more of itself in the campaigning done by the National Union of Students, this will make greater use of the power of the union.
“It’s time to get more involved in dealing with politicians directly.”
Madison Ainsworth a creative writing and professional writing and publishing student running under Illuminate says the changes in humanities degrees are a nation-wide issue.
“Can you picture how empty humanities classes will be if this goes through?
“There will be fewer teachers, fewer journalists, fewer creatives, and fewer international relations students who graduate to become diplomats, public servants who better our community, government workers, and strategy analysts.”
Ainsworth says she will collaborate with student unions across the country to deal with these proposed changes in degree pricing.
She also believes in a greater focus on the mental health of students.
“In 2021 I will be fighting alongside Illuminate in a number of accessibility improvements,
“…ensuring quiet periods and low-sensory spaces, increasing the clarity of where accessible faculties and services can be found, providing more information about CAP’s, and increasing the funding for Curtin Counselling, which will allow more counsellor and specialist psychologist hire, lessen wait times to obtain assistance, provide training in ally and cultural sensitivity training, and create alternatives to in-person sessions.”
Voting on campus will happen from 21-24 September 2020.