Hello everyone! My name is Jesse Naylor Zambrano and I’m almost three months into my term as Curtin Student Guild President for 2021.
I started my term on the 1st of December 2020, and since day one we’ve been grinding to fight for students’ needs to be listened to and addressed. If you’ve been feeling like life is more stressful now than it’s ever been before, you’re not imagining it. I feel it too.
Mid-2020 the Liberal Government cut funding to Universities to the lowest it’s ever been, pushing the cost further onto students. They also changed HECS so that it can be taken away, forcing students to pay upfront, if they fail too many units.
For students, that means taking on more debt to access an underfunded education system. Meanwhile, you’re under more pressure to keep your grades up while juggling work, family, and everything else life throws at us.
At the end of 2020, Curtin University fired over 300 staff, tried to raise the cost of parking by 5.26%, and announced a new ‘Blended Learning’ model that would move more of our education online. Students are being squeezed for every penny we’ve got, and we’re sick of it.
Students are doing it rough financially after 2020—we don’t need parking fee increases that make it even more expensive to come to campus. Our advocacy on parking has reduced the fee increase from 5.26% to 2%, but we’re not done. We’re still pushing for 0% increase to fees and a restructuring of the parking system to make it cheaper, quicker, and more accessible for students to get to campus.
We want to receive a high-quality education, with practical learning and contact hours with our tutors so we can feel ready for our careers. We’re fighting against cost-cutting measures that deteriorate our quality of education, keeping students informed and communicating students’ feedback directly to the executives of Curtin University. Learn about our work and wins so far, and what’s next: https://www.guild.curtin.edu.au/myfeesmyfuture.
It’s not all doom and gloom though! It’s the start of a brave new semester, and I can’t wait for students to return to campus. Campus culture took a hit during the lockdown, but we’re committed to kicking things off bigger and better than ever. We’re celebrating the start of the semester with our famous Tav Toga Party on the 26th of February. You’ll be seeing more events, activities, and club support so that there’s always something happening on campus.
You can get stuck into uni knowing that you always have someone in your corner. If issues do come up, we’re here to help. So from myself and all of your student reps at the Guild, I want to give you a massive warm welcome back to campus. Let’s do this!