Prove your humanity

Lucy Rohl will be the Guild’s Health Sciences Faculty Representative for 2021, and her pronouns are She/Her.

After trying her hand at a few different subjects, Lucy is now beginning her second year of Psychology. She loves to read and write and has recently been getting to horror films such as Us and Get Out, as well as Midsommer, which has scarred her for life.

Lucy adores dogs and is always happy to talk about her fluffy cavoodle, Fudge. Other preferred topics of conversation include equality, inclusion, and advocacy, which she discusses with confidence and conviction.

Where is your favourite place to be on campus?

My favourite place is the Accessibility Department in the Curtin Student Guild. There are very comfortable couches to nap on, there are lots of toys to fiddle with—gives me something to do with my hands—and there used to be a gigantic teddy bear in there that you could hug.

What are your plans after university?

I am planning postgrad, although I am not yet sure what that will be in. After study, I want to help people and do something rewarding, get a dog and have an herb garden on my kitchen windowsill. Other than that, I just want to be happy.

How can the Guild help to make university life better?

First, the Guild does a lot for campus culture. There are the Guild outlets, like Angazi and the Tav, there is the G Mart where you can buy stuff, and clubs as well. But also, decisions are being made all around you, whether you know they are or not.

It is important for a student representative to be there and to advocate for students’ interests, because sometimes our interests do not line up with those of staff. It is vital that students are represented in these situations, and that is what the Guild does.

How and why did you get involved in the Guild?

I got involved in my very first semester with the First Year Committee. I had not done anything like that in high school, but I felt like I had something to prove, whether to myself or to my family, or to the people around me. I really enjoyed it, and I loved giving my opinions, which is something I tend to do a lot.

I decided I wanted to keep going, and last year I was making decisions on the rep board as an ordinary member. This is my third year in the Guild now, and I am going to continue this path.

How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?

One thing I feel strongly about, especially in health sciences, is that there really is no education on Queer people, our identities and the health issues that concern us. I have heard of people going to health clinics and getting suboptimal treatment after informing professionals that they are Queer.

Some therapists do not know how to use they/them pronouns, for example. It really is important for health professionals to have that education. Not only would this help them in their treatment of Queer people, but it would also allow them to feel more confident, and that is what we need in our health system.

So, for health students, I would really like to implement some educational materials about Queer identities and health issues into the department.

What is the most important issue for students today?

I am sure I do not have to explain the push to online learning that the university is going for, and while there is nothing wrong with online learning—for some people it is wonderful—for others, it does not work.

They have less motivation to study; they do not get that campus culture—it is simply not for everyone. This is a big issue that is currently facing students, because it is a decision that is being made for them and it is not helpful at all.

How do you see universities adapting to students’ needs in the future?

Kind of related to what I was saying before, I think that in university you should be able to choose when and how you study with much more precision and flexibility than what we have now.

It used to be either fully in person or fully online, but you should be able to choose what you want to do online and what you want to do in person, and what time you want to do these things.

I used to have three jobs, and I was not studying during this period, but I still had no time to myself. I know people who have that many commitments but are still studying. They should be able to sort their timetables around their commitments, and so I would like much more flexibility in when and how we study.

What is your advice for making the most out of the university experience—especially for first years?

In high school, it is easy to be friends with people in your classes, but at university it is a bit tougher. For finding friends, I would say join a club.

There are several Facebook pages as well; join as many of them that are relevant to you as you can. Also—and this is coming from someone who used to get to school at 7.30am every morning—do not take 8.00am classes, because you think you can do it and you really, really cannot.

If you have the option in your first semester, do not take 8.00am classes. If you find you can still get to university at 8.00am, then try them in your second semester—but they should be avoided at all costs, in my opinion.

If you could make any changes in the university, what would they be and why?

So, this is not wholly on the university, but I would love it if prac was paid. You are doing so much work—and it is work—but you are not getting paid for it. People need to pay rent, need to pay bills, need to pay for their car. You are working nine to five for your prac, four or five days a week, and in your free time you are working part-time to pay for all those bills you have.

People can go months without having any days off whatsoever, and that is not good for your mental health at all. Paid prac would be lovely!

If you were the Prime Minister of Australia for a day, what would you do?

I would declare Indigenous sovereignty. Enough said!



This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series that was first published on their website.

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