4   +   9   =  

The biggest month of the year, September, is known for three things in Australia. The beginning of spring, when flowers unfurl and bees dance. The culmination of football when one team lifts the holy grail on Grand Final Day. And last but not least––perhaps the biggest of them all––September is known for the annual Student Guild Election. 

Elections are the time when your voice gets heard. If you enjoy the discounted meals, if you have fun at the Guild events, if you rely upon the support services, you’ll know how important the elections are. Your vote, your voice, matters. Students elected candidates to the Guild Council and delegates to the National Union of Students (NUS). In turn, they draw attention to matters that most impact your student experience. 

Elections are a staple of democratic societies and past generations have fought, bled, and sacrificed their lives for the right to vote. At Curtin University, it’s the Guild that fought for the rights and entitlements you currently enjoy. Plus, some of the funds from the SSAF––which you pay–– have been allocated for these elections. You have paid for the right to vote. So, if you want to make a positive impact, if you want your interest championed, if you care about your wellbeing, you’ll know how important voting is.

Three tickets, Illuminate, Left Action and Not 3 Emu ran for positions in 2021. Grok Magazine has the 411 on the three tickets: their origins, their stance, their views. 

 

Illuminate. Interviewee: Dylan Bottica.

What is the origin of your party – How did it form?  What is the meaning behind your party’s name? 

Illuminate formed to run in the Guild Elections in 2014. The first Illuminate President—Jason Giancomo—had been elected to Science and Engineering Faculty Representative as an Independent the year before. He described Illuminate as “a group of regular students who want to transform the guild” and some of Illuminate’s original policy was to make Guild free for all students (the Guild at the time had just introduced a membership fee!), provide more free food for students, especially during exam/study weeks, and bring back great Tav events. They also promised greater transparency for the Guild, wanting to shine light on the meetings where decisions, such as bringing in a membership fee, were made. Hence the name: Illuminate.

What does your party stand for? 

Illuminate is a progressive ticket that stands in solidarity with minorities and believes in activism and advocacy. We are a diverse group of students that come together on shared values and make our policy together each year, but there are common threads from that first Illuminate group: keeping Guild free, providing great events and services for students, and keeping the Guild transparent and democratic. 

What colours, symbols, and slogans represent your party? 

Illuminate’s colour is yellow, and our symbol is a fluorescent lightbulb. We’ve had a few slogans over the years, but two stick out this year: “For you, with you,” and “100% Proactive, 100% Progressive, 100% Curtin-student focussed.”

With 40000 plus students attending Curtin from all different backgrounds, how would your party describe the identity of the university? 

Curtin students are a diverse bunch, coming from many different backgrounds and also studying in many different ways, full time vs part time, internal vs online. The fact is that as students we learn from each other as much as we learn from our lecturers and tutors. For many people, especially those who start studying after high school, Uni is a place where you are exposed to a whole range of new experiences and ideas, where you find yourself and your people. If you look at our clubs you’ll see a range of politics, religions, courses, cultures and interests represented. Curtin University, at its core, isn’t just a tertiary institution; it’s a community. 

How can the student trust that your party will deliver on their promises?

Illuminate has a strong history of delivering on its promises, from making Guild membership free again in its first year, to bringing campus back to life this year following the lockdowns, with the safe return of large events such as the Guild Ball. Students can also rely on Illuminate to continue doing all the things students these days are able to take for granted from the Guild: increasing discounts at retail outlets, introducing cheaper food options, campaigning against attacks to our education, delivering great events and providing support from dedicated and passionate reps in the areas of equity and education. 

Is there anything your party would like to add?

No one who ran in those 2014 Guild Elections are still in our ticket today—they’ve all graduated by now, and good for them! The Illuminate candidates you see today come from a range of backgrounds. Some of us have been with the Guild for a year or two as Reps, some of us have experience in club committees, some of us are experienced activists, and some of us are passionate students who have been inspired to get involved and represent their peers. A vote for Illuminate is a vote for a fresh new voice in the Guild, and a vote for experience handed down over seven years.

 

Left Action. Interviewee: Erin Russell.

What is the origin of your party – How did it form?  What is the meaning behind your party’s name? 

We’re the campus socialists who put a ticket together with supporters to put left wing demands and issues forward in the election. We’ve run in the elections and had positions in the Guild and National Union of Students for many years and used them as activist positions to run protest campaigns against education cuts and for social justice. So we’re called “Left Action” because we’re for left wing student unions that take an activist approach!

What does your party stand for? 

Left Action stands for an activist Guild and National Union of Students. We think these bodies should use their resources and outreach to organise protest campaigns to defend social justice and students’ rights to affordable, high quality education and welfare. They should mobilise students against climate change, to defend refugees and LGBT people, to change the date and show solidarity with Palestine, and to fight VC’s and the government when they cut staff, courses and education funding.

What colours, symbols, and slogans represent your party? 

Our colour is pink; our symbol is usually a megaphone to represent our activist approach towards student unions but in the past we’ve also used a picture of the Earth as a reference to the climate campaign.

With 40000 plus students attending Curtin from all different backgrounds, how would your party describe the identity of the university? 

Curtin is clearly a very diverse campus. Students from a wide array of nationalities and ethnicities are involved in the campus. Left Action thinks the guild has a responsibility to take up questions around social justice, particularly those of racism and refugee rights (among others). These causes deserve the Guild’s attention, not just because they are the morally right things to support, but because they have a real impact on a number of students across the campus. We have spent the better part of the year campaigning on issues from refugee rights, to solidarity with Palestine and think the Guild needs to do a lot more to support these issues

How can the student trust that your party will deliver on their promises?

Students can trust that we will deliver on our promises because we already have a proven track record of fighting around the issues we are arguing for. You will likely recognise our candidates as the people standing out on a stall on campus day in and day out campaigning for refugee rights, against education cuts, and for social justice, and leading protests on and off campus. This year we’ve played a leading role in the campaign to save the Tamil Murrugupan family who the Liberals are trying to cruelly deport, we promoted the Palestine solidarity protests on campus and organised protests against the WA fossil fuel industry. We do these things whether or not we are in the Guild and National Union of Students. So students should trust that we will carry that commitment into these bodies, to throw their resources into left wing campaigns.

Not 3 Emus

This ticket failed to respond to an interview request. 

 

Guild election results are out now! Check out the link to see who students voted in to represent them.

 

 

Watch the live stream of the debate on Facebook here