Prove your humanity

Recently, I have had the opportunity to talk to the Curtin Guild Equity Representatives of 2022. As a Grok editor and writer, I asked them questions that were specific to their roles, the issues they would like to address, how we could as students and representatives collectively work together to improve Curtin’s equity issues, and what actions are currently being undertaken. There were 6 equity representative candidates and here is what they have to say.

Imari Morris – Queer Officer 2023 

  1. What does equity mean to you and what is your area of focus?

To me, equity means that everyone has the ability and resources to achieve the best they can in life, which for me includes making sure that differences aren’t criticised or covered up but openly acknowledged and recognised in order to best know how to work towards a truly equitable solution. My main area of focus within this is the ease of accessibility for not only information about the community, both educational and social, but also for the systems involved.

  1. Why are you passionate about the chosen area/issue?

I am passionate about this area because I believe it is such a core component of working towards a more equitable and accepting future. If there aren’t simple, effective systems in place to ensure that people are able to be their true selves, be that by having the correct name and pronouns around or being able to use the bathroom they feel more comfortable in, then the environment isn’t truly equitable.

  1. What action or contribution have you made towards addressing the issue?

This year at Curtin I was a member of the Queer collective to help myself learn more about the issues facing the wider student population while also helping in the ongoing projects and community events of the queer department this year.

  1. How will this benefit the university, its reputation and most importantly the students?

This will benefit the students at Curtin by making the campus accessible for everyone by not only having staff qualified and capable of dealing with any issues that may arise within their classes but by also allowing students to be themselves while at Curtin leading to a more enjoyable experience. This overall with benefit the university and its reputation by making it a place where people want to study and participate in the other activities on campus because they are comfortable that they will be safe.

  1. What can we as students do to help you succeed as the equity representatives?

The biggest thing that students can do to help if I become the Queer officer for the Guild is to know that they can come to me with any issues or concerns they have that arise at Curtin. While it may not seem like it’ll do much, by knowing more about the different issues and experiences of LGBTQIA+ students on campus I will be able to better begin to take further steps to address and hopefully resolve them.

Also just generally taking part in our growing community here on campus, whether by attending events or just using the equity room will help by simply creating a fun, diverse community of people here at Curtin.

  1. What could be further improved?

The biggest issues to be further improved are Curtin’s systems for students wanting to change their names and pronouns and having Ally Training become compulsory for staff. While there are many things that can be improved these two are important first steps that I feel will help make it easier to address all additional issues by setting the bare minimum standard for equity and respect when being a student who has to interact with Curtin as an organisation.

Taraneh Comer – Illuminate Womens Officer Candiate

  1. What does equity mean to you and what is your area of focus?

Equity to me is everyone having equal opportunities and chances and awareness of the inequalities that marginalized communities face. Equity is having those safe and comfortable environments that allow expression without the threat of discrimination.

  1. Why are you passionate about the chosen area/issue?

Since I can remember, I have always had a strong enthusiasm for women’s rights. My objective is to build a campus that is safe and friendly for everyone to study and work on, regardless of their gender identification.

  1. What action or contribution have you made towards addressing the issue?

For years I have been an active volunteer, supporter, and member of numerous women’s rights groups and organisations. My motivation comes from the desire to spread disparities, encourage change in our society, and honour women and their accomplishments.

4. How will this benefit the university, its reputation, and most importantly the students? 

I’m running for Women’s Officer so I can make sure that anyone who uses the Women’s Department knows they will be looked after and supported, as well as encouraged to study or work at Curtin University and feel safe, at ease, and supported. As other delegates have done before me, I will maintain regular contact with the women’s departments of other universities so that we may collaborate to promote intersectional feminism and support faculty and staff who are the targets of discrimination.

5. What can we as students do to help you succeed as the equity representatives?

We can work together to promote intersectional feminism, and support staff and students affected by discrimination. Support your fellow Women and speak out against inequalities.

  1. What could be further improved?

Over the next year, I have a lot of plans and goals for the Women’s Equity Department, including offering free workshops on women’s health and sexual education, making information on support for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence more easily accessible, and providing more resources for students who are pregnant or who have dependent children or other dependents.