As Curtin elections continue, Grok meets up with Callum Baxter from the Yeehaw party. Callum and his friend, Muhammad Lababida, formed Yeehaw to “rustle up some excitement in the world of education.” Yeehaw aims to get rid of academic obstacles with “a wink and a swagger that’ll make the desert blush,” as well as ensuring students “shine as bright as a lone star.”
The party has several mission statements, including renaming the Tavern to the Saloon, mandating cowboy hats, and giving students a weekly rodeo.
Grok writer Andrew Williams sits down with Callum Baxter for more.
What are you studying and what year are you in?
I’m in my second year, and I am studying economics and international relations.
Can you tell us about the Yeehaw party?
It’s a very serious -uh no- it’s a little party me and my friend Mo have put together to put the fun back in Guild politics. A lot of people are quite disconnected with it and if we can make it a bit more fun and engage a bit more people this year, then maybe we can be a bit more serious next year and hopefully bring some decent polices and culture back to Curtin campus.
Are you politically engaged/active yourself?
Outside of Curtin I am. I won’t go too much into that. Outside, it gives me a bit of a footing to work inside campus and know some of the ropes about politics, elections, and the campaign.
Why specifically cowboys?
It’s fun. Everyone loves a cowboy. The Barbie movie was released recently, which gives it a nice edge and you can have pink cowboys. Curtin’s quite a progressive campus, so why not? Go the whole hog and have some pink cow boys running around.
There was a rumour going around that your initial running name was ‘Barbie Sheriff’?
That… is still in the ballot. I did unfortunately have to use my full name. I couldn’t be bothered taking the Barbie Sheriff suffix off, but it was originally meant to be just ‘Barbie Sheriff’ and not my name on it.
What are thoughts on how student politics is run at Curtin?
I think it’s been very same-same for the past few years. I don’t mind it, I think we’re in a good place at the moment. It could do a bit more with the parking but uh, many guilds and presidents have been trying to fix that. I think Guild politics in general is quite disconnected from the actual cohort of people on campus. It’s not a state election, it doesn’t change many things that you can see in the actual life on campus. But, it’s just something we see, not something we really think about. Again, if Yeehaw can engage a few more people with some fun, then it’s good.
What are your thoughts on Illuminate and Left Action?
(Illuminate) is a university party. They promise a lot more than they can deliver, but that’s a common theme among many university parties. I think Illuminate has been decent in the last few years. They are the ones that have been in power. But, in my time i’ve been at Curtin, they’ve done a decent job, and we thank them for the endorsement on the ballot paper!
In the mission statement, there are some lines that resonate with people, including renaming the Tav to the Saloon?
Yeah, definitely. Most universities, i mean, UWA, Murdoch, all have a tavern. I think Curtin is unique in many respects, but the Tav can be renamed to the Saloon. It’s fun, it makes us a bit more distinct than any other universities. We already have a very distinct modern campus, so why not? Why not take the Tav back in time to the Saloon?