There is tension in the air, end of year exams are upon us, and instead of an official end of semester party, the Curtin Student Guild has been running events aimed to assist students as they enter the final stretch.
The final week of classes saw the annual Pasar Malam night marker return bigger and better than ever.
The Pasar Malam event, organised by the Guild’s International Student Committee, is usually held on the last Friday of exams, which unfortunately means many international students return to their home countries during the semester break and don’t get to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
In light of this, the decision was made to hold it on Friday 20 October in lieu of an end of semester bender, Vice President of Activities Athina Hilman says.
“This is the International Student Committee’s big event of the year, it would be so unfair for me to say let’s do this after exams, because some of these people have plans to go home,” she says.
“That’s why I did the Y2K event at the beginning of the semester, because I knew we wouldn’t have an end of semester bash.”
In place of a Guild end of semester party, the Electronic Music Appreciation Society here at Curtin will instead be hosting the Ultraviolet Spring Semester music festival on Friday 10 November.
The night market consisted of twenty-seven different stalls sprawled from outside the library at Atkinson forum all the way up to the med buildings on the north end of campus.
On offer was a selection of international cuisine from local businesses that reflect the strong multicultural influences in the area around Curtin, as well as engaging activities such as make-your-own tote bags, photobooths, glitter paints and hair braiding.
Three information kiosks were set up around the market and gave out ‘passports’ that could be filled with a sticker from each kiosk. Once all three were collected, the intrepid market explorer would receive a mystery prize (this intrepid reporter scored a plastic golf club).
The amphitheatre next to Atkinson forum showcased the talents of students and the local community. The performances included Thai dancing, a lion dance, and an impromptu open mic karaoke segment where several audience members got up and sung while waiting for one of the bands to arrive.
“That’s an indication of Pasar Malam where something crazy like that happens but it’s got such a family vibe, which you don’t necessarily feel at university events,” Athina says.
The following week continued this support as the Guild ran activities and offered free food for breakfast, lunch, and brinner, turning study week into stress-less week.
On Monday, they had two carts going around with free food on offer, delivering care packages with lollies and snacks with little notes of inspiration.
On Tuesday, the Guild’s Women’s Department hosted slumberland at Atkinson forum, where students could sample fruits infused waters while enjoying the free henna and face mask stations.
On Wednesday, it was nice and simple with free breakfast and brinner on offer outside the library.
On Thursday, breakfast again, and an ice-cream give away from The Lab, with Guild President Dylan Botica moonlighting as Mr Whippy as he whipped around campus on a decked-out buggy.
And rounding out the week on Friday with a cereal, yogurt, and fruit station set up outside the library, while in the evening a final volley of free food could be found at the Tav alongside video games, courtesy of the Curtin Esports club.
Athina is graduating and will be finishing her term as Vice President of Activities this month after almost a year of successful events including semester one’s Rave Cave, semester two’s Y2K party, Love Week, Equityfest, Mental Health week, and the Guild Pride Parade last month.
Athina stepped into the role after the previous VPA resigned, and she says while it’s been challenging, she has also enjoyed it immensely.
“This wasn’t something I’d ever thought I would do. I’m really proud of the things we have done and what we’ve accomplished,” she says.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get a job that’s as cool as this, and as wonderful as this, and to meet all the people I have. I feel really connected to the university in a way I never thought I would.”