Academic Senate Candidates for the Faculty of Business & Economics

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Running for the spot of undergraduate student member on the Academic Senate for the Faculty of Business & Economics are Jenni Zoue, Mathew Duardo, Jose Francisco and Ariel Serravalle.

MAT DUARDO (Independent)

Mat’s a 4th year Business/Law student who survives on a stable diet of late nights, earlier mornings, coffee, memes and dogs.

Can you comment on the overall experience you’ve had while studying at Macquarie?

Macquarie is a university that is consistently under-valued in the wider community, but also doesn’t always do itself any favours to rebut that stereotype. We’ve seen a university administration that comes up with some great initiatives, but doesn’t always hit the mark when it comes to meeting student expectations.

Going to Macquarie has definitely enriched my life and provided my with many opportunities I would not have otherwise had. I still think student life is much about what you put into it and what you make it, but I’ve maybe become a bit more jaded over the years. As we grow as students the uni changes too over time, sometimes for better or worse.

What made you decide to campaign for a place on the Academic Senate?

In recent years there’s been a growing sentiment of the Student “Us” and the Academic “Them”. Too much of this dialogue is focused on funding and playground politics. Your job as a student leader shouldn’t be to resume-build or self-promote; it’s about student representation and ensuring that your student body has an advocate. Over the past years I’ve seen many students representatives step down from roles in the SRC and the Academic Senate, sometimes after only a few months in the role, despite heavy campaigning and large promises.

If students are going to pay top dollar and commit years of their life to their study, they should receive a world-class education. They also should be involved and have a say in what that education looks like. 

If elected to the Senate, what issues or concerns will you be prioritising?

Firstly, many of the existing degree opportunities like PACE and PAL are only utilized by a minority of heavily academically motivated students; these opportunities need more promotion and participation.

Secondly, universities like USYD and UNSW regularly have industry leaders like Google, BCG and leading accounting & law firms running workshops and career fairs. MQU students are told by these organisations, “Sorry we aren’t currently offering opportunities or events at your university”, and the responsibility falls back on student societies to reach out and facilitate such events.

Finally to clear communication; students often don’t have an avenue of reply when they feel a unit isn’t meeting their expectations, or when they find a misadventure process overly confusing or arduous. Often students feel “My issue isn’t serious enough” or “I’m not sure my convenor will understand”. Equally, there are lecturers and tutors that don’t fully understand the disruption to studies process.

Why should students vote for you?

I’m not running to ‘ignite revolution’ or ensure ‘the traditional approach’. I’m here to have a constructive dialogue about what is in the interests of students.

How can we best construct degrees to meet people’s needs? How can we facilitate concerns and complaints so they are heard? How can we help students have a say in how their units are structured, and understand what their assessment tasks require of them? How can we ensure that students make the most of their educational opportunities, whilst still being able to balance a demanding work and social life outside of university?

I’ll work hard to ensure that all students are able to have their views represented on the academic senate.


ARIEL SERRAVALLE (Alliance)

I’m just an actuarial studies student trying really hard to prove to my family and friends that I’m not a nerd.

Can you comment on the overall experience you’ve had while studying at Macquarie? 

It’s been pretty standard. I sit on the train for an hour from the city, or I drive here and fight for parking. Then I attend one class (only the tutes) and have a crisis about how behind I am on all the work. As a whole, it’s been good, but we all have our problems with Macquarie like dud subjects, weird tutorial times, and problems with communication.

What made you decide to campaign for a place on the Academic Senate? 

One day I walked in on James (the man running my ticket) working by himself in a dimly lit SRC room and he said, “it makes me wake up in the morning and not want to die”.  With a pitch like that, how could I say no?

If elected to the Senate, what issues or concerns will you be prioritising?

I’m a massive supporter of extra-curricular opportunities for students to excel in. Your future employers are going to be expecting a lot more out of you than a good-looking transcript. In fact, many don’t even look at it at all.

Further, not every great person is a great academic, and they shouldn’t be marginalised for it. We should have as many opportunities to excel in different fields as possible, because that well-roundedness is what people should really be developing at uni.

Finally, why should students vote for you?

I’m going to address those concerns. I intend to work with MUBS/UNIT/ASSOC, calling up potential corporate sponsors for anything they’re willing to offer. I’ll be relentlessly emailing the exchange programs of international universities and finding opportunities for you.

These are the things I love about uni. I just want more of them.

JENNI ZOUE

Awaiting response.

JOSE FRANCISCO

Awaiting response.

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