Undergrads, Undergrads, Here Are Your Candidates!

Still don’t know who to vote for in the SRC elections? We got you.

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Words || Grapeshot

Howdy MQ kiddies! It’s election time! Did you forget to open that email sitting in your student inbox? Still don’t know who you want to vote for? Didn’t even know there was an election happening?

We understand, don’t worry. It’ll soon be ugg-boot season in the library and those mid semester assignments are starting to contribute to your drunk breakdown at the end of a night out. But if even if you’re sobbing at 4am over whether the 10% late penalty is really worth it, you still have time to pop in a quick vote in the student elections!

If you’re late to the party on voting, don’t worry, us too. But Aunty Grapey is here to help you out! If you need a lil reminder about what’s at stake and which party is what, this article’s got you covered. So, without further ado, first up are your options for SRC undergraduate representatives:

  1. Daniel Roberts – Alliance
  2. Riley Taylor – Spark Up
  3. Max Gales – Spark Up
  4. Jade Quisumbing – Alliance
  5. Zwe Phyo – Independent

And just because we love you guys so much, we also chatted to each of the candidates to we could get to know them a little better.

Daniel Roberts – Alliance

Who are you?

Hello, I’m Dan Roberts, an avid enthusiast in my fields of Media production. I love discovering new places on campus and meeting new people every semester. I am running for the General Undergraduate Rep for the Alliance Ticket.

What degree are you studying?

Bachelor of Arts – Media

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve?

I would really like to improve the quality and quantity of student events on campus, as it encourages the student base and helps bring lifelong friendships. I would like to provide weather booths for when we have torrential rain and students must take a last stand to run through the vast distances of uncovered areas and finally, be an active listener when it comes to students wants.

How will you do this?

Quality events and the quantity of them can be improved by providing student groups greater resources to make their events and give leeway to make executive decisions on a faster schedule. Additionally, we can promote said events to help the engagement and turnout. Weather booths can be investigated with property in how we can successfully implement them in a way where they will be used by students travelling to and from class.

In your opinion, what are some potential challenges for the incoming SRC?

I think the promotion of the SRC members and the ability to foster a relationship with the students without just disappearing after an election is very important. This is a challenge for the incoming SRC, because if people don’t know who we are they are not inclined to engage in the process and we lose a lot of value due to that. When they know who their members are they will be more likely to engage in the process and see a lot more beneficial change from the SRC.

Riley Taylor – Spark Up

Who are you?

My name is Riley, and I’m running for the position of undergraduate student representative on the Spark Up ticket. Outside of wading through law readings, my passion is the entertainment industry in which I have a background in live music and comedy. I have a keen interest in politics, having been involved in various grassroots campaigns, and know how to achieve real, positive communal change through public policy.

What degree are you studying?

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and Law, my arts major being economics.

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intent to improve?

Macquarie University is a fantastic campus with a genuinely welcoming and vibrant social atmosphere. My first policy goal I would pursue if elected would be to push for more live entertainment on campus, both from the student body and externally, to further enhance students’ university experience. My second policy would be to introduce more environmentally sustainable practices, with the long-term goal being a carbon neutral campus.

How will you do this?

I have seen a lot of talent amongst the student body, and would want to organise for student bands, comedians and entertainers to have the opportunity to perform. I also would engage with the entertainment industry to push for more comedy nights at U Bar, and the opportunity for live music to become a staple of campus. My second policy goal is quite long-term, I want Macquarie University to be a carbon neutral campus. To that end, I believe the first step would be the installation of small, affordable solar panels to provide classrooms with electricity in the daylight hours. There is quite a lot of evidence to show that solar PV systems can provide sustainable, and affordable energy for households and businesses.

In your opinion, what are some potential challenges for the incoming SRC? 

I foresee several challenges for any student leadership team, including the SRC. However, at the core of these challenges, I believe, is student disengagement. Here at Macquarie, there are a great number of students who are disengaged from campus. This lessens the campus experience for a great number of these students. A challenge for the incoming SRC would be finding new, innovative ways of engaging these students in campus life and showing them that Macquarie University can be more than just a place to get a degree, it can be a community. I believe that policies, such as mine towards live entertainment and others present on the Spark Up ticket, aim to engage otherwise disengaged students and expand the vibrant culture on campus. Pursuant to this, the incoming SRC needs to find ways in which it can be more accessible to the student body, transparency is key for any elected office-bearers.

Max Gale – Spark Up

Who are you?

My name is Max and want to Spark Up the SRC as an Undergraduate Student Representative. My favourite thing about Macquarie is our inclusive and down to earth culture, and I’m running for the SRC so I can work to make our campus even better. I hope to be a strong voice for all students and will work hard to ensure the SRC works for you.

What degree are you studying?

I study a double degree of Commerce and Law.

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve?

In particular I want to expand student services on campus, make student life more affordable and improve our already beautiful campus.

How will you do this?

First and foremost, I want to expand our current mental health support frameworks and build on existing initiatives to help ensure more students feel comfortable seeking the help they need. Some students have complained to me that they are on a 2-month waiting list for Campus Wellbeing. This is unacceptable. 1 in every 4 university students in Australia have a mental health issue and it’s crucial we have strong mental health services on campus.

Secondly, I want to make studying here more affordable. It is so important we support those who need it most. Whether it be through textbooks or parking, I will work to help students cope with the costs of studying.

Finally, I will work to improve campus life. Spark Up have fantastic plans to upgrade outdated classrooms and lecture theatres, support live music on campus and improve funding for all of our clubs and societies. We are committed to giving you a better university experience.

In your opinion, what are some potential challenges for the incoming SRC?

The biggest challenge for any SRC is ensuring that it is truly representative and works to improve campus life for all students. I will work hard to ensure that the SRC is more transparent, accountable and proactive. This starts with making sure student publications such as Grapeshot have a seat at the table in all SRC meetings, so that they can report on what the SRC does and hold representatives to account.

Jade Quisumbing – Alliance

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Jade Quisumbing and I’m studying my second year at Macquarie University. I’ve decided to run for this position because I care about you and improving student life on campus.  I am the only woman running for this position and I want to give YOU a voice. I’m running for General Undergraduate on the Alliance Ticket.

What degree are you studying?

Bachelor of Arts – Laws with a Bachelor in Security Studies

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve?

If elected, I would like to increase the number of recreational and study spaces on campus and extend library hours to specified rooms in the library 24/7, and create a space for those on a last-minute exam cram or all nighters, and the night owls among us. I would also like to implement stricter access rules to high school students who use the facilities, especially during exam periods (we don’t pay $8,000 a year to deal with children!).

How will you do this?

For these improvements, I will work tirelessly with the student government body and university and make strong cases for what I believe will make student life better. To extend library hours, will involve closely working with the university administration and existing staffs to collaborate and create a sustainable policy that will work for everyone. As for increasing recreational and study places, I believe that our ever-under-construction campus needs to factor in and set targets into design and our growing campus.

In your opinion, what are some potential challenges for the incoming SRC?

I believe that a challenge that affects all SRCs is the ability to work effectively as a team. I believe that a strong SRC should be united under the same noble goal; to make university experience better. I believe that collaboration and open mindedness are key.

Zwe Phyo – Independent

Who are you?

My name is Zwe Phyo, but my friends call me Andrew as it’s hard to pronounce my name. I’m a first-year independent candidate who enjoys dancing in MDA on campus and volunteering during my free time off campus with Islamic Relief by providing support during charity events. My friends would say I’m more of a friendly and approachable person which I try to be more of.

What degree are you studying? 

I am currently studying a degree in Bachelor of Medical Science as it provides me with research capabilities, something I’m interested in to explore in the future.

If elected, what aspects of university life do you intend to improve?

I can’t make any promises, but I aim to improve the social and holistic aspects of the University’s campus life if I were to be elected.

How will you do this?

I believe in collaboration with both the student body and the SRC committee. Running independently, I believe asking the students directly on what they feel is lacking in the campus life would benefit not only the students but also give an insight into the actions the SRC should take to tackle the problems. Just within the first few days of the election I’ve personally asked around on campus what some students feel is lacking and received answers ranging from things such as an environment to help overseas students with English difficulties, an improvement to the lack of studying spaces and even requests for more social events to be organized. I listen to their opinions and would work on these issues if I do happen to be elected.

In your opinion, what are some potential challenges for the incoming SRC?

Based on first impressions, the new SRC committee is capable to tackle problems, they are resourceful and have shown adequate leadership capabilities individually. Personally, I feel the main issue that might arise would be working collectively as the different opposing parties have different values and ideals which I hope they can find a common ground to work on as the elections draw to a close. With the recent bad media exposure incident that happened, it’s safe to say the trust between the student body and the SRC committee has to be rebuilt which I am certain that it wouldn’t be an issue if everyone collaborates collectively.

So, there you go! Those are your shiny new candidates for undergrad representatives. Happy voting!