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By Amber Weir, Grok Magazine.

Connie Martelli will be the Humanities Faculty Rep for 2020, her pronouns are She/Her and she is currently studying Arts and Commerce Double Degree in International Relations and International Business. Connie describes herself as having very broad interests, involving herself in activities that contribute towards her passion of human rights, helping others, caring for the environment, learning about the modern world and its history, politics, music, art and being a voice for students.

Like many of our 2020 Guild representatives, Connie has been very active on campus, having attended meetings for Guild Council and Representation Board as a general member throughout last year. Connie is a member of the Curtin International Relations Society, Photography Club, Curtin Commerce Club, Curtin Tabletop and many more, and believes these experiences have allowed her to make many friends. She is also in the process of creating a music club which she feels is much needed!

What is your favourite campus food?

A current favourite would be Angazi fries and burgers!

What is your biggest whine/peeve about campus?

There are little to no music (besides EMAS) opportunities available on campus! Also, I often have to arrive very early on campus as I either get lost when trying to find the building I need to go to or it takes me some time to walk there!

What would you like to do after you graduate university?

My mind is not set on a particular role/job just yet, but I do know that I would like to work in a field that falls under at least of one of my interests and relates to what I am studying. Current ideas that appeal to me would be an ethical business woman, human rights lawyer, diplomat or working for a world organisation. I hope to have a rewarding job that makes me excited to get up every morning, and doesn’t feel like work because I love what I do.

How can the Guild help make university life better?

The Guild is run by students and represents student interests by gathering student feedback and acting upon it. We fight for students and [we are] the portal from students to the University in which positive change happens. The Guild has the right resources and network system to make student wishes come to life.

How and why did you get involved in the Guild?

There was a Guild email sent out to all first-year students in 2018, calling for nominations to be a member on the first ever First Year Committee which I decided to respond to. I’ve always been passionate about ensuring our communities are safe, healthy, full of opportunity and welcoming to all. Combined with my desire to take on a representative role and be a leader, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I loved being a voice for humanities students and providing student feedback to the Guild, and my passion for representing students grew stronger. As a hardworking individual who thinks outside of the box, I believe I’m a valuable team member of the Guild. Having roles in the Guild has allowed me to voice what matters for students and find issues that haven’t been discussed often, such as Fair-Trade coffee issues and the lack of music opportunities for students. I have taken on other opportunities such as being a Guild Councillor and being a part of the Representation board in 2019, and now in 2020 I am the Humanities Representative and was a NUS delegate, [which allowed] me to continue working for students!

How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?

I am able to make a difference through my role as 2020 Humanities Representative by reminding myself of my goals, having a plan to achieve those goals and remaining dedicated to that plan. This year I am hoping to fight against any potential course cuts, ensure Humanities are taken as seriously as any other faculty, start a discussion on the omission of music and address fair trade issues/environmental issues in the Guild. I hope to work with students more closely and get Humanities students more engaged and involved with the Guild. At O-Week, I will have a question box in which I will be answering queries on the Humanities Faculty Facebook group, [as well as] a survey for students to fill out, in order to get an idea of what is important to [students] and their expectations.

It is important to achieve goals that have arisen from the demand of students. I am able to acquire feedback from students [through surveys], listen to that feedback and then utilise the resources available to fulfil student expectations. The Curtin Student Guild has given me a platform to voice Humanities students’ concerns and give us a voice through using tools such as social media, resources like banners, stalls and my ability to travel to valuable conferences. As a Humanities representative, it is my obligation to listen and act according to students wants and demands. I am able to use and create surveys and have conversations with students during humanities events to understand students wants and needs. With student feedback, I am able to plan groups, events and activities for humanities students and take necessary action if an issue arises.

What is your advice for making the most out of the uni experience—especially for first years?

My first piece of advice to first year students is to make sure they are enrolled in a course that they love and are passionate about, because that is the fundamental building block to enjoying the rest of your university experience. Make sure you attend O-Week! This is important as it is an introduction to [the] Curtin clubs that are available, the Curtin campus and services available on campus. There are also fun activities in which you may meet new friends and it is a great time to ask any questions you may have about uni life and Curtin. Getting involved in clubs that you interested in, creating your own club if you find your interest isn’t a club that exists, or volunteering for non-for-profit organisations is a great start towards making friends and having an enjoyable university experience. Another way to make the most of university is to attend Guild events! It is important to network and take on new opportunities that come your way. Ensuring you keep a healthy balance between study, work, hobbies family and friends and service is important practice in order to reduce stress. University is a place where you learn and grow, so it is crucial to get involved and make the most out of your university experience.

This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series conducted by Grok Magazine.

Email Connie on humanities@guild.curtin.edu.au