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By Tess MacGregor, Grok Magazine.
Dylan Botica will be the Chair of the Representative Board, and the Business and Law Representative for the Guild in 2021. His pronouns are he/him and he is currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology & Commerce (Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations).
Dylan has been involved in campus life for a few years now, including being involved in Curtin’s Psychology Student Association where he was President, and running an independent ticket, Feudalist Alternative, before joining Illuminate to represent the Guild.
Dylan is a proud unionist and believes in fighting for students to ensure they receive the best university experience possible. In his spare time, Dylan loves to cook and watch true crime.
What is your biggest whine/peeve about campus?
My biggest whine about campus is how broken our parking system is. It should not cost you money to park at a University that is already charging you A LOT to study at.
For students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, we should have free parking on campus, as the cost of textbooks and other incidental fees are already a major barrier to accessing education.
The cost of parking on campus increases every year, CellOPark is broken and Perth’s public transport is often an unviable alternative.
How can the Guild help make university life better?
The Guild is the gateway to a better student experience. University is not about the piece of paper you leave with, it is about the mates you make, the experiences you have and the clubs you join.
The Guild funds and helps clubs, runs amazing events throughout the year, feeds you with free BBQs and helps you through Student Assist. If you ever need a hand, the Curtin Student Guild is here to help you. We represent you to the University as your student union.
How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?
This year I want to fight against the changes the University is trying to sneak past us. These changes are threatening a poorer quality of education and are moving towards solely online classes against the wishes of students.
As the Business and Law Faculty Representative, I want to make sure students in my faculty are given opportunities to transition into the workplace and work towards greater funding for clubs.
What is your advice for making the most out of the university experience—especially for first years?
If you are new to Curtin or not engaged in Curtin campus culture, taking the leap towards joining a few clubs is one of the best moves you can make. I joined a few clubs, made friends and that is what got me involved in the Guild.
Go to Guild events. Get in touch with your Faculty Representative by joining the Faculty Facebook Groups or sending us an email. Another great aspect of the Guild is our equity departments, I was Accessibility Officer last year and was able to join a community of people from a similar background as me.
Why are you the Chair of the Representation Board and the Business and Law Representative? What do these roles mean to you?
I am the Business and Law Representative because I care about students from my faculty having the best quality education and ultimately receive the tertiary education necessary to secure a job and find a fulfilling career.
The opportunity to be in touch with students, connect them to the faculty and fight for them is a privilege.
I became Chair of Representation Board because it gives me a position that oversees the broader work of all our Guild Representatives, presides over the bigger picture discussions, sits in the Guild Executive, and can fight the University through campaigns that truly engage students.
The Guild has a proud history of achieving real change and as Chair I can continue that work.
What would you do if you were Prime Minister?
If I were Prime Minister for a day, I would let Westralia finally be free! Secession time baby!
What is the most important issue for students today?
This a complex question in which lots of different issues boil down to equity.
With many changes to higher education over the years, accessing a quality education is becoming more expensive, requiring more out of pocket fees, wages are stagnant, and the job market is less than ideal.
Students are struggling to afford to park on campus, buy their textbooks, they feel they must commit to unpaid or underpaid internships to get ahead and their tuition fees increase as their experiences become poorer. These are the most important issues for students today.
How do you see universities adapting to students’ needs in the future?
How I see universities adapting to our needs is different to how I wish they would adapt. I see the for-profit system continuing to churn out less student focused policies where, for example, we continue to be reliant on exploiting international students.
I see universities cashing in on being able to recycle and mass deliver courses using digital mediums. They do not recognise that students want to have real interaction with their (underpaid and overworked) teaching staff.
If universities want to adapt, they need to truly listen to their students.
If you could make any changes in the university, what would it be and why?
I would cap and reduce the fees on International Students and fire the senior executive.
This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series conducted by Grok Magazine.
Email Dylan on firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com