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By Tess MacGregor, Grok Magazine.
Madison Ainsworth is the Humanities Faculty Representative for the Guild in 2021 and her pronouns are She/Her. Madison is currently studying a double major in Professional Writing and Publishing, and Creative Writing.
The stigma around mental health, particularly in small towns, is an issue that hits home for Madison. She hopes with more education and open discussions around mental health that this issue can gain more awareness.
Madison is excited to get back into ice skating this year, and her favourite shows now are Sweet Home and Alice in Borderland.
What is your favourite campus food?
My favourite food on campus is the sushi from Angazi.
What is your biggest whine/peeve about campus?
Honestly, I wish the snacks and drinks in the vending machines were a little cheaper. As someone with low blood sugar and bad on dealing with it, most of the time I end up grabbing a chocolate bar or a coke to stop my blood sugar going too low and I spend way too much in those machines!
What would you like to do after you graduate university?
When I graduate, I hope to have a position on a publishing team, and eventually gain enough experience to become a fiction publisher. I feel that works of fiction are incredibly important to mental health and society as a creative outlet—either though reading or writing—and I cannot wait to be a part of that process.
How can the Guild help make university life better?
The Guild advocates for you, we take part in meetings and investigate issues to make sure that students are getting what is fair, and any time students email us with questions or problems it is our privilege to be able to assist in fixing them.
How and why did you get involved in the Guild?
I was lucky enough that I met a member of the Guild whilst being a member of the Curtin Writers Club. Clare—the Accessibility Officer for 2021—asked if I wanted to be a part of Illuminate (one of the Guild tickets running), I said I would, and it all happened quickly from there!
I am so glad that it happened because now I have the chance to impact the future of what Curtin looks like. I have the chance to be able to look after student interests and make changes that I think will benefit Curtin students.
How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?
One of my main focuses this year will be student engagement and making sure that Humanities students know exactly what is going on around campus: every rally, every change, every opportunity available to grow their skills and make fantastic achievements.
An achievement of my own that I am reaching toward is to have recycle bins placed in classrooms so that students have the option to get rid of their rubbish—which is mostly recyclable within the classroom—in an environmentally friendly way.
What is your advice for making the most out of the university experience—especially for first years?
My number one piece of advice is to keep your eyes open for opportunities. Follow the Guild Facebook groups, look for a club that interests you or start a new one if it does not exist!
What is the most important issue for students today?
That is a question that will change with every person you ask, but thanks to last year most of the problems we currently face as students stem from the consequences of COVID-19.
I am all for online classes, but that must be a choice each student makes. The slow return to face-to-face for some subjects is making it harder for students who learn better in a physical classroom capacity.
How do you see universities adapting to students’ needs in the future?
A big focus of the Guild this year is accessibility, such as increasing the ease of access to CAP’s. Most of the people I talked to during election week unfortunately did not know that CAP’s were available at all, so increasing knowledge and awareness will be a big improvement that I am looking forward to.
If you could make any changes in the university, what would it be and why?
I would make sure all classes have options for both online and face-to-face learning. Some people learn better in person and others learn better online. I think it is more accessible to have options for learning.
If you were the Prime minister of Australia for a day, what would you do?
If I were the Prime Minister for a day, I would make the first three to five years of your degree (depending on the type of degree you were attempting) free. It would decrease the stress students go under to pass or further increase their debt and would increase the number of qualified professionals entering the workforce.
This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series conducted by Grok Magazine.
Email Madison on firstname.lastname@example.org