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By Mohammed ‘Ayo Busari’, Grok Magazine.
Fatma Sehic will be the Guild’s Secretary for 2021, her pronouns are She/Her and she is currently in her second year of Data Science, but this is her fourth year at university.
She spends her day doing secretary work – organising meetings, taking notes, supervising finances, reading policy documents, coordinating reps, helping the executive team with their campaigns and initiative, and working on projects of her own. She also spends time studying – in her own words, ‘girl’s got to graduate at some point’. When she gets spare time, she gyms, plays League of Legends and watches K-Drama.
She has been in the Guild for 4 years. First as the Science and Engineering Rep for the First Year Committee, then as an Ordinary Representation Board member plus a member of the Finance and Risk Committee, then as the Science and Engineering Faculty Rep, a Guild Councillor, the Deputy Chair of Guild Council, the Chair of Finance and Risk Committee and a member of the Commercial Services Committee.
This year, she is honoured to be the Secretary!
Where is your favourite place to be on campus?
My favourite place on campus is the Stadium Oval! I love vibing on the field after a long week of work and study and watching people play sports on the field while the sun is setting – I totally recommend.
What are your plans after university?
After university, I am hoping to get a graduate role at Atlassian (fingers crossed). I want to work in product development, where I can improve existing technology and software products to make them even better than before. (Even though that sounds super boring aha)
How can the Guild help make university life better?
The Guild helps make university life better in a lot of ways. One of those ways is through our events. The Guild runs the best events on campus because we are run by students and for students. We know what you want and will go to great lengths to deliver a quality student experience for you. We also make university life better through our advocacy.
Many students often feel powerless against changes made by the university and decisions made by their teaching staff, which often puts them in disadvantageous situations that makes a difficult period of your life even more difficult than before.
The Guild supports you through the good and the bad – which I am proud of.
How and why did you get involved in the Guild?
I got involved in the Guild in my first year by joining the first-year committee. Having been a student councillor in high school, I thought this would be a great way to get involved at the start of my journey at university!
How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?
I believe that I can make a difference this year by becoming a strong pillar of support for student. I want to review the wellbeing services that the university offers, highlight its flaws and form proposals to address these issues.
Almost every student struggle with mental health issues resulting from pressure at university, or external factors that go on to influence their studies at university. For students to succeed, we need to ensure that we are prioritising their wellbeing.
What is the most important issue for students today?
One of the most important issues for students today is having a degree that means something. Students sacrifice money, time, youth, health and much more just to graduate from university. After sacrificing so much, students want to be met with a degree that allows them to work a stable job and earn a stable income.
How do you see universities adapting to students’ needs in the future?
As students become more empowered to question decisions made by authority figures like the university, I see universities being forced to acknowledge the truth – that students are and always will be, the main stakeholders for the university and that they need to make decisions that are in the best interests of students.
What is your advice for making the most out of the university experience—especially for first years?
Spend lots of time on campus and get involved with clubs and projects. You will meet amazing people and get involved with amazing experiences that will become good memories and give you skills that you can carry into the future.
If you could make any changes in the university, what would it be and why?
To be honest, there are a lot, and it is hard to narrow it down to one. I would expand the wellbeing services so that every single student can easily access these services when they need it. I would also make parking free and abolish fees.
If you were the Prime minister of Australia for a day, what would you do?
Make university free! Education is an investment in the future, but ironically, the cost of education is crippling the generation. I feel disappointed that educational institutions like universities have become so business-like and profit driven. I would love to restore the foundational goal of higher education – to empower, educate and enlighten.
This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series conducted by Grok Magazine.
Email Fatma on firstname.lastname@example.org