Image Description: (From left to right) Daj Jenneh, Chloe Kam, Emma Mezger, Thomas Cotter, Eleanor White, Floretta Susilo, James Haley, and April Htun, sitting in the Sunken Gardens. Text reads “STAR 2021. Independent. Progressive. Experienced. Vote 14-17 Sep.”

 

By Emma Mezger

 

My name is Emma, and I am STAR’s candidate for Guild President in 2021. This is my story, and these are the reasons behind why I chose to get involved with the UWA Student Guild.

 

I entered UWA as a small fish in a big pond, and was lucky enough to become a fresher-rep on Science Union by performing a shitty cover of Lose Yourself. Since that fateful day, I have been given so many great opportunities to involve myself with all aspects of UWA culture.

 

I became SU President in 2019, which led me on a journey of student representation, event organisation, and greater awareness of issues impacting UWA students. I am now in my  fourth year of undergrad, and currently the Education Council President on the Guild.

 

I also serve as a National Student Union Representative: a role which I cherish, through seeing first-hand the transformative powers of a quality education to my own family. My background has been strongly influenced by my mother’s own experience in immigrating to Australia after China opened its borders, and having worked hard to attend university and provide for herself and our family. The value of education is one she has strongly instilled in myself and my twin brother.

 

I also recognise that our university experience should be more than academic. Since 2017, I have strived to involve myself with as many aspects of campus culture as possible, including being an avid member of the UWA Frisbee community (attending Uni-Games in 2019), as well as volunteering in Vietnam through AIESEC UWA in 2018.

 

I am bound by a sense of duty to the Guild and to UWA students. I am running for this position because I have been so fortunate to receive an amazing experience at UWA, and I want all students to share this with me. I promise to work towards a future that secures progressive outcomes for students of all demographics, and ensure all voices are heard and acted upon.

 

I chose to run with STAR because my values are also STAR’s values: we are independent, progressive, and experienced. For the last twenty=five years, students have relied upon STAR’s integrity and values to push for action on issues which they care about most.

 

Education is STAR’s number one priority, and we have worked hard to remove seventy percent weighted exams, 8.30am & 4.30pm exams, and reduce the late penalty to five – just to name a few.  Moving forward into what we can only expect to be a challenging 2021 – coming off the back of attacks to HECS, COVID-19, and the loss of many international students – students need an experienced and innovative Guild to ensure their voices are heard and fought for. In 2021, our STAR team will fight for our educational quality through our ongoing campaigns against cuts to staff, higher education, and HECS.

 

Voting for STAR this year also means voting for increased mental health services; fighting for womens’ safety on campus; expanding club funding; and revitalising campus ‘dead zones’. You can learn more about this by following our social media platform and website, listed below.

 

STAR has worked hard and will continue to work hard to keep our finger on the pulse at UWA. We are composed of a diverse group of students, who come from every corner of campus. Our representatives reflect the needs of students in the guild and work actively to give students a direct voice to their student reps.

You can follow our journey on our Instagram page, Facebook page, and website.

 

Please note: All Presidential Candidates have been given the opportunity to write an article in the lead-up to the election. Emma’s article was released first as we received it before any of the other candidates. The other articles will be released throughout the week as we receive them.