Image description: Various members of Spark, all wearing yellow, stand outside Winthrop Hall. They hold their hands in such as a way as to create a lightning bolt shape, by opening their palms flat, joining their thumbs together, with one palm facing up and one down. David Hallam stands at the front.
By David Hallam
Welcome to the thunderdome!
As a candidate for the 108th Guild Presidency, I am truly honoured to tell you all about Spark. We are a community of students that believe in active representation, equitable governance, and igniting change on campus.
We formed Spark because we wanted to create a community that cares about its members outside the months of election season. We want to transform the Guild into an engine room of excitement and creativity. A place where everyone feels welcome to contribute. A place where community comes first.
Education fee hikes to arts degrees and university restructuring is putting your education at risk. Spark firmly believes that as a public good, universities should not be turned into cash cows. In the post-Covid world, you deserve a Guild that will unapologetically advocate for your right to a fair education.
If education is the meal, then welfare is the plate. Spark will give you the resources and a five-year plan to transition UWA into mental health-aware campus. We will continue to support invaluable services, such as Student Assist, which provide a shoulder for all students to lean on.
We are lucky to attend one of the most beautiful universities in Australia, but getting from home to campus can be a hassle. We will introduce a UWA parking app that provides information about the capacity of all the major car parks, so that you can plan your journey reliably and without hassle.
Spark wants to be a party that promotes a robust discourse about the big issues. Climate change, the Black Lives Matter movement, discrimination against First Nations people, and other topics are all issues that the Guild should not shy away from. We are committed to creating a social impact jumpstart program to encourage solidarity between student leaders on campus, involving all students in the big conversations.
Some issues, such as sexual harassment, have been overshadowed by more recent events. However, we believe the Guild should play an ongoing role into 2021 in ensuring the safety and fair treatment of all groups on campus. We want to streamline sexual harassment reporting and provide certified sexual harassment training for volunteers at Guild-affiliated events.
We understand that clubs and societies are the lifeblood of UWA. That’s why we want to expand this success by forming inter-university partnerships, so that clubs can extend their reach across WA.
By fostering better collaboration between universities, Spark hopes to create a student climate conference to unite students and form tangible strategies to combat climate change. We will also create a carbon-offset fund where your contributions will go directly into tree planting and other green initiatives in and around campus.
Spark has a constitution and a student charter which provides a code of conduct and framework for our actions both during and after September. We want you to be able to hold us accountable. We will also extend our transparency by being open about our campaign promises. We want to provide you with a live, online dashboard to track our major policies, so that you can hold us to our word. This is only one of many steps to creating a Guild that every student can trust and believe in.
The Guild is a twelve million-dollar institution, run by student representatives. There is a wealth of untapped potential just waiting to be energised in 2021. You deserve student representatives that will never take a single day in office for granted. It’s about policy not politics. With your help, we can achieve our goals and transform the Guild into a powerhouse for 2021 and beyond.
Image courtesy of Spark’s Facebook page.