Meet your 2018 Guild President: Kombo Mashumba

Murdoch Guild elections might be a relatively low-key affair compared to how things go down at other universities (cough, UWA). I’m never sure whether that’s good (because you don’t get accosted) or bad (because I’d like to think people care about who runs our guild). If you actually attend your classes, though, you probably would have seen the posters up on campus last week – and now we have a new guild executive for next year! I decided to sit down and chat with Kombo Mashumba, our incoming president, so you guys can get to know who’ll be running the show in 2018.

Okay, Kombo – to start us off, tell me more about yourself!

K: I’m from Zimbabwe, spent my whole life there. I took a gap year and got to start my own business, open a bar. It’s very easy to start a business in Zimbabwe, so that way I’m an entrepreneur. Then I was so excited to come to Australia, and it wasn’t what I expected! It was hard integrating in a new country and making friends was also slightly different. I was the only one who came to Murdoch from my school, so everything was new.

The first year I came, all my friends were exchange students so after 6 months I had to start all over! That’s when I actually met people in my classes and all that.

I heard you’re a big fan of beef and onions. Should we expect that to feature a prominent role in Guild next year?

K: I am a big fan, I think everyone is a big fan. If you look at the value pizzas, for 5 bucks, beef and onions is the best. I think I’ll continue pushing beef and onions at Murdoch.

Guild President Kombo Mashumba

You must be pleased with the results of the election. What was the key to your success?

K: We had a big team and that was a good team. The people were all from different backgrounds, different societies, different schools so they each had access to their own friend group. It’s like – how can I say? Each person has access to 10 people I don’t. And our tactic was to talk to people, not just hand them a flyer and let them walk away. I guess living in the village I also know quite a few people. But I give all the props to my team.

What have you learnt from being involved with Guild over the past year?

K: I’ve been the president of the International Student Society and I guess I learnt that, ah, things don’t always go your way or to get things going your way it takes time. You’ll be like, I’m always correct, let’s do it my way, but you find out that people might have more experience or know more about certain things than you do, so I guess it’s about being humble but also pushing it because I felt like the guild wasn’t really that involved with students, and we were separate to them in a way. We weren’t on the ground being like: ‘hey come to my event,’ so people don’t know who is actually in the guild.

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What’s you and your team’s plans for next year?

K: We’ve got big plans, big plans. I’m guessing you want more specific! There’s obviously saving campus culture, getting involved in educational reforms at the university. You can see them happening in the business school with blended learning and there are positives and negatives but we want to represent the positives and remove the negatives. And I’ll say a lot of students complain about affordability, we want to make things a little more within their reach. Obviously that takes time and if it’s not us it’s the guys the year after but we want to make something noticeable so students can say the guild actually did this for me.

What’s the first thing you’ll be working on when you get in there?

 

K: The first thing I want to so is combine the smart rider with the student card. One of my team involved with transperth bought the idea to us, and they actually do it at ECU already. So that would be the first thing because one of the first things students get is their ID card.

One less card for my wallet! What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

K: That’s a tricky one! I guess I’m scared of birds. I don’t trust birds.

G: Okay, is this all birds or some particular bird?

K: All birds, All birds are the same.

G: Did you have a traumatic bird related experience?

K: I just can’t read them, we used to have turkeys and turkey’s chase people around. So now if it’s a small bird, a big bird, I just don’t trust it. I know it sound’s crazy, but –

G: No, no. I grew up with swooping magpies, I can understand the sentiment.

K: Exactly, and now I’m hearing about these magpies, you know, they do attack. I’m afraid of birds that don’t attack, now I hear that there’s one’s that do?!

What would you say is your favourite thing about Murdoch?

K: The perfect answer would be the campus but I won’t say that. I will say Newport Tuesdays at the village.

What are your other plans for next year?

K: I’ll be studying full time alongside the guild job. It’s a lot of work but not practical, personal work. There’s a lot of meetings. What I also want to do is visit the people so they can see what I am doing. Being a full time student, that’s where students are, so I can relate. The work is there but there are so many students who also work full time too. I look up to them because that’s what I’ll be doing next year. My door will be open for their tips!

I heard there are people in Guild who are hesitant to work with you next year. What do you think about that rumour?

K: I guess I’d say, there’s no perfect leader. There’s no one where people will thing: “Oh, if this guy gets in we’re gonna all be happy.”  People are always upset about it. I’m looking forward to proving them wrong. It’s gonna be interesting. That’s the good thing about this, it’s a democracy. I come from a country where it’s not a democracy at all. So people can say ‘what you’re doing is wrong’ and then I can ask myself why they are saying this, and think about it.

Some people are against me getting in because I’m an international student. A big part of the reason why I ran is because I felt like international students weren’t getting represented at a higher level. Why should it just be local students getting it?  We all want a great university experience.

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What would you say to the people who voted?

K: Thanks for voting, we won by a landslide. I don’t think there’s been an election where people have actually voted like that, which is amazing, so I’d like to thank them for putting their trust in me. And for being patient because the system was so slow!

And who ran against you?

K: I’d thank them for the fact that they had good policies which I will steal later! Also because they encouraged me to work harder, and gave students more options to choose from. I hope they will be willing to criticise me next year and keep me working hard.

What’s something that you would change about Murdoch if you could?

K: One thing I’d want to change is the campus culture, you know, this place I’d want it to be one where you can meet new people and network, I’d want it to just be a friendly environment. Another one would be cheaper parking. If I could make parking cheaper, that would be amazing.

If you can find a way, I’ll be eternally grateful. What are you looking forward to most about being guild president?

K: Besides the office? [laughs] I guess getting involved in the issues at the heart of students, that’s the thing I’m really wanting to do. I guess because I was an entrepreneur before I want to put forward ideas that should be great but also getting students involved with what the guild does. Like, putting a poll up for ideas. People won’t say a party sucks if they actually planned it. So that’s why I want to be the leader who gets behind everyone, and says let’s do this.

Anything else you want to say?

K: 2018 is going to be a different year. Expect big things.

You can follow the winning party “Growth for Guild” on Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/growthforguild/

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Guild President: The king Kombo Mashumba, Vice-president: Jethro Jesse Schoeman, General Secretary: Loic Munso ( and School board of B&G), International Prez: Nelson Mukuvarem MUPSA prez: Alexander Mörtzsch, MUPSA Vice-prez: Louis Williams, Indigenous Rep: Jordan Barham-Shepherd (and NUS/Senate undergraduate), Women’s Rep: the Queen Yakira Venagiam , OGC: Charlene Baniqued (NUS), Brice Gower, Vlad Bychkov (NUS), Sabreen Zia, Samuel Dib (School Board of Health Professionals), Academic Council: Sarah Inglis, Senate postgraduate: Abby Agrawal (School Board of B&G postgraduate) Other positions: Jonty Richardson for NUS , Laura Ives Hicks School Board of Arts, Jack Carruthers School Board of Engineering and IT

Interview by: Georgia Renee
Portraits of Kombo by: Harry Cunningham

 

 

 

Guild Elections: Everyone just chill the f#ck out

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by Madura McCormack

Student election season has gone into hyperdrive, with voting now open and the stupollies going hard and fast on Bush Court.

I’d first like to acknowledge that METIOR remains impartial, especially in the wake of contributor and outgoing EVP Roland Belford’s endorsement of the ACTION ticket. Roland recently analysed both TMNT’s and ACTION’s policies. He ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014 and the analysis must be read with that bias in mind.

Tensions have escalated since Monday October 2 when a formal complaint was lodged by ACTION against the TMNT ticket for an alleged breach of election rules. That friendly political animosity/ atmosphere seems to be on the verge of breaking out into some kind of political faction stabbing session. Which is why I say,

lemur-meme-generator-everybody-just-calm-down-1c5a00

Now, let’s talk about this election thing and what’s been going on in simple english.

There are two frontrunning tickets, ACTION and TMNT because lets be honest, the independent candidates don’t appear to have enough support or ground presence to be elected into office.

The ACTION team, lead by Troy Treeby is openly a left-leaning party. They can do this because Murdoch University is traditionally leftist, and the student body generally accepts this political idealogy.

ACTION Logo. Source: Facebook

ACTION Logo. Source: Facebook

Troy is a member of the WA Greens, and has supported Senator Scott Ludlam on his campaign trail. Also a member of the Murdoch University Sustainability Team and organizer of World Student Environment Network [WSEN] 2015, Troy is as green as they come. His autobiography will be titled ’50 Shades of Kale’.

His running partner Gavin Scolaro [General Secretary], is affiliated with the Socialist Alliance, a registered political party that “advocates for a democratic society run by and for working people, not the greedy, destructive capitalist elite that now rules”, according to its website. Scolaro refers to his external pol party as the ‘friendly socialists’, because the other guys, Socialist Alternative are considered slightly… unhinged.

METIOR understands no one else in the ACTION ticket is part of a political party.

Over at The Murdoch Now Team, Guild president candidate Guy McDonald noted during yesterday’s presidential debate that he is a registered member of the WA Greens. Guy, who seems more comfortable working behind the scenes, can be seen here and here with the Greens.

TMNT Logo. Source: Facebook

TMNT Logo. Source: Facebook

Now to what has been making the online Murdoch community lose its collective shit and initiated the unsavoury mud-slinging that’s going on.

It has become apparent that the ‘Liberal’ brand at Murdoch University is highly toxic. Any mention of the word is met with dirty looks, a frenzied dash for rotten tomatoes and pitchforks.

The Murdoch Now Team has been copping flak for having at least two candidates who are affiliated with the WA Young Liberals. They are Dean Wicken, running for EVP and Darian Whyte, running for Clubs Officer. The general consensus online is that TMNT is a Liberal ticket running under the camouflage of a Green president.

Guy McDonald considers his ticket ‘centrist’. Dean Wicken has come out to defend the ticket, calling TMNT ‘diverse’ and was shutdown about half a second later.

Admittedly, the TMNT Guild Executive is a boys club, something the Guild hasn’t seen in recent memory. In a female majority university where the Guild was helmed by a woman in 2012, 2013 and 2015, this has come back to bite the ticket.

But the bigger question here is, has debate been stiffled at Murdoch because of its long leftist tradition?

This appears to be so, judging from the exchanges happening online and the (arguable) reluctance of Dean and Darian to openly admit that they are members of the WA Young Liberals.

For a previous article on the Women’s Collective fiasco, I sat down to speak with former Women’s rep Bianca Talbot and current candidate for Sports Officer with TMNT. She noted that there is no room for debate at Murdoch, and while she is welcome to her views being challenged, there is no constructive opportunity to do this. Whether this is true is itself up for debate.

I urge all Guild candidates and voters to remember that we are all people and to act in an honourable fashion. Throwing knives at each other is a lot less productive than mature discussion.

Voting remains open until midnight on Thursday, and I implore all students to read ACTION‘s and TMNT‘s policy and vote for whichever candidate you believe will best represent your needs. Thankfully it already looks like the voter turnout will surpass the weak showing of 2014.

Sustainability Report

Murdoch University – An analysis of its environmental awareness and implementation

Murdoch University publicises its sustainability objectives, which warrants an examination of how they are being achieved, as well as a comparison with other universities in WA, nationally and globally. Murdoch has listed sustainability as one of its four core values, alongside equity, social justice and global responsibility. I’m going to look at where Murdoch is meeting, falling behind and exceeding other universities in the area of sustainability.

A few things Murdoch is doing (that other universities in wa are also doing)

• Murdoch is buying green power.

Murdoch has been vocal in advertising its Greenpower program. As of 1st August 2010, Murdoch is purchasing 16% of its electricity needs from Greenpower, the only Government accredited renewable energy reporting organisation. Curtin is also doing this, purchasing 15% greenpower (ok, one percent less). Continue reading