Spotlight on Student Council: JASON BYRNE

Jason Byrne

Meet your FUSA Welfare Officer, Jason Byrne!

What are you studying and what year are you in?

I am in my third year at Flinders this year but have just transferred into the new Bachelor of International Relations.

Is there a personal quote or philosophy that you live by? 

‘Poverty is a national waste as well as individual waste. We are all diminished when any of us are denied proper education. The nation is the poorer – a poorer economy, a poorer civilisation, because of this human and national waste.’ – Gough Whitlam

What do you want to achieve this year?

My main goal is to ensure that FUSA is primarily focused on delivering real progress for our members, fighting against cuts to Higher Ed funding and working with other student unionists to make change for students nationally.

While the serious side of student unionism is incredibly important, FUSA is also there to throw awesome parties, great events and create an awesome campus life. If any of you were bailed up by me during election week, you’ll know that I want to see our campus be really exciting and fun!

What makes you happy?

It’s a toss-up between pasta and waking up without a hangover on a Sunday after a night out.

If you were an ambassador for a charity, which one would it be and why?

Probably Beyond Blue, I am really passionate about mental health and want to continue advocating for change in mental health funding once I move on from StuPol.

Tell us about what you’re organising or contributing to right now?

The biggest campaign I have going at the moment is the #CheaperTextbooksNow campaign been run across Australia by the National Union of Students. Currently textbook costs are artificially driven up by government policy and this can be changed by repealing Parallel Import Textbooks which will lower costs by about 35%.

The campaign has been going well and I recently fed 120 students for the same cost as what I spent on textbooks in Semester 1 this year. Textbook prices are extortionate and drastically affect the lives of Flinders students and I hope to see the government stance change before the end of 2016.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Honestly, probably still at Uni… however I’d like to be working somewhere that allows me to positively impact the lives of others.

What are you recommending to friends at the moment?

I’m pretty sure that as a StuPol hack I’m required to say House of Cards but if you want to see some pirate action, Black Sails is a must see!

Music wise, I recommend a listening to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ in full but if you’re short on time ‘Keeping Score’ by LDRU is my jam.

Who inspires you? 

I can’t really think of anyone off the top of my head right now. Like my assignments, I left this to the last minute and I’m now writing it at midnight and half asleep!

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