As Charles Sturt University president, Emily Grouse says she hopes to be the voice of the people advocating for her fellow peers on a large scale.
Just a few months into her two year term, the law and criminal justice student from Port Macquarie has already been an advocate for students ensuring the university knew controversial talk of a university name change wasn't well taken.
"There was a lot of media hype around the name change issue but it was great to be able to bring the voice of the student population to the heads of the university," she said.
"Current students didn't want us to change the name and alumni have graduated under the university's iconic name so it was very clear from our perspective most people didn't want the change. Every decision the university makes is put to us for feedback which is remarkable.
"To see that played out and our voices actually being heard was incredible. That said there are so many other examples of our voice being the deciding factor in decision making and that is a great feeling."
The role of Senate president is the closest student representative to the heads of the university and Emily said that power was intimidating in the beginning.
"Before I was in the Senate I was on the Student Representative Council and the Senate sits above that with two representatives from each campus on the Senate," she said.
"It is one this to sit in the Senate as a student representative with the heads of campuses sitting there but then to be president is something else.
"In the beginning it was quite a nerve wracking experience chairing my first Senate meeting knowing I was talking with and to some very powerful people but the university is very supportive and really does want to know what students are thinking and the issues they are facing.
"Because are representing the whole university not just one campus we generally focus on issues that are across all or most of the campuses, from sexual assault on campus to security."
Emily said since taking on the new role at the beginning of the year, she has grown in confidence.
"CSU are strong advocates for students embracing leadership opportunities and they have instilled a sense of confidence and purpose in me.
"Growing up I was that shy kid who would only speak when I was spoken to, but having to chair meetings with so many important people I really needed to work on my confidence.
"The other really great thing is that through this whole process I have always been supported by the Senate, lecturers and students.
"As president is it not my job to be the boss it is really about being open for students to be able to come up and talk to me and that is my aim for the rest of my term."
Emily says her advice to new students is to give everything a go and embrace the opportunities as a student and young person.
"University is a place where you can learn so much from others and that is what I tell people most often, learn from others and embrace opportunities.
"Be the person who stands out and who says yes while you can."
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