Maeve Burns

ADVOCATE

Maeve Law and Arts

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m in my fourth year of study, doing a double degree in law and sociology. I’m passionate about the performing arts, advocacy and human rights. And my favourite thing about UC is the clubs scene!

What clubs have you gotten involved with?

MUSOC, Law for Change and QCanterbury. I’ve been on the exec for all three.

And president of…?

I'm president of QCanterbury. It’s a club that represents all rainbow people on campus. We host social events like movie nights and hopefully a ball this year. But just as importantly we provide support, resources and advocacy. The queer scene flies under the radar in Ōtautahi Christchurch so QCanterbury is great a place to meet people and make friends.

What are you enjoying most about being a UC student?

The clubs, clearly! But I also love that you can balance diverse interests here. I enjoy being involved in the performing arts AND I’m passionate about using law as a force for good. At UC you can pursue a range of things.

Any other highlights?

I’ve found the staff in the School of Arts particularly outstanding. They have so much real life experience and care so deeply about you bringing your own experience and opinions to your work. They push you super hard, but only because they know your potential.

"I enjoy being involved in the performing arts and I’m passionate about using law as a force for good. At UC you can pursue a range of things."

Tell us about some of the community work you’ve done.

Last year I got involved with something called the Prison Project which was a collaboration with Law for Change, CRIMSOC, and Community Law. A group of law and criminal justice students went to the youth department at the Christchurch men’s prison and gave seminars about things like tenancy and employment. It was an amazing way to connect with other students who are interested in advocacy and apply the knowledge I’ve developed in my degree. It’s been a real privilege for me to be in the programme.

Have you changed as a person since coming to UC?

I’ve changed a lot. I’m a lot more independent and outgoing, and I don’t care as much about what people think. My experience as a queer person has been really great at UC. I feel very lucky that I’ve been in spaces where I can so easily be myself.

Any tips for those just starting out?

Join the clubs you’re interested in. Talk to your lecturers. Don’t overload yourself with papers. There’s no rush, just enjoy the process of being a student.