Interview by Sophie Harrington
Please introduce yourself
Hi, I’m Matko. I’m Croatian and I come from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. I came to Sciences Po because I was too indecisive to stick to one area of study! I wanted something more interdisciplinary, something that would help me figure out what I want to do in the long term.
What do you think the role of a Student Representative at Sciences Po Reims is or should be?
I think that the role of a Student Representative at Sciences Po Reims now is being the medium between the students (so the whole cohort of the first years), and the administration. The Student Reps are the ones who communicate the problems of the students or their wishes to someone who can make something happen. But what I want it to be, and what I think it should be, is a sanctuary, a safe space for students. Every time they have a problem, not only with the administration, but with anything; they can address it to their Student Reps.
Why are you running to be a student representative?
I think Sciences Po is a great school but I think it could be much, much better. There are some things that are below average or not in accordance with universities to which Sciences Po compares itself to. I’m running to make the experience at Sciences Po better for students. For example, I want to make graduation one of my core points. At all other universities, graduation is a standard, as well as 24/7 libraries. Other universities in Europe and the U.S. give their students access to 24/7 hour libraries and I think that even if we don’t implement 24/7 libraries, at least the library should be open 24/7 during midterms and finals. Additionally, on Sundays every week we should get some hours. We need to be able to work in a proper environment so we can focus.
What makes you qualified for this position?
The main reason that I am qualified for this position is the fact that all my goals, ideas, and missions are derived from my friends and other students. I decided to run when I saw that fourteen people around me had the same problem, and fourteen other people had a different problem, and so on and so forth and I just realized that okay, why shouldn’t I represent them, help them try to change something in the university? In Croatia I was a member of the Student Council, I practiced debate and I was on the national team for three years, I have some negotiation skills, but above all, I’m dedicated to making my goals and my ideas possible. I’m not going to stop before I get what I want done.
As a Student Representative, what would be your mission or your main goals this year?
As I mentioned before I want to make graduation for our students, to celebrate the work we accomplished and to reconnect people after their third year abroad. In addition, as I said before, I would like to make the library hours longer, and also I want to promote bilingualism on campus in order to connect french-speaking and non-french-speaking students. I would like to work with professors and administrators to codify the methodology classes so that all students are given the same information so that they can all succeed. Your grade shouldn’t be dependent on someone’s interpretation of what the methodology should be and there should be a standard amongst all professors.
What is the one thing that as a student representative, you’d like to change or reform?
I would want to promote vegetarianism on campus and helping people who are vegetarian. I’m not vegetarian, but for example, at our cafeteria, you get a piece of meat or fish and side dishes, but if you’re a vegetarian you only get side dishes. That’s not a meal that will provide you with nutrition, or a meal that will make you full, and that’s discrimination towards people who are not meat-eating. I think that CROUS cafeteria on our campus, which is supported by Sciences Po, should make proper vegetarian meals for people.
Finally, if you could visit any moment in time, past or present, where would you go and why?
I would like to go ten years in the future back to the Reims campus to see all the changes we as Student Reps and we as a Student Body did, and what we did and if we succeed. I would love to see the impact we made and all the ideas we had through the years put into place.