Interviewed by Sophie Harrington and Clement Streiff
Transcribed by Clement Streiff
Cover photo by the Kick-AS list
In the two days leading up to Campaign Week, several reporters from the Sundial Press News team interviewed members of all seven campaigning lists. These interviews lasted about 45 minutes each, list members had not seen the questions beforehand and were given five minutes to discuss before answering. For the first four question they were given five minutes to respond and for the last question they were given two minutes. The journalists conducting these interviews were surveilled by a member of the Campaign Committee, and were under oath to keep all information secret until the release of the articles. Finally, these interviews were recorded and then transcribed, everything written below was said by the members of the lists.
Disclaimer: This interview was edited for clarity and concision.
President: Fanny Chauffeton, French, Euraf
Vice-President: Francesco Pietro Loi, Italian, Euram
List Name: Kick-AS
Secretary: Tidora Rifaï, French, Euram
Sports on Campus Pole: Simo Kouam Laeticia Grâce, Cameroonian, Euraf
Vice-President: Francesco Pietro Loi, Euram
Question 1: Why is your list running?
Francesco Pietro Loi (FPL): When I got asked to participate in this list, I had my thoughts: should I join? Should I not? But the reality is that this list has been mocked many times as the “babies’ list”. But what are babies? The babies are people who on September, since the beginning of the year, came here with the clear intention and the clear idea of working for sports on campus. Those are people who basically employed their time, their energy from day one to make sports possible.
Tidora Rifaï (TR): I think our list is also running because we have gathered people on campus who are highly motivated to be part of organizing sports on campus and outside as well (with trips, etc.). We have become a great team and a group of friends. We think [the Campaign Week] is going to be a great experience, it has already taught us a lot. And we are really happy to show students what we are able to offer them during this week, and during the next year hopefully if we are elected.
Simo Kouam Laeticia Grâce (SKLG): We also want to involve the majority of people in sports, especially those who are not so sporty. Sports are a good way to connect people.
TR: I also think that as babies we realized that we enjoy planning sports as members of the AS. If we are elected this year, we will be able to make the change we wish to make with the list we have now, and we are very happy to run for the Association Sportive.
FPL: One other reason why I think this list is running is our expertise. Our list has spent a great amount of time and energy preparing this campaign. I believe that key positions are better occupied with people who are ready and prepared for what is coming. Everyone in the Treasury pole has been trained for 6 months and knows how to deal with money, Excel sheets, etc.
TR: We have gathered people because they were sporty and showed their interest, or reached out to us with the intention to create a list together, because they were really happy with the work we have done. Everyone is quite happy with the list, and feels like they will be able to use their personal skills for the best during this campaign.
SKLG: This list has been made the way we really envisioned it. We have seen during the WEIC how important cohesion is and we think it is one of our greatest quality: we are very well connected with each other in the list.
Question 2: what do you want students to know about you?
FPL: One thing that I hope is conveyed is the fact that we are extremely into sports.
FPL: As an example, I could talk about myself, I know myself. I started swimming when I was four, joined competitive swimming when I was eight, and since then I never stopped. Still today, I wake up three times a week at 6 am to go to my training and I love to do it. You know, sports for me and for many of us, I think, have been a way to release our stress. It’s a way to grow, to mature, to develop. That’s why we want to handle sports-related things on campus.
TR: As Francesco just said, we want students to know that we are really sporty. We chose in the list people who were extremely sporty. Not only students in a team but also people who practice sports on their own, who are ready to share the experience of sports, and to connect with people through sports. This is why being a member of the AS is a great way to connect to people; by organizing sports. We also want students to know that we are really motivated, that we worked really hard for this. I have loved the experience of the campaign week. I have loved working with everyone on my list and I cannot wait for it to begin.
SKLG: We know what the deal of being the AS is, especially for the integration week. It is where we made the most friends this year with the amazing events the AS had organized. This is why we think it is an important aspect of the student life that we are willing to take care of. Our stay in Reims can get so much better if the year begins with a great start.
TR: As Simo said, we want students to know that some of us already have the experience of being in the AS. We worked really hard to, on the one hand, keep what we really enjoyed this year and organize the things we really enjoyed, and on the other hand letting ourselves be open to change and to new ideas for the campus.
FPL: Another thing I’d like students to know is that although I expect a sort of narrative during the campaign week, that our list would be elitist, I’d like to say that it’s not true, as we can see that there’s an equal repartition between babies and non-babies in the list. Plus, what are you guys looking for? You are looking for the people who are able to provide you with the best kind of service, make things happen, be at your service. So, I think this list is the right one for you. We have expertise…
TR: …and we have a strong communication on which we worked really hard, be it communication after the events so that people can see pictures and videos of our events, which is a promise of our campaign, to see more pictures and recaps on our events; but also, to implement a box where you can submit your ideas. We already have that on our website, where you can submit ideas anonymously. We really want to listen to the students and be open to any ideas on what you want the AS to do.
Question 3: What do you intend to change, if you were to succeed in the elections?
FPL: Having been part of the team has been having been active in organizing sports events, also in the first semester. I believe it is really important. Let’s say that mistakes had been made. Then people who witnessed these mistakes can learn from these and not make them again.
TR: Yes! And also keep the great part and what worked, and keep the positive things. What we intend to change? It’s not really changing, but rather improving what we already know. You can see on our website some of our promises. We promised making tennis an accredited sport, providing videos after each event, providing you with sports results from Reims’ teams. You can also anonymously submit your ideas so that we can listen to you. We also want to implement a hiking trip, as many of our members are very motivated for hiking as well, in addition to the ski trip and the surf trip. These are only few of the ideas we have that we want to offer to you if we are elected. And at the campus level, we really have been listening to the controversies going on, and we want to be very clear that we want to be the most inclusive AS. We want to be listening and to include everyone and we aim at, if we’re elected, taking as babies exchange students, and Eurams and Eurafs.
FPL: Also, one thing that is really important is that we are not Sportacus, we are Kick-AS. We respect the current AS and of course we got our knowledge from it and our expertise, we also got the knowledge of what could have been done better, and of course our main commitment for the next year is to change what should have been changed, what you guys want to see change. This is very important.
TR: Transparency, communication, accessibility, inclusivity: these are our core values. As Francesco said, we are going to keep the positive stuff of this year and listen to you and change what you want to see change and disliked. We also want to make sports accessible to everyone on this campus. We do not a have a Wellness pole but we plan on keeping the wellness part with more involvement that the current AS’ in wellness: more running sessions, healthy cooking classes, etc. And also more inclusivity with the AS and the events it’s organizing, and the sports it proposes.
Question 4: What are some events you want to highlight that you will offer this week?
TR: We really want to stress our surprise event on Friday night [ on the 19th ] which will only be announced on Monday.
FPL: Make sure you sign up!
TR: We are also offering lots of small events on campus, with lots of food, demonstrations and workshops!
FPL: Quite a lot of events!
TR: Our highlight is always about events within the campus.
FPL: Yes, we have about 11 events per day.
TR: We tried to find events that everybody could enjoy. Some of them target sporty people while others target the non-sporty… They also target people that want to do stuff during the day and people that want to participate in events during the night. We have original events, like the Wellness Day on Monday to promote wellness in sports, and various events on campus like bubble football. We have a climbing session with a free sauna and hammam, and a tennis tournament. We will be throwing huge parties but also chill events. We’ll have a bike trip, an orientation race, a paintball session, we’re offering scuba-diving, golf…
FPL:… and a martial arts demonstration on campus.
TR: We’re also trying to balance outdoor sports and indoor sports.
SKLG: We also want that this Campaign Week is not a stressful week but instead a week to blow off the steam for our students, notably for the activities scheduled during the breaks, since they are designed to take a break from the stress we experience during the day. During these breaks we want to offer relaxing activities, for students to relax.
TR: For example, you will give a dance workshop!
SKLG: Yes! I will offer dance classes. It is an entertaining activity that lets us get out of our routine on the campus, before going to our classes again.
FPL: And as you might expect, we have a nice amount of parties and games, but we’re not a BDE list. So we do not want the backbone of our campaign to be on parties. The backbone will be sports events.
TR: We are indeed basing ourselves on sports events so we are hoping for good weather. But in any way we have a lot of indoor events. Either very sporty or very chill. And non-sporty events but related to sports as well, like a healthy cooking class, an artsy run with the BDE, and a bubble foot session…
FPL: Also, one quick thing. We are putting a lot of importance on mental health and well-being.
TR: This is why we will be delivering free food and massages 24/7 during the week.
FPL: We will also have meditation sessions.
Question 5: Anything else to add?
FPL: To go on with our events, we will offer these meditation sessions because we want the students of the campus to feel well. One quick thing, the thing here is, you have to close your eyes and think: who do you want to be at your service? This is what I thought when I joined this list. And you have people here whose life is literally all about sports. Tidora next to me broke her arm while playing at the WEIC during the rugby game, Fanny had a surgery in the knee to keep playing sports. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t be able to swim in a swimming pool.
TR: Yes, and regarding our events during the Campaign Week, we really are aiming at diversity. Be it for people who like sports or for people who do not enjoy them. We also have events that are related to sports, like healthy cooking classes, the Wellness Day to promote well-being, we have meditation classes, yoga sessions and even acro-yoga classes. We also have a football tournament during the week.
FPL: And a nice zumba session for anyone who likes that.
TR: We really are trying to find events for each and everyone of you on this campus as we know that this campus is very diverse. We’ll have a night dedicated to exchange students in a park. We’ll have a lot of dance workshops with dances from all over the world to promote diversity on the campus.
FPL: And in the end, this campaign week is not about proving a point, but about choosing the best team for you.