Interviewed by Sophie Grigoriu
Transcribed by Sophie Harrington and Sophie Grigoriu
Cover photo by Moonstruck
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: Chloé Masciarelli, Franco-Portuguese, Euram
Vice-President: Laurdi Sala-Diakanda, Congo-Cameroonian, Euraf
List Name: Moonstruck
Chloé Masciarelli, Franco-Portuguese, Euram
Events: Clara Martin-Lacroix, French, Euram
Events: Lina Harichi, Franco-Moroccan, Euraf
Secretary & Dance Pole: Nicholas Li, Chinese-American, Euram
Question 1: Why is your list running?
Chloe Masciarelli (CM): I think the people that initially formed the list …wanted to list because we were babies, and we just genuinely love it and we wanted to continue to be part of the BDA, because we really believe in the efforts that they are doing, which is to bring the arts to all students and to make them accessible. We believe that art and culture is very much linked to all students and especially those who are studying political science. We wanted to continue on that domain.
Nicholas Li (NL): And just to add on to that, we found out art has the capability to enrich people’s life and to share our lives and culture with each other. As a BDA, we add a fresh point of view onto it, but as Chloe mentioned, the initial list started as only babies, but it expanded to include people that were not babies and had no affiliation with the BDA, which includes me. One of our overarching theme is that inclusivity and representation on campus, and change the image of art on campus to make it more accessible and part of student’s life, not only ours but everyone’s, by fitting to each person needs, wants, character. The BDA would be a source of exchange between students which is something new and we’re very excited about.
Lina Harichi (LH): Je n’étais pas baby et j’ai trouvé le travail du BDA cette année très bien. Mais d’un point de vue complètement extérieur, j’avais l’impression qu’il ne proposait pas toujours des choses qui parlaient à tout le monde. Je pense que pour véritablement créer des expériences marquantes, il faut pousser le concept du BDA un peu plus loin, dans le sens où l’art touche tout le monde par la musique, le cinéma. Je pense qu’il faut renforcer cet aspect en proposant aux élèves de véritables expériences par lesquelles ils seront intéressés par l’art et pourront même se forger un intérêt pour l’art. (I was not a baby and I really liked the BDA’s work this year. From an exterior point of view, however, I felt like they did not always propose things that interested everyone. I think that in order to create truly meaningful experience, we need to push the concept of BDA further. Art touches everyone, be it through music, cinema, and I think we need to reinforce this aspect by proposing experiences students will be interested in and maybe also foster incentives to practice or interest themselves to art.)
NL: We are also listing because we have a genuine connection to the arts, and we feel that we can contribute in a way. We are passionate about this project, it’s not just a matter of listing, but rather continuing something that we’re all interested in. For example, I created an association on campus to increase inclusivity in dance, Clara has worked with cinema, we have people that have been in the theater production…
Question 2: What do you want students to know about you?
CM: We want students to know that we are not doing this just to list, we doing it because we are genuinely passionate about it and we’ve able to regroup all different passions from different groups and people. That’s why we have a combination of babies that have the experience of what’s the workload behind and what it is like to be in a permanent bureau. We are also grouping people from different programs and who had different life experiences, that were engaged to art in different ways, be it inside or outside of campus. It means that we will be able to create a BDA that is relevant to all students interest in art, even in a small dimension.
Clara Martin-Lacroix (CML): Les gens ont rejoint la liste au fur et à mesure, mais au moment de sa création, nous voulions véritablement créer une liste qui réuniraient des personnes venant d’horizons divers, avec des expériences différentes, ce qui donne donc une vision différente de l’art. Notre vision pour cette liste a évolué avec le temps grâce à des échanges au sein de la liste. C’est ça qui est intéressant. Par ailleurs, nous lisons parce que nous nous entendons tous très bien et parce qu’on a une bonne dynamique de groupe. J’ai hâte de pouvoir faire cette campagne-là avec ces gens très différents mais qui m’apprennent énormément de choses au quotidien. Je pense que tout le monde est du même avis. (People came along the way, but in the beginning of the list we truly wanted to gather people with different experiences and different backgrounds, which also means a different vision of art. Our vision of it gradually change thanks to exchanges within the list, and this is what is interesting. Moreover, we are listing because we get along very well and have a good group dynamics, and I cannot wait to do the campaign with these people that are very different but bring me so much everyday, and I think it’s the same for everyone.)
LH: Contrairement aux autres campus, nous avons deux programmes à Reims avec des manières d’enseigner et des mentalités différentes. Je pense que notre rôle en tant que BDA est de toucher l’ensemble du campus, et donc les deux programmes. C’est pour ça que cette année, on a vraiment envie de se concentrer sur cette problématique. Les deux membres de l’exécutif sont issus des deux programmes et veulent réellement contribuer au développement de certains arts. (Contrarily to the other campuses, we have two programs that each have a different mindset and teaching method. I think our role as the BDA is to reach out to everyone on campus, and thus the two programs. We really want to focus on this question this year. The two members of the executive are from the two programs, and really want to contribute to art in different ways.)
Notre vice-présidente (Laurdi) est vraiment intéressée par les arts africains qui selon nous n’ont pas été assez représentés par les précédents BDA. On pense qu’on se doit de répondre à beaucoup de critiques exprimées par un programme se sentant un peu exclu, et d’atténuer la division qu’on voit au quotidien. Selon nous, l’art est censé réunir et non diviser. Avoir deux programmes est une richesse, parce que cela apporte deux points de vue, plusieurs origines et plusieurs expériences. Se concentrer sur l’aspect binaire de la question n’est pas notre objectif, nous voulons pouvoir combiner les deux approches pour enrichir l’expérience étudiante. (For instance, our vice-president (Laurdi) is really interested in African arts, that were according to us insufficiently represented this year. We think that on our campus, we have to answer and listen to criticism expressed by one program feeling less represented than the other, in order to reduce de division we see everyday. According to us, art is here to gather, not divide. Having two programs is a true wealth, because it allows for two visions, lots of different origins and life experiences. Focusing on the binary aspect of the question is not our goal, we rather want to see the two programs as a potential combination that can enhance the student’s experience.)
NL: We also have to acknowledge that it’s not just a division of program, everyone is unique and individual. There’s also things based on cultural identity and that’s why we have cultural clubs. But I have like our job as the BDA is not only to focus on the Euram/Euraf dimension but also to also on the sub-niches as well, for instance the international students in both programs. Also the exchanges on campus, that are a very sizeable amount of people but don’t necessarily feel included all the time. That’s why we want to change things and use the BDA as a vector to combine all those three things to improve and enrich it.
Question 3: What do you intend to change, if you were to succeed in the elections?
CM: We’ve really putting the focus on embracing diversity that is present on campus and use it to our advantage. The first way of doing that is to confront two very different visions of art in our executive pole but that ultimately a common vision for the BDA. More concretely, we have the project to make art much more present on campus on a daily basis. We want to make art accessible and also show how important it is and how easy it is to get involved and how everyone can appropriate himself art. Each person is interested by a specific form of art and the thing is just to find the one you like. We really want to try to address that and make people know that we are here and that we can help them. We want to implement more weekly workshops, and organize little trips where it will be very easy for people to picture themselves taking part of that…
CML: Nous étudions aussi la science politique à Sciences Po, chose que nous voulons intégrer dans notre BDA. Nous voulons organiser des conférences, comme celle qui aura lieu ce mercredi. Si nous sommes élus, il y aura régulièrement des conférences similaires. Le but est de montrer que l’art est présent de nombreuses manières différentes dans la société, et que nous pouvons étudier son rôle dans l’économie, ou dans les relations internationales, ce que nous allons vous présenter très bientôt. (We are also people that study political science, and we would like to integrate this fact in our BDA. We want to organize conferences, like the one that will be held this Wednesday. If we get elected, there will be regularly such conferences. The aim is to show that art is present in many ways in society, and that we can study its role in the economy, or in international relations, and you will see it very soon.)
NL: Concerning the poles, in addition to the creation of the Fashion pole, we also want to re-think the organization. For instance, even though I am part of the Dance pole, I will not solely work on my pole but also collaborate with other members of my list to have different approaches of my subject. This is the vision we want to expand throughout the whole campus. For instance, exchange students are a wealth of international experience and that’s something we want to capitalize on.
For the other poles, we’d like to increase inclusiveness in the Communication pole to solely appeal to a certain category of people on campus but to all of them. Again, our approaches to pole is very different, we are not solely in a hierarchy with president, vice-president, we believe that as a group as well, we all collaborate very well and equally, to enrich our experience and possibilities.
Question 4: What are some events you want to highlight that your list will offer this week?
LH: On n’a pas fait des évènements juste pour meubler la semaine. Chaque événement a été choisi minutieusement parce qu’il peut intéresser quelqu’un. On a aussi essayé de s’inspirer de ce qui se passe dans le monde pour le ramener à notre échelle. Etant donnée qu’on est un campus très diversifié, il était important pour nous de penser aux intérêts de chaque groupe et chaque personne. (We did not create events just for the sake of it, each and everyone of them has been carefully chosen because it could interest someone. We’d also tried to inspire ourselves of what is going on in art currently in the world, and to do it at our own scale. Being a very diverse campus, it was important for to think of everyone’s center of interest.)
Un de nos évènements qu’on a mis en avant, c’est Zeitgeist, qui est une soirée techno. On a trouvé que la musique techno n’était pas très représentée alors qu’elle intéresse énormément de gens sur le campus. On s’est inspiré de certaines soirées et évènements qui ont eu lieu en Allemagne, au Pays-Bas et en Europe. L’idée est de mettre en avant des concepts qu’on n’a jamais vu sur le campus. (One of the event that we’d like to highlight it the Zeitgeist, a techno party. We think that techno isn’t represented enough on campus, and found inspiration in the many techno events that take place in Germany, the Netherlands, and in Europe. The idea is also to create innovative events, that were never proposed before.)
CML: On a aussi mis en place un pôle Fashion et un événement sur lequel on est très excité de travailler est notre Fashion Afternoon. Nous avons un partenariat avec la liste SPE The Hive, pour soutenir l’idée de mode durable, et de montreer qu’il y a une dimension écologique derrière la mode. Il y aura un workshop vide-dressing, et avec le pôle fashion, vous pourrez apprendre à broder et peindre sur textile pour que chacun puisse trouver son style et s’exprimer à travers la mode. (We also created a Fashion Pole and another event is our Fashion Afternoon. We have a partnership with the SPE list The Hive, and the idea is to promote sustainable fashion, and to show the ecological dimension of fashion. There will be a vide-dressing workshop and with the Fashion pole, you can learn how to to embroidery, and to paint on textile so that everyone and express themselves through fashion.)
CM: We are also organizing a trip to Paris on Wednesday with one of the BDE lists. The reason why we want to put it forward is because it’s very ambitious, but also because it combines our two main concerns, which are accessibility of art and its diversity. We are going to take people to the Louvre, then the Squat Rivoli, which are two very different art atmospheres. Then we’re going to the Duplex nightclub in Paris, and the idea of taking this as a trip is also to show that art can be a fun and enjoyable activity.
Question 5: One last thing?
CM: I just want to say that I am really proud of our list, of the way that we worked the past couple of months, of the kind of cohesion that we’ve been able to form. We went into this really aiming to regroup a very diverse kinds of people. What I’m most happy about is the fact that it actually really worked out. It’s a demonstration of how cultural and ethnic diversity is beneficial, and it’s just up to us to embrace it…And if we get elected, our goal is to show that if we’ve done it, you can do it too, you can unite the campus!
NL: We hope that our Campaign Week is going to be an example of how we can combine and include everyone’s experience on campus. We are not trying to engage into cultural appropriation but rather a true embracement of everyone’s culture.
CM: One last thing is that we are really proud because we’ve overcome a lot of obstacles. One of our members was working very closely with us but recently just decided that it was best for him to leave the list, because he felt like it was not truly what we wanted. The fact that we’ve been able to overcome such an obstacle has even made us a closer team and capable to work through things.