Interviewed and transcribed by Sophie Grigoriu
Cover photo by The Hive
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: Charlotte Hourdin, Euram, French.
Vice-President: Tom Froger, Euram, French.
List Name: The Hive
Communication Pole: Baptiste Jouan, French, Euram
General Secretary: Malo Letan, French, Euram
Zero Waste Pole: Alice Hefling, French, Euraf
Veggie Pole: Maris Welch, American, Euram
Communication Pole: Noémie Guichard, French, Euram
Question 1: Why is your list running?
Maris Welsh (MW): There’s a lot reasons why our list is running. Not only that we’re primarily made up of the babies of this association this year, but we’ve also made sure to open our list up to people that were not necessarily in SPE… and it stands for our key value, which is making sure the association is inclusive of all students, that we have a very diverse bureau and that we are really supporting student life through that diversity.
But the fact that we are mostly made up of babies means that we’re gonna have a lot of continuity between the projects that were started this year and that we’d like to continue this next year. For instance the panier bio, the bulk store that came onto campus, to make student’s events sustainable. This principle of inclusivity also speaks to a message that we really want to promote in SPE, which is that of by doing inclusive activism we are not greenwashing. We are really trying to found out a balance between recognizing that we are a student bureau, we are not a politically militant association, we really want to include everyone and make environmentalism accessible to all students. We are not trying to promote greenwashing, we don’t have to become a bureau that loses our mission of sustainability and protection. Those essentially our main principles.
One other project that we really try to focus on is opening SPE up so that the principle of inclusivity doesn’t necessarily just apply to Sciences Po. For instance, this year SPE hosted many conferences that were open to non-Sciences Po people. We are also really trying to work with the city of Reims to make the city itself more sustainable, and that are also things that are going to affect student’s life. For example, improving the bike path around the city, installing a compost which is going to be managed by the city, but right next to the campus… so [it will be] available to students. The reason why we did not put the compost inside the campus was to make sure that the compost was not just for Sciences Po students. It’s accessible but it’s part of this larger mission which is to support the city of Reims as an asset.
We’d also like to recognize that we don’t have a counter list, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not campaigning as hard as we possibly can. Because we want to prove to the student body that we’re very dedicated to them, and that, as a student bureau, we are primarily accountable to them. We are supporting their passions and the accessibility of a green lifestyle to Sciences Po students. Our list is still very dedicated to campaign and student life.
Question 2: What do you want students to know about you?
Noémie Guichard (NG): The most important message that we want to give to people, is that next year, our main goal will be to include everyone. First, by doing more general assemblies, like this year, but this time each semester. We’d also like to create a Volunteer pole, for instance a messenger group. If someone wants to be part of a project, for instance by staffing or helping to organize an event, [they] can do it. Sometimes there’s a lot of work involved, and not everyone is part of SPE. It would be a good way to be more inclusive.
Also, we are only 13 people in our list, as we kept one place for an exchange student next year…
Tom Froger (TF): We want to create this volunteer pole because we think that environment and ecological transition is not specific to a minority of people, everyone can be part of this process. This would really be a way to include all people motivated to help us and they can come to work with us. This supplementary position in the executive would be a way to include the exchange student in our student life and to make them more accountable to the events organized on campus and make them come to more of them.
Maris Welsh (MW): The thing that is also quite important to know, we understand that living an ecologically committed life can be seen as a very huge challenge and inaccessible to a lot of people… Eating organic is more expensive…etc. We want students to know that our primary purpose is to make their lives easier, and to make greener lifestyle possible. We are accountable to them, and we are here for the students, not only to promote our own mission.
Question 3: What do you guys intend to change if you succeed in the elections?
TF: Next year, we would like to change several things, but first, we would really like to continue what the previous bureau did. For instance, they are doing a party in two weeks, and next year, we would like to have one SPE party per semester. We want to push each of their actions further. What we really want to change consists in two things: the first one is to create a cafeteria, independent from the CROUS. It is a long term project so it probably won’t be achieved next year or in two years, and would probably be carried on by the following SPE bureaux.
The second project is the trips. Most bureaux organize trips, and we really thought about a trip to go to Paris to do the thrift shops, or to climb in the forests and just chill in the wild. We also want to make the bulk store go further, because the Zero Waste pole just only did it once. We really want to push it further and make it more present on campus.
We also want to improve our communication, to make students more aware of what we’re doing. In the bureau, we also want to reorganize entirely, to take less babies to be more easily recognizable, but at the same time, create a Volunteer pole to allow more participation. It is a way to make SPE look more serious but in the meantime to include everyone in our actions. To be more efficient, we also decided to reduce the number of poles to make sure that our bureau is more efficient and cohesive. Each pole would be composed of two very active persons, to make sure that next year, we will be more coordinated and thus more efficient.
Malo Letan (ML): Le bureau de cette année a vraiment fait un excellent travail au niveau de la prise de conscience de la mobilisation collective, ce serait vraiment bien si on pouvait continuer dans cette lancée et cette dynamique et garder cet état d’esprit, pour créer un bureau cool et abordable mais aussi actif. (This year’s bureau truly did an amazing job with regards to collective mobilization and reflection on environment. We really want to stay on these tracks and keep these dynamics and mindset, in order to maintain a cool and approachable but yet efficient bureau.)
Question 4: What are some events you want to highlight that your list will offer this week?
Alice Hefling (AH): On a plusieurs évènements qu’on aimerait mettre en avant, tout particulièrement celui de lundi, qui aura lieu à Résidium, de 18h à 23h. Il s’appelle Game of Thorns. L’idée c’est un screening du nouvel épisode de Game of Thrones, très attendu par les fans. L’idée est de diffuser l’épisode pour tout le monde mais aussi de l’aborder d’un point de vue environnemental. On a trouvé plusieurs théories qui expliquent qu’on peut regarder la série d’un point de vue environnemental et plusieurs points de vues et secrets qui sont liés à l’environnement. On va sortir une vidéo pour les expliquer. Le but est de faire un évènement chill, avec de la nourriture bio, et aussi une vidéo d’introduction qui va rappeler le lien avec l’écologie. (We have many events that we would like to highlight, the first one taking place on monday at Residium, from 8pm to 11pm. It it called Game of Thorns and is a screening of the long awaited new episode of Game of Thrones. The idea is to screen the episode for everyone, but also to analyze it from an environmental perspective. We found many theories that explore this path and we will publish a video to explain some of them. The goal is to have chill event, with organic food and before the screening, to play an introduction video reminding the theme of ecology in Game of Thrones’ universe.)
L’autre événement qu’on aimerait mettre en valeur est le palais du Tau, donc appelé la cité des étoiles. Il aura lieu le deuxième vendredi, le 19, de 18h à 22h. C’est un gala-talent show, avec du chant et de la danse. Avec cet event, on aimerait aussi rappeler que SPE est là dans des évènements de plus grande ampleur et que l’on apporte une dimension écologique. Par exemple, toute la nourriture sera faite par nos soins, et la bière sera également bio, servie dans des eco-cups. Cela montre que SPE est présent et actif sur les questions environnementales également sur les évènements d’autres bureaux et associations. (The other event we’d like to push forward is our gala at the Palais du Tau, titled City of Stars. It is going to take place on Friday the 19th, from 6pm to 10pm. It is a gala/talent show, with music, singing and dance. With this event, we’d like to remind people that SPE is also an actor of bigger events and that we bring to them an ecological dimension. For instance, all the food will be organic and cooked by us, and the beer will also be organic, and we will use eco-cups. It shows how SPE is always active in other associations and bureau’s work on environmental questions.)
ML: Il y aussi d’autres évènements qu’on aimerait mettre en avant, parce que SPE ce n’est pas que des soirées, c’est également un engagement écologique quotidien, et des actions. Une clean walk autour du canal, dimanche, qui s’appelle « White Flower Walk » est prévue, avec une organisation de Reims qui fait ce genre d’initiative tous les mois. Pour donner une dimension plus ludique et pédagogique à cette marche, nous nous sommes associés avec une association locale appelée îlot Saint-Gilles. On va créer des seed-ball, qui, posées n’importe où sur le sol, font pousser des fleurs, donc ici tout autour du canal le long de la White Flower Walk. (There’s other events that we’d like to highlight, since we want to put forward the idea that SPE isn’t only involved in organizing parties, but also daily and consistent and concrete environmental commitment. This Sunday, a clean walk along the canal, called the White Flower Walk is organized in cooperation with a Reims association that does this type of events on a monthly basis. To make this event more fun and pedagogical, we also teamed up with another local association called îlot Saint-Gilles to create seed balls, which will be put along the canal and later blossom into beautiful white flowers.)
Le dernier évènement est un climbing, avec les arts de la grimpe, samedi 13 de 17h30 à 19h30. C’est un avant goût de ce que l’on aimerait mettre en place l’année prochaine. Cependant, samedi, la séance sera en plein air, et l’année prochaine nous aimerions étendre cela au plein air, car nous avons déjà un partenariat pour de l’escalade et nous aimerions voir plus loin. Le but de l’escalade est d’allier connexion avec la nature et pratique sportive. (An other event is the climbing session, in partnership with Les Arts de Grimpe, on Saturday the 13th from 5:30pm to 7:30 pm. It is a glimpse of our ambitions for next year, even though in the long term, we would like to go beyond our current partnership with an indoor climbing session and propose outdoor climbing. We see it as a way to foster occasions to connect with nature and also to practice a sport.)
NG: Le dernier événement qu’on aimerait mettre en avant est un pre-game, avant la soirée à l’atrium avec d’autres listes. Cela se déroulera dans un bar écolo très joliment décoré, avec des choses recyclables, et c’est un évènement entièrement organisé par nos soins. L’idée est de montrer qu’il est possible de fréquenter des bars et boîtes de nuit tout en étant environment-friendly. (Lastly, we are organizing a pre-game before the Atrium party in collaboration with other lists. It will take place in an eco-friendly bar, nicely decorated with recyclable ornaments, and it is entirely organized by our list. The idea is to prove that is it possible to go to bars and nightclub and still be environment-friendly.)
Question 5: one last thing?
Baptiste Jouan: Une petit chose, en tant que membre du pôle communication, je ne peux que vous recommander de faire attention à notre page facebook, où une vidéo pour le moins intéressante et ambitieuse, esthétique, originale et cool va être prochainement publiée, donc restez sur vos gardes. (One last thing: as a member of the Communication pole, I strongly advise you to pay attention to our Facebook page where a very interesting, original and ambitious video will soon come out!)