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Elsa Polycarpe

Interviewed by Gaëlle Vandeportaele

What motivated you to run for the Student Rep position?

It’s really the fact that I feel really good here. Sciences Po has created a viable and agreable environment. The administration, the classes, people, I feel really good here. This motivated me to represent this student body. Also, I’ve always liked to represent and make myself a spokesperson for the community. I have ideas to better this campus and belong even more to the student body.

Do you have any previous experience, relevant to the Student Rep position… Or not, as you prefer, that you would like to share with us?

I was Student Rep for my class during 5 years. I also was my school representative at the Sustainable Development Committee in Hong Kong, a project between my school in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong government. I also was a spokesperson for an NGO called “Plastic Free Seas”. I regularly wrote articles in the  newspapers my school produced for the French community in Hong-Kong.

What challenges are you expecting to overcome as a Student Rep?

I don’t think it is a challenge per se, but the fact that the campus is growing. We are not anymore 200 to represent but soon it will double, not even counting the Eurafs. I think it would be good, by the way, if we were more solid between the two promotions. It’s also the number of requests that the students will formulate that will grow along with the cohort.

What do you think about the Student Rep campaigning process?

What people tell me is that they are fed up with being overwhelmed. They wake up and they have fifty-eight Facebook notifications… that’s why I chose to create a page and not an event. For sure, I’m less visible than the others because of that, I chose a more discreet campaign. On campus, I go to see people, which is more concrete and true in my opinion. I never was a social media person. It can scare and invade people, but I don’t want to be seen as overwhelming or harassing students.

What is unique about your platform?

I have three main ideas, with subparts (about enlarging sports teams, buying more microwaves…). The main thing is that we are kind of lost in terms of homework, compared to highschool. I’d like to create a huge timetable specific for each class. That would be mainly an online, interactive forum where each student could write the homework they have to do for their seminar. It would be synchroinzed with Moodle to have the documents available on this platform. I think it would be really easy to create and could be done by the second semester. I had also the proposal to organize meetings between the administration and the students. Then, the result would be shared on social networks for the student body to be informed.

In three words, what is the role of a Student Rep?

To be present – for the student body and the teachers – but also, to better the pedagogical side of student life by listening to the students and maximize their welfare. LAst but not least, I’d say “dynamic”, that is to say efficient to make things happen.  And to cooperate.

Miscellaneous question: what are you the proudest of in your hometown?

I’m French, but I have Vietnamese, Russian and Italian origins. I lived in Denmark, France, South Africa and Hong Kong. I’m proud to be world production! But for France, I’m proud… well, of Sciences Po. That we are an internationally reknown school. I’m proud when France takes aprt in diplomatic actions to solve crises, when we intervene in the UN, when we take part in the international coalition which goal is to stop ISIS… Things like that.

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