Will Pagel, Communications Pole, interviewed by Nastassia Maes
Why did you choose your name?
The name, more than anything, was – we were just throwing ideas around, sat at an apartment at some meeting, and it just made us laugh, frankly, because we go to university in Champagne and our president is called Mion. We just heard it and laughed. We wouldn’t want anyone to view illusions of grandeur just because we named ourselves after a luxe champagne company. It just genuinely made us laugh, so we thought it might make other people laugh. It’s just a bit of fun, and you know, as in any campaign, it lends itself to nice visuals, and so on, so we thought it lends itself to a nice campaign.
What is your ultimate goal as a list?
We are a list which combines a Euram and Euraf team, and I think everyone on campus is aware of the lack of integration between the two programs. Just today, you go around talking to people, and I think it’s on everyone’s mind. So genuinely making events that, not just that we would cover both programs’ market, but make a program that could appeal to both at the same time as opposed to throwing just “Oh this party would look great for the Euraf community and this one would be great for the Euram community.” We’d like to actually bring them together and get some sort of friendships going. Obviously it’s not going to change overnight with one party, but I think, you know, had we a year as a BDE, that would be one of my biggest goals, and I also think because of, really, how deep the problem is now, I think that would also be one of our biggest challenges as a list. Certainly, I don’t underestimate the importance of that challenge, but for me I think, that’s the most important thing.
What is the biggest quality of the other BDE list?
They are really strong. I would say something I have admired in their campaign is how approachable they are. And obviously, they have worked tirelessly, like every other list. I think their approachability is something that we are also working on as a list. It is something that I think our list has maybe received a bit of criticism for; we’re working our hardest to actually counter that and become more approachable. So that’s what I admire about the other list. And they’re just great people.
What does reliability mean to you as a list, and how do you plan to be a reliable BDE next year?
There are two things which immediately jumped out for me. The first is just the commitment to the kind of events that always affect everyone on campus, whether that be Folies rémoises or Gala or whatever, making sure those events are great and inclusive and so on. And then, I suppose the other thing, for me is that because the BDE list is always quite similar, I think we move towards making big promises like a commitment to integration or, for example, one of our initiatives would be a website, trying to just make an easy, accessible place for everyone to access all the information. So for me, reliability would consist in a strong and ongoing commitment to those things that go beyond just campaign week, because it’s so nice seeing all these events happening on campus—obviously it can’t be every day— so it would be some sort of continuation of that.
What do you see as the biggest obstacle you will have to face as a BDE next year, and how do you plan to tackle it?
In the vein of integration, inclusivity as a whole. I think there’s, from this year, from my own friends, I think there are a certain number of people that just don’t really engage with the BDE because they don’t necessarily feel enticed. I think generally it would be nice if the BDE could actually represent its students as best as it possibly could, so making events that appeal to everyone. Integration is at the heart of that.
If you had to describe your list in one to three words, what would it/they be?
I had my little slogan but I think it’s about six. It’s not a slogan but it’s what I’ve been saying for the last day to the rest of my list, which is: teamwork makes the dream work.