Interview by Anique Baillon
Please introduce yourself
I’m Camille, I’m 17 and I’m from France. Basically, I am one of the least international students at Sciences Po because I have lived in the same apartment all my life, but I love travelling. I went to the other side of the world, to New Zealand. I want to take this position because education has always been an issue that I wanted to tackle. I was in a very special primary school that taught me everything about autonomy and how students need to get engaged in protecting their rights. This is something that I really want to continue to work on at Sciences Po and make these two years the best possible for everyone.
What do you think the role of a Student Representative at Sciences Po Reims is or should be?
It’s about being the link between the administration and the student body. We have to tell the administration what the wishes and opinions of the student body are. Also, make sure that the administration is more transparent than it currently is because that’s a big issue here at Sciences Po. So, I think that on the one hand, it is about the communication between the students and the administration, but also about organizing things to make sure that these two years will be amazing and that no one will be left behind. I want to make sure that we bring this big group all together because we are so many on campus that it is difficult to feel like a community. As a student rep, it is important to make sure that this will be improved.
Why are you running to be a student representative?
I think that Sciences Po is a woodpile that needs nothing but a spark to catch on fire. All the elements are here for us to spend two awesome years because of all the students coming from all over the world. Something is missing, transparency from the administration, school spirit that would bring us together and make us feel like a family that we are all faithful to. I want to be Student Rep because I love the school, I love all the people I have met and I think it’s a shame that we don’t manage to achieve the perfect atmosphere that could be part of the school.
What makes you qualified for this position?
I have been a student delegate, a representative of your class in front of the administration and other classes, for seven years. I’ve worked with the French administration, both private and public actors, to organize projects. Essentially, I worked to create cultural projects, such as democratizing the access to literature, organizing a literature prize, that sort of thing. I was involved in a project in partnership with a network of schools in all the French-speaking schools in Europe to create innovative solutions to make high schools better. This taught me how to communicate with adults, who did not always think that the ideas and opinions of students were worth listening to. It also taught me how to work with the French administration which often has a peculiar way to work. I think that I have skills to work with that through these experiences. My personality also means that I have lots of ideas and projects and I do my best to put them in place. That’s also something I would bring to the Student Representative position.
As a Student Representative, what would be your mission or your main goals?
My mission is focused on three different goals. The first one is the community because I think that it’s a shame that such divides exist between Eurams and Eurafs on the one hand and between French and international students on the other hand. I would like to organize events to make it so that we feel like a community and not a plurality of groups that have nothing in common. I would like to work with the association to create a bilingual buddy program so that every international student would have a French student buddy to help with the administration and to get help with their English. English levels are also a big issue that we have to tackle.
I would also like to focus on the communication aspect, such as transparency with the administration. Also, we need to deal with issues, such as the many emails we receive and cannot prioritize and the IPs. Finally, I would like to make sure that all the changes that occur over our two years here, such as the arrival of Parisian students, the change of director and the reforms, will be the best for all of us. We also need to implement networks to find the best place to go in our third year, or the best work experience this summer.
Of course, these are only basic ideas of what I would like to implement. I would be first loyal to the students and what they want. That is why I would like to immediately organize a Student’s Estates General so that students can say “I have problems with the wifi, the opening hours of the library” and many other things I am not aware of. Maybe 10 students will have one problem in the promotion (school year), but that’s not a reason not to find a solution for it. I would implement both online and physical procedures because when we receive emails we tend to just forget them five minutes after. I don’t want students to forget about this because I think that it’s very important that students vote and express their problems or concerns. My idea would be to be present in the glass hallway for a week to be able to receive the students’ ideas and for them to talk about the problems that they face at Sciences Po. I would also put in place a google form for those who aren’t able to be there physically.
What is the one thing that as a student representative, you’d like to change or reform?
The most important thing is the community. In all schools around the world, there are the same issues with the administration because they are quite different from us, as they are adults. I think that we could make these 2 years some of the best of our lives, if only we were a big group, united together and stronger together. I think this is a very important thing that all student reps and associations on campus should work to achieve.
Finally, if you could be any living person for a day, who would you be and why?
My first answer would be to say myself because I have lots of challenges to be myself. Or maybe Donald Trump and I would take that opportunity to do something about Mike Pence, to reinstate the Paris Agreement. In these 24 hours, because I wouldn’t sleep, I would do my best to call Obama back and achieve everything I would like to achieve for this big and beautiful country that doesn’t deserve such a president.
Photo: Claire Babok