Interview by: Maria Linares
Please introduce yourself
My name is Rose Jacobs. I am a 1A student in the Euram program completing a dual degree with Columbia, and I am running to be a student representative.
What do you think the role of a student representative at Sciences Po Reims is/should be?
I think the student representative is a mechanism through which the issues expressed by the student body can be given solutions. The student representative’s job should be to take the issues in the campus from the students and bring them to the administration in order to implement specific, actionable solutions. They should take the generalized comments from the students on pervasive issues and bring them to a level where they can be solved, and actions can be taken. The student representative should be one who deals with the nitty-gritty, detail-oriented work so that the rest of the student body doesn’t have to.
Why are you running to be a student representative?
From the moment that I stepped on this campus, from the moment I started talking to people here, I have just felt such an intense connection and love for everybody here. I feel like I have found a place where I love of coming to school and interacting with people for the first time in my life, and being a representative would allow me to be even more involved in making this community, which I have grown to love, even better. I’m also running because I really like the sort of work that the student representatives do.
What makes you qualified for this position?
In the past, I’ve been on the board of directors for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in America which involved a lot of specific work that isn’t as exciting as planning parties or large events, but this made me gain an appreciation for a lot of the work that student representatives and administration do. As I like to say: “Idealistic goals, realistic solutions”. I want to focus on addressing the broad problems that students bring up: the WiFi, the IPs, the registration process, etc. I want to focus on solving these problems by bringing pragmatic solutions. Regarding the administrative decision to bring Paris undergraduates to the campus for example, I want there to be some sort of email or information packet sent out to students explaining the situation in detail in order to keep everyone informed on the transition process. I feel like this is the type of organizational thinking that makes me qualified to be a student representative.
As a student representative what would be your mission/main goals (i.e. explain your platform)?
My general platform has three main parts:
The first is regarding the dates at which we are told when our midterm and final exams are going to be. I feel like right now, for the students who got the midterm dates 2 weeks before we have to take them, it becomes very stressful since they want to plan vacations during November break and organize their schedules for the semester. When students are told late when their exams are, it causes more difficulties and brings more stress to their lives. Knowing when exams are going to take place further in advance will be really helpful in improving the general mood on campus and in making everybody more easily able to focus on their studies. To do this, I want to help set a date by which the midterm exam dates will be revealed so that students can organize themselves accordingly.
The second part is about increasing the resources available for non-french speakers, especially as they first arrive on campus. One of my favorite things about the campus is the number of international students here. I myself am an international student, but with a limited ability in French. Among the international students I’ve spoken to, there has been a general difficulty in completing tasks such as setting up a bank account, getting a phone, or finding an apartment. Moving to a new country is difficult, so I want to be able to create a student guide to send out to international students through the Sciences Po website or through student emails similar to the one that the Columbia Dual BA students get with detailed advice on moving to France.
The third part of my platform is the one closest to my personal convictions. The importance of gender issues and feminism has played a huge part in my life, and when I saw the presentation on Sexual Awareness and Safety given by Sciences Po at the beginning of the year, I was shocked by the way it was done. I know that it had good intentions, and that Sciences Po has taken multiple steps to improve gender equity on campus, but that presentation raised multiple issues where information was misrepresented. These issues could have been easily solved by involving the student associations on campus that work for the same goal, because anyone in those associations would have been able to point out the problems. I feel like this sort of presentation should have more student involvement in the preparation, or in the future, be led by the students for the students.
What is the one thing that as a student representative, you’d like to change or reform?
The transparency of communication between the administration and the students. I see transparency as the running theme throughout all of my points, because I think that if the administration is able to clearly provide important resources, dates, and information to students, and collects student feedback on what has been done in order to improve it in the future, then all of the goals that my platform has will be achieved. What is most important is creating a system where the administration recognizes problems, provides solutions, and communicates these changes to the student body.
Finally, if could be any living person for a day, who would you be and why?
I would be Donald Trump so I could resign from office as the President of the United States of America.
Photo: Simone Richler