Why did you become involved in student politics?
I was part of [a] residence and was first a HK. Then I became Chairperson of House Olympus last year and decided to run for the SRC. But I think the question should rather be ‘Why did you get involved in student structures?’ rather than politics, because I don’t play a political game. I am here for the students. That is my big focus.
What is your personal philosophy?
My personal philosophy for this year, especially with regard to the university, is to make it a student-centred university, and to make 2012 the year of the student. Not the year of the lecturer, not the year of politics, but the year of the student, where the students will be happy at Tuks and will enjoy student life. When they get their degree, they must be a more rounded person than when they came to the university.
How will this affect your actions as SRC Deputy President?
This will affect all my actions and all my thoughts, because I will question everything that is done. I will ask myself: ‘Is this for the student? Or is this an alternative agenda from either a political party or from management?’ I will always question whether students will benefit from decisions and that is why it is important for me to have a motto like that, so that we can have the year of the student.
Why did you run for SRC Deputy President?
I ran because I have been in this structure for four years now and I know how it works. I know how it feels to be a first year, up to HK in a residence as well as working with management. I feel that because I have this experience, I can really make an impact towards student life and student finances.
What have you achieved so far for students?
I came from a residence where our residence didn’t perform in student life as they were supposed to. I worked really hard in House Olympus. First as Rag HK and in the year I was Rag HK, we won Rag Residence of the Year. That was also the first time our residence had achieved something like that. Then last year, when I was Chairperson of House Olympus, I worked very hard to get Olympus into a better position than it was before, and I’m proud to say that we came third in Residences of the Year, which I think is a great achievement owing to Olympus’s history. I also think it is not about what you have done but what you are going to do for the students and my focus this year is on three categories: student life, finances and student well-being. It is very important to me that we have an overall balanced student: someone who can take part in Serrie, Serenade and Rag etc and still do well in their studies. Regarding finances, I feel that someone must question where money in the department is going to assist students. And for student well-being, one needs to look at structures that the university can put in place to get students to campus more efficiently so that they can have a more balanced student life.
What are your goals as SRC Deputy President?
I have various goals and, as I mentioned before, I have three focus areas. I would be happy if, after our term in office, we have achieved a balanced student with regards to student life. Yes, academics are important, but students must also have numerous opportunities to attend Spring Day and Rag Processions and Rag projects as well as sport. Sport will tie in with Student Health and with that Student Culture, which is also very important. With the help of service providers like Rag, Stuku and student sport, one can achieve this goal. With student finances, I want the student textbook campaign, which was started by the TSC and previous SRC, to be put in place and I want to see that the money is going to the correct students. But I also think it is important that nothing is for free, otherwise students won’t appreciate it as much. You also need to give a little bit of your own money or services to achieve something. There is also a big problem with the NSFAS to assist students with problems they have. I want the SRC to play a supportive role, in whatever way we can, to assist students with that. And I also want us to have a Health Awareness Week, where students can become aware of their health and the different diseases they might have. I want them to be comfortable with visiting Student Health and getting the professional services offered there.
What legacy would you like to leave behind as SRC Deputy President?
I want to leave a legacy at the university where the SRC has a lot of different people in it and that the university is about the student. Yes, it is about studying, because we are all here to study, but we need to make sure that this becomes a student-centred university, where students leave a well-rounded person. And I think that if we focus on those three pillars I mentioned, we will get well-rounded students. And as Deputy President, I want to focus on those three things to make sure that students can have a student life. I also believe that Rag Procession and Spring Day are things that make you a Tukkie student. To have a university where all the students get together is very important and I believe that activities like Spring Day can help students unite and look beyond their differences.