MARGEAUX ERASMUS

 

Why did you become involved in student politics?

I became involved in student politics because, firstly, I wanted to be involved and I wanted to have a sense of belonging. I specifically joined student governance because of a girl that inspired me, Deneo Siko, from SASCO. I thought there was a shortage of women who are in student governance and I think there is a need for women to get involved in student governance. And also, I became involved because I wanted to know what is going on. If you are involved in student structures, you get to know things and you know how to help students.

What is your personal philosophy?

It changes every year because every year is a learning curve. This year, I realised that everyone doesn’t have to like me and so, at the moment, my philosophy is that I am going to kill people with kindness who don’t like me.

How will this affect your actions as SRC Treasurer?

It won’t really, because I’m going to be dealing with money, and there will be societies who aren’t happy with the allocation of money that I give them. But it will be a matter of, ‘Hey, this is the money you’re getting, whether you like it or not.’ You can’t make everyone happy, you can’t make everyone like you, and that is just how it is. In my position, I am going to make decisions that are unfavourable, and I have to be that person who has to say no. We can’t have an SRC that is spending the budget as they please. Money is a very big thing that needs to be used wisely.

Why did you run for SRC Treasurer?

I ran for SRC again because my organisation saw me as a strong candidate. If my organisation didn’t say that I can run, because I have the organisational skills and the marks, I wouldn’t have run again because I had my chance already. It is very important for people to realize that I am not a power monger, but as long as my organisation asks me to run, I will. I also ran because my portfolio was very successful last year, but students don’t know what I did. The Marketing Portfolio does not touch students directly. All you do is give students freebies. In this executive position, you have the opportunity to start an initiative that’s your own and do a lot more for students.

What have you achieved so far for students?

I have helped place 45 students in res this year. In res you are just a number on a piece of paper so people don’t know your situation. So we run a campaign to help place students in res. I also helped students with admission and Senate Appeals. On the Senate Appeals Committee, we help students who have been excluded academically.  Last year, I also tried to give some support to Kendi Mwabila, who is the SRC member in charge of International Students. I co-authored a document with her that contains recommendations to help international students and I hope to follow some of those up this year. The coolest thing I did for students last year was the Tukkie Pride Day. That was also one of my biggest successes last year.

What are your goals as SRC Treasurer?

One of them is that we need to look at other accommodation options because we know that everyone cannot be helped at res. We are in a situation where the university has a lot of private accommodation and what I want to do is use this private accommodation for these students. I also want the university to go into partnership with private businesses to get accommodation for students at cheaper rates. The second thing that I want to do is include external campuses as much as I can. I want the SRC to have a constant presence on external campuses and let them know that we are available to help them. I would also like to strengthen postgraduate representation in the SRC. There are a lot of postgraduate issues that need to be addressed and this year we want a postgraduate student committee where they find out what issues postgrad  students have and help them with those issues. Lastly, I want to keep the SRC transparent and accountable with regards to how they use their funds. I want a system where we have weekly reports of what the SRC is spending money on so that Student Parliament can see where the money is going.

What legacy would you like to leave behind as SRC Treasurer?

The legacy that I want to leave behind (and this is something we already started as an SRC) is that the SRC doesn’t have to be 60/40. What I want to leave behind, first of all, is that I want young girls to look up to me and I want to let them know that they can also be in student government and make a difference. I also want to leave a legacy with regards to being a treasurer who supports all the other societies. I also want to make sure that Tukkie Pride Day will continue. I want it to continue growing and to become an annual thing because that is one of the events that will bring integration among the students.

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