Jiayi Qiu, a former student on Le Havre campus, was the Year Rep for the 2021/22 cohort until he left Sciences Po just prior to this academic year. In his absence the position became vacant, until the re-election this week. He is best remembered by his quote: “The GP is here 2 days a week, while i’m sick 6 days a week”
We want to thank him for accepting to write this adress for our dear newspaper.
I hope this letter finds you well during this difficult time.
It has been so far a complicated and hard year for everyone. Nevertheless, the time has come once again for you to decide who will best represent you throughout your journey at Sciences Po. Owing to personal reasons I have left Sciences Po for the Sorbonne, resulting in the position of Year Rep becoming vacant. Literature has been my lifelong pursuit and the decision to leave Sciences Po and our close community was never an easy one. I am here to present my sincere apologies as certainly my sudden departure has troubled many.
Since my departure, there have been many problems left unsolved, including pressing health concerns and academic organization. Without a doubt, we have more work to do, not just on our own campus, but all across Sciences Po where students confront stresses and challenges of all forms.
My work last year had not been as smooth and successful as it should have been. Faced with Covid-19 and many administrative crises, as the Year Rep, I found myself often wondering how to do better. It was in the end the trust that everyone placed on me that gave me the courage to continue to create a possible path forward for each of us.
Many have congratulated me and asked me how it felt to be the representative. I always responded that it felt no way superior but heavier than I expected. The responsibilities — negotiating between students and the admin, responding to and taking care of concerns, resolving urgent conflicts and accidents, and many more — have humbled and informed me how to work better with people on difficult tasks and how to bring us all closer together. In fact, as I often thought to myself, even if I were not the representative, these are still what I need and should do as we don’t just belong to ourselves but to each other.
That being said, to make Sciences Po a better place, we may have to envisage:
- A more supportive and inclusive pedagogic/academic organization
- A safe and inclusive environment for everyone, culturally, socially, and politically
- A more environmental campus
- More efficient lines of communication and conflict resolution between students and the administration
These are but some of the many goals that we could easily think of. The ultimate aim is to provide everyone at Sciences Po the space, the support, and all the necessities to thrive however we wish.
There are also certain qualities that everyone should desire from a candidate:
– An extremely strong sense of responsibility
– An authentic desire and drive to represent the cohort
– Clear lines of communication and negotiation
– Familiar with Sciences Po
– Past relevant experiences
Furthermore, as the re-elections are coming soon, I humbly wish to remind not only those who are voting but also those who are running of one crucial thing. Voltaire says that “La politique est l’art de mentir à propos”. We must thus strive for an election without exaggeration and personal connections. We should strive to have each candidate present themselves authentically and open their hearts to the voters, explaining their strengths and weaknesses. We should place our vote in whoever best represents the interest of the cohort, not sectarian interests, and certainly not whoever happens to be our personal friend. It is only with this consistency that we are truly allowed to understand each other, collaborate with each other and move together as a common one. The problems faced by democracies today are well-known, and if we are not the first ones to act justly and bring back order, especially at a politics school, as an example to others, I don’t know who else should be. If we can’t get things right before our eyes well-managed, I don’t know how things out there in the farther world could be. And thus I hope this re-election could be the least political and instead thrive as a manifestation of our ideals and values.
Finally, here are a few thoughts that I always hoped to convey to the whole Sciences Po community but had no chance to. I humbly wish to take this chance to thank you all again sincerely for having elected me as your representative throughout our journey together at Sciences Po. Nevertheless, I am deeply regretful that I might have to forward this great trust to the potential candidates who will again lead us forward. However, I am confident, given the undoubtable strength of our community and the incredible potential that each of us manifests. Simply put, your vote of confidence a year ago for me is but a very confidence in yourselves. No matter who is out there running for office this time, they will do their best to make a fruitful year ahead for everyone.
Sciences Po, marchons ensemble.