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By Pulp Editors

We interviewed 8 of the 9 candidates in the running for USU board, asking them the same 7 questions about their thoughts on the USU and their reasons for running. We also asked a number of spicy political questions, as well as some relating to their policies. The full, un-edited transcript of each interview will be published over the next week in order of the ballot, so you’ll never be without juicy election content. Here’s Eve.

PM: Please state your name, degree, political faction (if any) and the year you’re in.

EW: I am Eve Wang, I’m second year Commerce and Law, and I’m an independent candidate.

PM: Why do you want to run for Board?

EW: I would just say as an international student that I find a lot of international students kind of stay away from school activities, and I feel like it is time to make some changes and for some international students to do somethin, and it’s a really great point to start at the USU to do something for other people.

PM: Why do you think you’ll be a good Board Director?

EW: The first point is that I’m standing for international students, so for me as an international student I understand what they are looking for and what they want to make some changes on- and at the same time I’m also someone who wants to learn more about Australian culture, especially. I would see myself as a bridge between Australian culture and International culture, so that’s what makes me a good candidate and good for board.

PM: What are your three most important policies?

EW: It is hard to say which one is the most important, I feel all of them are important, but I would just say personally I feel that the multilanguage CAPS and the online residency information are the two most important policies for me.

PM: What would you say the most important function of the USU is, in student and campus life?

EW: I would say the most important function of the USU is it can provide a lot of help for students, and it’s also a platform for students who want to do something for others.

PM: If you had to cut $1 million from the USU budget, where would you cut it from?

EW: That’s a hard question! I would say maybe the Welcome Party? Because a lot of friends of mine say that it’s not really great and that people can not really make friends there.

PM: In 2017 the Board voted against shutting down the USU’s commercial operations in solidarity with the NTEU staff strikes. Where the NTEU to call a similar strike during your term as board director, would you vote to close down operations for the period of the strike in solidarity, or keep them open? Why?

EW: I would say- it’s just really hard, because from the point of view of students they really want things operating, because they can get help and daily service. But from the strikes point, it’s important that the USU to do something to show their opinions, but personally I would maybe talk to students and the USU to see what is the best solution between the two.

PM: Do you think the USU and the Board is doing enough to support the International student community? Please indicate what programs and initiatives you find to be particularly successful if yes, and how the USU could better support International Students if not.

EW: This is a really good question, because I’m an international student. I need to be honest and say that I don’t think the USU has really provided enough support for international students, and most important is that a lot of international students have not heard of the USU. They know that they can get a discount from the coffee shop, but they don’t exactly know what is the USU. So, I think the most important problem is to let people know, and a lot of people don’t use facebook- they use wechat, or alliance for korean students, so it’s important to make the USU media platform more influential.

PM: The campaign to end sexual harassment, assault and gendered violence on campus has been a major issue on campus for the past decade. What role do you see the USU playing in the future of this campaign, if any?  

EW: I’d say the USU has made a great effort on this, for example the QS room and the Women’s room, but I feel like there are still a lot of things we can do, like there are a lot of people who don’t really care about it so we can make more like media information to let everyone know about this, and what can we turn to when we are really in a difficulty.

PM: Do you support the introduction of the Ramsay Centre’s Bachelor of Western Civilization at the University of Sydney? What position do you believe the Board should take, if any, on this issue?

EW: I would say that it depends on a lot, because you need to think a lot of things both from the- I mean there’s not a single voice from the Uni, you need to consider all of them- I would rather say that I’d just take consideration of all the concerns.

PM: To what extent do you think the USU should engage with politics and student activism?

EW: Personally, as an independent candidate it would be better for the USU to focus more on student service and to help students to know more about the campus. It’s good for students to know about politics but the political element may sometimes influence the student service because people are going to fight against each-other.

PM: Do you think senate appointed directors should have a role in a student board?

EW: For the two directors, I would say it’s a good point from the school to support the USU, and I feel like it’s a good way for students to do what they want in the USU, but at the same time it is important for the school to give some support, so there are two standards of support.

PM: What improvements will you be making to the USU app?

EW: Actually I’ll mention this with the residency info, I’ve noticed that a lot of international students don’t have a clue about where to live and which suburb is better, so I’d like to start a module or a section on the USU app, because people use media apps all the time, they don’t really care about workshops: so I’d like to do an online platform where people can exchange information about student accomodation and where the best place is to live, rather than just sticking in your own friend circle.

PM: How do you plan to introduce multilingual counselling & psychological services into CAPS?

EW: So firstly the most important thing to note is that the University and the USU are two big school organisations, but currently CAPS hasn’t realise that the lack of multilanguage counselling would lead to a lot of students not having the chance to talk to them, so I think the USU can help CAPS to notice by giving them a lot of signatures to show that people need it, and also the USU can help if they need people to do multi-language counselling.

Pulp Editor Madeline Ward is a current member of Grassroots and former SRC Women’s Officer.

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