Get to know: International Students Union-List 

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SAKER: Bli bedre kjent med listene og hva de mener. Her representanter fra ISU-list.

SMIS spoke to: Hans Herrera, and John-Sigvard Njau, Master´s in Natural Gas and Engineering, leader of ISU, and Master´s in Environmental Engineering, founder of PASU. 

SMIS asks what ISU´s «Elevator Pitch» would be: 

– What we are is different backgrounds, brought together by new perspectives and new ideas. We have the founding objective to create unity, and to foster relationships among all students of all backgrounds at the university of Stavanger and the local community. #ISUmyList.

John-Sigvard is the founder of PASU (Pan-African Student Union of Stavanger), who is cooperating with ISU for the election. I ask what caused the partnership between the two. 

“We in ISU, and PASU cooperate because we share the same goals and values. The last two years we´ve been nominated for «Begeistringsprisen».” The award considers those who’ve had a positive impact on the local community.  

Track record

As a party that cares about bringing people together, the cooperating organizations have built quite the resume. 

ISU and PASU have a range of events under their belt. 

17th of may parade, Glow in the Dark Party, Puzzleruns, Country-stands, cultural education, “Breaking The Ice-party”, Coffee Around the World, Tandem-Program, Movie Nights, Throwback Party, Ski-trips, Ice-skating, Cruise, Valentine-parties, Debates, Come Through and Chill, Africa Day, Summer Party, Dance Workshops 

If you would like to partake in any of these events, you can find both ISU and PASU on social media; @ISUStavanger / @ISU_Stavanger / @PASUStavanger

I was explicitly told that they couldn’t possible remember everything they have organized throughout their time. 

“We haven’t been able to do as much as we would’ve liked, considering we only have two seats…”.  

What can they achieve with twice as many representatives? 

Future goals

During this campaign many lists have highlighted their plans to combat mental illness. ISU and PASU believes that combating mental illness goes hand in hand with every aspect of our lives. Making sure everyone feels heard, welcome and included is a great first step. Although ISU care deeply about these challenges, they also have pragmatic and ambitious goals for the future.

During our conversation, Hans highlights a certain utility at the University of Oslo. The career-center. This is the place where you can learn everything and anything about all available career paths, internships and other possibilities. This center has dedicated people with real experience dealing with and navigating this landscape. Something like this would be incredibly useful for every single student to ever set foot at our campus. 

An integration-center is the follow-up. A proper, structured way of integrating anyone. Full schedules and detailed plans on how we can make sure everyone feels the way they should feel; heard, welcome and included.  

In addition, ISU would like to severely reduce, or entirely remove public transportation costs for students. Again, this is something that would greatly benefit all of us here at UiS. 

I ask Hans what we can do to increase the general engagement surrounding the election. 

– To involve everyone. Have you heard a word from the principal? It seems that no one has. It´s a big disappointment. This is a student thing. But the students are the one who move the university. The principal, the professors, research groups, students, employees – everyone should be involved. StOr is doing a great job, they are throttling the gas. If the involvement comes from the top, it´ll be a lot easier, and it´ll reach a lot more students. This year we are hoping for more votes, but it would be so much better with higher engagement from the school itself. 

To end the interview SMIS is curious to know their favorite subject. 

– Energy – I´m hyperactive, I’m smiling, joking, running all the time. I’m super loud. I’m quite energetic and positive, people perceive me like that. I’m not showing off, it’s just who I am. I just can’t help being enthusiastic, says Hans. 

– My favorite class so far has been mathematics, mainly because the professor was the best professor I’ve ever had. Sigbjørn is so good, he even has a fan page on Facebook. Best math experience I ever had, and to have a good math experience is quite special. When I was younger I used to like history, but I gravitated away from it, says John. 

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