We continue our interviews of the new STA members with André Lucas-Carvalho. He is born in Brazil but has been living in Norway since he was eight years old. A computer engineering science student, André has great ideas about how the student life on Grimstad campus can be improved and realistic strategies about bringing these ideas to life.
Unikum wishes him a great year with many achievements and the inspiration to conquer any obstacle that he might encounter!
What made you decide to candidate?
I saw this as an opportunity to reach out to a larger number of engaged students, and contribute to the faculties in Grimstad.
What are the qualities you take with you in the STA-team?
I am outgoing, open minded, and a critical thinker. I have a solution oriented attitude and a natural bend towards worthwhile reasoning and action. I intend on being conscious and focus on bettering the work done by STA, for the students and the University as a whole.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for the students at our university?
Reaching out to students and getting their participation tends to be one of the challenges we face. I believe that the underlying reason for this is that the «common student’s» attitude is that they are only passing through «the system». That participating and engaging in the politics, and advocating for the student society has little to no reward to them. I think that a change of this attitude is key to get more involvement from students, and engagement of the individuals who want to develop a better student society.
What will be your main priorities as a student leader?
I wish to strengthen the weak link between the individual student, STA and the University. That is, to better communication between class representatives and the rest of the organization. I believe this can help raise the level of results that representatives derive from class evaluations and the collaboration with subjects coordinators.
Do you see any viable solution for the very low amount of reading places?
Speaking for campus Grimstad, I do think it is possible to efficiently use of existing group rooms and class rooms by expanding the booking solution. I have already started drafting a so called «check-in» alternative that promotes a more responsible and fair use of the already existing booking system. Developing and implementing this will of course demand resources, time and the collaboration of UiA. The result is also limited to the existing space. But it is certainly cheaper, and faster than expanding the existing building. Naturally this might help dampen the pressure at campus Kristiansand.
If you could be principal and change one thing, what would it be?
Not sure if I could change this even if I was principal. But, if I could change one thing. I would have courses that demand mandatory assignments, also reward them with grades that inflict the course’s final grade.
Name a few of the important things that STA can help the students with.
I believe that any student who have any question relating to their role as a student can find answers by contacting STA. We can help you advocate your interests, and support you in a time of need.
What do you think about the grade-complain system where a student for example can get a D and then fail the exam after the re-evaluation process is over?
The grade system as a whole is in my personal opinion old, a «rudimentary necessary evil». Re-evaluations that lead to leaps greater then one grade, makes me question the verdict of not just the first censorship, but also the second.
I think that focusing on generating alternatives that measure skills is more important than holding grudges towards contemporary ways. Focusing on how we can increase the level of learning, and quality of education that rewards us with greater skills is of more importance to me.
Name some of the unpleasant things you experienced as a student and some of the best.
Getting cold feet under an exam that I was properly prepared for, and underachieve as a result was quite unpleasant. In contrast to that, there is that feeling of solving a complex problem, which do make up for all those hours I spend crying over it. :)
Any words for the students?
Participate. Get up. Say yes. Don’t give up.
«The distance between insanity and genius, is measured only by success.» – Bruce Feirstein
Text: Erika Erdös – Email
Photo: Private archive, UiA