BR – So just to start off, do you want to explain how long you’ve studied at uni, what you’re studying, and just kind of disclose whether you’re a member of any political party, like Young Lib, Young Labour.
CA – Um, I’m Clarice and I’m a second-year pharmacology student. Ah, and I’m not affiliated with any political party, yep.
BR – Wonderful, completely independent. So, what brought you to run with Star in the election, what is your guild journey, I guess?
CA – Ok. So, the way I got into it?
BR – Yes.
CA – Oh, it’s a nice anecdotal. So, I went on a picnic with Adhish Kastha, he’s running for guild secretary, and with a few other friends, and someone messaged the group chat – Oh, can someone bring disposable cups, and someone said yes, and I was like ‘oh no’ I am like super crazy about zero waste. So, I made sure I brought all like ten of us, close to ten, a KeepCup, reusable cutlery, plates. So that’s, when I went there…we’re not disposing anything! Yeah, nothing! And I went there and they were like, Oh. Adhish didn’t know I was so into sustainability and living like a zero waste lifestyle, and from then he introduced me to Basundhara the current environment officer, and we had a few chats over coffee, and then she asked me to become the vice-president of the Environment Department sit-in guild. Because I think one of the students, um, moved uni’s so I filled their position. And do I explain how I got into guild? Yep, go for it. Um so I was approached by both parties and I had to a listen to what they both had to say, and I ended up going with Conrad because I really value um Star’s experience. That’s why I decided to run. And also, because Basundhara has been such a good mentor this year. She’s really helped me with like, all the tricks of the trade. Because I knew nothing about guild elections, because I didn’t run last year. I voted but I really didn’t know who I was voting for…and she was last year’s environmental officer right? Yeah, this years environmental officer but last years candidate. Yeah, and she explained everything to me and yeah, I really appreciated that.
BR- Cool, and so that’s led you to sign up for Star for this election. Cool, um I guess to start off with kinda a broad question, the environment portfolio is arguably kinda one of the most underestimated portfolios. Yeah, most definitely. So how do you intend to make kind of the wider student body aware of the need for environmental action on campus? Do you have any broad ideas regarding that?
CA – Oh, so. This year actually we’ve done a lot in terms of engaging with students, with sustainable practices. So we’ve had EnviroFest, probably one of the biggest ones, we had heaps of stalls, a lot of traction, a lot of people were there. And we also had Enviro Week which held our infamous, or famous make your own KeepCup stall.
BR – Yeah, do you want to explain to the listeners a little bit about how that went?
CA – Yeah, it’s very hectic. The line is huge. At our first make your own KeepCup we didn’t even think a lot of people would turn up, so we came late to our own event. There was a huge line. It was welfare week so we were like Oh everyone is just lining up for free soup, and then we walked closer and we were like Oh people are lining up for KeepCups. And that’s when we knew we had to do it again because people kept messaging us like ‘when’s the next KeepCup stall?’.
BR – And I’ll just note to those listening, Clarice has bought her own KeepCup, that she is holding during this interview.
CA – This one I bought from uh an Op Shop. It’s not from the uni.
BR – There you go. Well it’s still a KeepCup you can reuse. Um, I guess kind of a broader environmental complaint from people about election season in particular, is the use of paper materials. So you see a lot of flyers, posters with a large amount of environmental impact. What are Star’s plans this year and going forward about how to keep mitigating the impact?
CA – Yeah, we’ve cut down the paper budget to…I think Molly, our campaign manager said 52% I just want to get it exactly. We’ve cut it down by 52% and I hope, I was really looking into electronic voting, but I’m not too sure about how that’s going to go because I know that most of the elections that happen around WA are not electronic. But I hope to work on that next year.
BR – Yep and that’s certainly one of Launch’s key policies this year, talking about online voting as a potential. Um, now I guess, a lot of environmental policies, at least that I can see, on the Launch website, Star website sorry, um they’re kind of broad policies. Do you have any specific policies that you want to target yourself in the future? Like specific. I know the women’s portfolio have their pam at parties initiative, do you have any similar kind of targeted environmental policies? Or is it more about broad change overall?
CA – A bit of both. So, I’m, if you don’t know me well, I’m super crazy about, like I’m against single use plastic. If you know me I’d be grabbing, if I you know, grab an ice-cream it would never be in a cup, it would always be in a cone kind of thing, coz the cup is lined with plastic. Anyways, I digress. Um my main, um goal next year is to eradicate a lot of the single use plastic at our guild outlets, because I get so annoyed when I go to guild, to a guild outlet like Quobba, and someone orders a paella, someone in front of me will order the paella, and they’re planning to sit at Reid to eat it, but they will accept the plastic lid and they will just throw it away. I want to get rid of that, and there are actually a lot of companies I would love to partner with. Um, so like Biopak – they offer sugar cane, um pulp, container slash lid, and it’s a renewable resource and it’s also a by-product, so a waste product of the refining industry. So, I would love to implement that, like getting rid of single use plastic cutlery, single use plastic containers that we have, and I would also love to uh expand discounts beyond KeepCups. Because we discount for bringing a cup, but I spoke to one of our foodtrucks this year if they could implement a discount for bringing your own cutlery. So Mist, I talked to them about it, and they’ve done it – yeah 50 cents off for cutlery, if you bring your own cutlery. So, I hope to do that at all guild outlets with you know, student cards and stuff.
BR – Nice one, um and then another one of Star’s particular environmental policies was working to regain fair trade accreditation at UWA. Can you explain that a bit more, I didn’t realise that we were missing fair trade accreditation, or when we lost it, if we had it in the first place, where did it go?
CA – So, I did an um, a lot of UWA research when I was a rookie, getting into guild politics and stuff. It turns out that in 2013 we did have the fair-trade accreditation, that was done by (?) I think…Ok and that was just across food and drink? So the way you get um, I’ll explain the whole fair trade thing. So fair trade is essentially all about ethical procurement, I’ve never had to say that in real life, the only other time I’ve said it is in an essay. Ethical procurement, so it’s all about local sustainability, it paying workers and farmers um good wages and also improving the livelihood, and also improving their working conditions. So within that supply chain you have to ensure like, conditions are filled and back in 2013 we did have this fair trade accreditation, and to get this accreditation the uni has to, I think 30% of its snacks have to be fair trade accredited. Yeah 30%, and 50%, so snacks including like chocolate and chips and stuff, and then your coffee and tea 50% of it has to be fair trade accredited. And we did it last time so there is no reason to yeah, not get it back.
BR – So somewhere between 2013 and now we lost that, and I know that the uni has just recently changed coffee suppliers, so in the future, moving towards regaining that accreditation is likely. Very nice, so just to finish off, what is one thing that people should keep in mind when they’re going to the voting booth whether to vote for Clarice, vote 1 Clarice, or to vote for Star? What’s the one thing that you want people to remember about why your environmental policies are the best ones?
CA – I um, I would say I’m the most experienced out of the candidates. I’ve been the vice-president the whole of this year so I know how everything works in the department, we’ve ran a lot of events like ‘Fossil Free’ which you know, people don’t really know about unless you’ve been in the committee. And um, I’m, people should vote for me because I’m also super passionate. Like, if you knew me, I’d literally go, if I didn’t have my KeepCup, up to the barista and put it in my hand like I’m not even kidding. So, I’m super passionate so I think that’s why people should come and vote for me. I really want to create more change at uni, because I really love it when people come up to me, because I post a lot of silly snapchat stories about me using my metal straw and stuff, and I love it when people come up to me and they’re like ‘I bought one coz I saw it on your snapchat’. And I want to continue doing that but towards a wider audience I guess. And with like, so I think, as environment officer id have a bit more power to do that, um to seminate (?) sustainability messages I guess, and I think people should vote for Star because I think we are truly the most independent, progressive, and experienced ticket.
BR – Beautiful. Thanks so much for coming in Clarice.
CA – No worries.