SEGOVIA – Interview with Matteo de Palma, Student Government Academic Officer, September 26th, 2019
Last Thursday, Student Government’s Segovian Academics Officer Matteo de Palma agreed to sit down with the Stork for a quick interview to update students on the many promises made by the Red Team during their tense election period – all of which were taken from their Instagram campaign account. An administration that arose to clutch a narrow victory following the highly controversial “Big Roast” debate, it seems a plethora of polemic views have likewise followed them into their first months of office. The conversation shed light on some of the struggles to implement some of their ambitious proposals like the student bar; Palma however also pointed to some of the many achievements they have made during their tenure like Freshers Week and the Clubs Fair.
If you followed the race last year, you’ll remember the intense struggle as Teams vied for visibility and support. One of the best way Teams could differentiate themselves during the race were through their bold project promises, from a student parliament to food trucks on campus to more “realistic than idealistic” policy suggestions. The Red Team famously touted the creation of a Student Bar to be opened on campus, but when asked about the bar’s progress, the situation seems to have drastically changed.
“[We] got a quite definite no on that,” Matteo explained when speaking about the bar in university, though he assures its “happening elsewhere.” He goes on to state that Student Government is working with an unnamed bar in Madrid to see about potential student discounts, though as far as Segovia goes they “can’t promise anything.”
When asked of about any other impediments to the Student Government’s goals, from the university or within the student administration itself, de Palma chuckled – “you guys are good” – before quickly answering in the affirmative, though he wouldn’t go into any details. Similarly, questioned about the short-term goals and when students can expect them to happen, Matteo politely refused to give any projects a timeline, as the Student Government doesn’t want to make “false promises.” From his own office, however, he stated students can expect the forming of an academic committee. When this may form is currently unknown. It is important to note however that the previous administration instituted a committee system, that would have been taken over by the new SG.
During the interview Matteo commented on how a lot of the larger initiatives going to take some time, he was however confident in the Student Government’s ability to follow through on their promises given some of their early accomplishments.
“The Club Fair was quite a huge success,” de Palma announced proudly, and spoke of additionally helping students “more one-on-one” as one of the Academics Officers in regard to students’ finances and academics. When asked what the greatest achievement of the Red Team’s administration was thus far though, he stated it would have to be Fresher’s Week. “We got pretty good feedback from it … the Team worked pretty hard on it, so … it was just nice to see some gratitude from the freshers and some older students as well.”
Finally, in partial response to the Student Governments critics, Matteo humbly had these parting words. “We won’t always get what we want … There have been disappointments … the only things I can say to [our] critics is ‘stay hopeful, stay with an open mind … any complaints, email me, text me, I’m always free for any criticism of any kind.’” A strikingly clear invitation to open and direct complaints towards the Student Government – in the now immortalized words from the movie Dodgeball, “It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for ‘em.”