USU Board Candidates 2020: Vikki Qin

Honi's profile and full interview with 2020 USU Board Candidate Vikki Qin

Slogan: ‘Vi got you.’

Colour: Navy blue.

Faction: Independent.

Quiz score: 66%.

Housewives tagline: ‘ I’m passionate about therapy dogs, just not crazy about bitches.’

Interviewed by Chuyi Wang and Madeline Ward.

On the face of it, Vikki Qin has put together a fairly decent set of policies, many of which would undoubtedly be popular amongst the student body, such as more multicultural food options and a monthly payment scheme for the Access Rewards program. However, we struggled to find even a single idea that had not been recycled from past successful campaigns, already existed in some form, or had failed to be delivered from a previous Board director. 

As one of the many second-year candidates running in the election this year, Qin’s institutional knowledge left more than a little to be desired. Scoring only 66% in our quiz, Qin also gave quite vague answers when we asked her about the track record of the current USU Board during our interview. Qin even noted that she “didn’t really know” what President Connor Wherrett had done in the past year, providing the excuse that she “doesn’t read up specifically on him.” 

Some of Qin’s ideas also came off as a little tone-deaf during this time of COVID-19. When we asked her what her policy priority was, she curiously answered that it was to introduce a reusable cup renting system at USU outlets — an initiative that appears inappropriate during a global pandemic. When we pushed her specifically on what her policy responses to coronavirus were, she seemed almost indifferent to the fact that she had none: “I didn’t plan for a pandemic.”

The rest of Qin’s policy statement follows this similar trend. An unusual amount of emphasis is given to fairly trivial pursuits, like a review system for coffee at USU cafes, regular therapy dogs, or a contributive student-designed annual hoodie. Others, such as affordable sanitary products or renovation of the ISL, are either already in the works or have been promised so many times over the years that it’s hard to buy into them enthusiastically. When we asked her how she would deliver on promises where her mentor Benny Shen had previously failed, she also gave an assertive and unsubstantiated answer: “Just because a previous person wasn’t able to deliver it doesn’t mean I can’t.”

All in all, it’s hard to get excited about a campaign like Qin’s. If we’ve learnt anything from past elections, it’s that the indiscriminate bundling of “nice-sounding” but boring policies for a campaign doesn’t actually result in much being done. We’ll be lucky, if Qin gets on Board, to get reusable mugs in Courtyard by 2022.

A link to the full transcript of the interview can be found here.