The Student Council (SC) Committee held its 46th Ordinary Meeting on the 7th of October 2020 at 7 PM through Microsoft Teams. Several questions regarding the ambiguity of this new academic year were discussed and answered by the Student Council members.
What Does The Student Council Do?
To those who aren’t aware of the existence of the Student Council or the role that it plays, the Student Council is the governing and policy-setting body of the Student Association (SA). The Student Council makes adjustments to the policies and by-laws of the SA Constitution, as well as ensuring the SA executives are held accountable. The Student Council members consist of the School and Foundation Representatives as well as the SA Executive members.
The Student Council’s role is to represent all students in the decision-making process, especially with regards to proposing new policies and communication feedback from students. Members of the Student Council require the majority vote on actions, rules, and other procedures after a discussion is held. Generally, the Student Council hosts a few meetings annually to update the SA Constitution, by-laws and to provide a platform for students to vocalise their concerns.
The meeting started off with the election of Student Council Assistant Vice Chair as well as members of the elections committee. Voting commenced through Microsoft Forms. Thevarraj Sellayan was the only candidate running for the Vice Chair Assistant role – and he managed to secure the position.
There were also 5 candidates that applied to join the student elections committee, 2 candidates were absent to the meeting. The three present candidates; Purnashree Logenthiran, Akmala Mohammed and Suhaib Shaukat gave their speeches, and were voted in the elections committee.
Q&A With Councillors
Many important questions were asked during the Q&A with the Councillors, mainly pertaining to the new code of conduct by the university.
The new online learning arrangement also comes with many other challenges, especially in the aspect of extracurricular activities. This session had several questions in regards to the functioning of clubs and societies. According to the members of the SC, the clubs and societies fair will be conducted online on MS Teams on the 13th and 14th of October from 12 PM to 7 PM. Clubs and societies are also encouraged to have meetings and training online. Face-to-face meetings and training sessions would require physical recreational clubs and societies to contact the Sports Officer beforehand, and it would also entail them to abide by the standard operating procedures provided by the Malaysian government. Separately, membership fees would have to be collected online as well.
There were a few questions directed towards the International Students Officer about the orientation enrollment of new international students. The International Students Officer answered that she did not know how to answer this question as the Malaysian government has not provided any information in regards to this issue yet.
Questions about the student general elections procedures were also raised in this meeting. The Vice Chair of the SC clarified that the Student Council will ensure that each candidate running for an SA position would be reviewed thoroughly before being announced. This is done to prevent another fake candidacy problem from happening again. The elections pack given to candidates also includes a clause that requires every candidate to run and print PR materials with their real name on it.
The Vice Chair also announced that the SC will be taking extra measures in ensuring the safety of a potential candidate in the student elections. Last year, many candidates of the Student Association elections experienced online harassment and bullying by fake and anonymous accounts. The SC mentioned the potential mobilization of the Security Office as a last resort to counter this. Correlating to this, the Vice Chair offered a differentiation between bullying and restriction of freedom of speech to clarify that constructive criticism is not considered bullying, and that they will only take such measures if the harasser(s) has resorted to personal attacks.
Written by Yasmin Raquq and Edited by Sofiyan Ivan Shahran.