This year the General Hustings for the 2020/2021 Student Association (SA) Officers witnessed Hafidz bin Affandy as the only candidate running for the position of Activities Officer position. Hafidz was the last candidate to present after the International Students Officer candidates had presented their parts.
Who is Hafidz?
Hafidz is a foundation student whose main purpose in running for the position of Activities Officer is that he feels there aren’t enough activities being conducted throughout the year, especially for foundation students.
His passion for volunteering for events started when he volunteered for Freshers’ Week last September 2019 mentioning that it was the start of his “addiction” of wanting to give back to the students of UNMC.
He then went to sign up as a volunteer for the activities network and got to work as the deputy of the network under the current Activities Officer, Divya Sankar.
“I am here, not just as a candidate, but as a student for the students.” –Hafidz bin Affandy
Throughout his talk, Hafidz mentioned that he doesn’t have any solid or concrete plans that he wants to execute yet. He admitted that he still has a lot to learn and that he might be making mistakes along the way but is willing to learn from those mistakes as well.
His main plan of action is to make the year as fun as possible for students on campus. Hafidz stated that he’s still thinking of ideas and ways to make that happen but there wasn’t a clear mention of what those plans are.
In regards to his manifesto, Hafidz said, “My manifesto isn’t that complicated. It’s quite simple and quite short. I didn’t want to make it complicated mainly because I want to keep it open to suggestions as well.”
After the hustings were over, we approached Hafidz to ask him several questions regarding his first hustings experience.
IGNITE: How do you feel about your first hustings?
HAFIDZ: I don’t feel too good about it, to be honest. I am disappointed in myself for not giving concrete ideas and for not putting too much effort into it. I do feel guilty for taking an opportunity such as this.
I: What do you think you could have improved or done better?
H: Well, I could have put more thought, time and effort into it. This was really rough on me and I will look back on it. I will do as best as I can to improve from now.
I: What do you think of your chances for winning now?
H: Slim. From this hustings, slim. Anyone watching this is probably not thinking of voting for me but I do hope I still have a chance to redeem myself.
I: Do you feel encouraged to run for another position again next year?
H: I do. I really want this position and I can see that it doesn’t seem so for the effort that I put in today but if I do not get the position this year, I will run again next year. But next year, I will come much better and much stronger. I will put in much more effort and thought into the hustings.
Questions opened to the Floor
Hafidz’s Plans For A More Interesting Year Ahead
- A member of the audience addressed that Hafidz’s manifesto was too general and seems like no maximum effort was put into coming up with it. She follows up her question by asking Hafidz to give her an ‘overview of what he plans to do from the start to the end of his term’ as an Activities Officer.
Hafidz highlights about organising more weekly events as he thinks that ‘there seems to be a gap between Fresher’s Week and other activities’ organised by the committee. He also mentions that he wants to plan more movie nights through a collaboration with other clubs and societies such as Stress Relief Society (SRS). He also talks about trivia nights which he thinks can include a vast number of students to take part in. Hafidz was also quite straightforward with the audience by telling them ‘ I don’t really have anything new yet when it comes Freshers Week and Spirit Week’ but he strongly emphasizes that he will be working on that if he is given the opportunity to do so.
- When asked about his plans for the Event Monitoring Team (EMT) , clubs and societies, Hafidz mentioned that he wants to put in more effort in implementing collaborations among societies as he thinks that ‘Clubs and Societies are there but are not working together as they should be’. Hafidz says that he hardly knows anything about EMT but will try his best to see what he can do about it.
The one who questioned him did point out to him how EMT is a big part of a role as an Activities Officer and stresses that he needs to take full precautions regarding that.
- He was also asked again about what events he wishes to collaborate and as per mentioned, the trivia nights is one of his options which includes everyone and not local and international students being separated.
- A representative from IGNITE asked him, ‘In your manifesto you did mention that you want to do more frequent events but how sure are you that the students will be hyped to be an attendee for all your future events? Like how do you wish to promote your event in a way that they will be interested to attend?’
He responds by stating that he has an idea of making a point system for volunteers in which they will be rewarded ‘10% discount to certain events they choose to volunteer for’.
Experience As The Deputy Activities Officer
- Hafidz currently holds the position as the Deputy Activities Officer together with the current Activities Officer, Divya Sankar. One of the audience requested for him to elaborate on his position by stating his BIGGEST success and BIGGEST failure in working as a team with the current Activities Officer.
Hafidz highlighted his biggest success as the deputy was getting the experience to work with the current Activities Officer to observe how things work. He takes credit from that for his ‘future’ success. On the other hand, he highlighted his failure as not taking the opportunity to plan things out although he was in the position to do so – at least to be part of the planning.
- Hafidz was then asked about he learnt from his successes and failures.
Hafidz responded by saying that the learning advantage he had allowed him to ‘ shadow Divya, especially when she carried out the regular meetings’ and this allowed him to have a bigger picture of how he could carry out meetings if he gets elected as the Activities Officer. He continued by stating that he could have done better in terms of exploring new opportunities to come up with better plans for the activities.
Filling The Gap For The Fellow Foundation Students
- Hafidz plans to have a personalised Freshers week just for Foundation students.
- Moreover, he also mentions that Ice Breaking Night gives ‘a lot of pressure when it comes to foundation students having to deal with the undergraduate students at the same time as they are not on the same level’.
Since he is a foundation student and is currently finishing his last semester, one question from the floor was related to how he plans to organise activities for his foundation mates while waiting to begin Year 1 in September.
He states that he cannot really do much as his term only starts in September but further clarifies that he will be there to help out the newcomers during their first semester.
Although underprepared, Hafidz’s courage to run for this position despite only being a foundation student is admirable. Him being able to stand on stage and answer the audience’s questions can encourage other foundation students to try and run for positions as well.
However, Hafidz’s speech and manifesto were not very convincing for the audience members to vote for him. Hafidz did not have any plans to share and was quite vague about what he wants to do as an Activities Officer. Despite stating that he really wants the position, his lack of preparation does not portray that idea to the audience.
Hafidz did have a few good ideas such as wanting to encourage more students to volunteer in activities by creating a point-based system and to create more events targeting foundation students but since he hadn’t elaborated on how he could make those ideas come to life, those ideas may be overlooked.
Hafidz was the only candidate running for this position but there is still an option for students to vote for re-election. Students can cast their votes on what they think is best for them during the voting period from the 13th to the 18th of March.