Student Elections 2018: SA Vice President and Education Officer Hustings

Student Elections are approaching. Hustings for the elections of the 2018/2019 SA Vice President and Education Officer took place on the 8th of October at 7:30 pm. Students witnessed only one student, Saajit Irfhan, present his manifesto for the position of Education Officer. Meanwhile, Jane Lim and Soban Malik competed for the role of VP.

Saajit Irfhan

Education Officer candidate, Saajit Irfhan.

The hustings started with the candidate for Education officer, Saajit Irfhan.  A final year chemical engineering student, Irfhan aims to improve training of school and class representatives. He also wants to make lecture recordings or lecture capture compulsory. Other than that, Irfhan wants to establish think-tanks and raise awareness about education network’s activities.

Question and Answer Session – Saajit Irfhan

Irfhan repeatedly emphasized his intentions to collect data and feedback in response to most of the concerns raised. Unfortunately, the data collection method remains vague. As for representative training, Irfhan indicated that he will seek feedback from past representatives to identify shortcomings. Members of the audience also repeatedly voiced concern of the university staffs inconsistent use of lecture capture so far. As such, this led to doubts over his claims and ability to ensure that more lecturers will record their lectures. In response, Irfhan stated that data on the use of lecture capture is needed. According to him, raising this information  during the upcoming Campus Teaching Committee (CTC) meeting can then spur action.

Student questioning Irfhan on his data collection plans

Additionally, Irfhan noted that students were unaware of the achievements of the Education Network. As such, he says publicising data of the improvements and changes would raise students’ awareness. However, how he plans to publicize it in more effective ways than just posting it on social media remains unclear. When asked how he plans to inform students of the outcomes of the LCF forms they submit, he suggested that the key points of the meetings between the representatives and CTC should be made accessible via email for students.

Finally, when questioned about his exact plans to collect the data, Irfhan responded that he needs to know the schedule of CTC meetings. He claimed he will plan a timeline around these meetings for collecting and presenting the data to CTC.

Jane Lim

SA Vice President candidate Jane Lim

SA Vice President first candidate, Jane Lim, campaigned with a manifesto of Transparency, Leadership and Consistency (TLC). The second year Applied Psychology and Management student highlighted two key issues: the lack of security on the Student’s Association (SA) website, and poor management of the SA Facebook and Instagram pages.

Question and Answer Session – Jane Lim

Lim has no intention of changing the current SA website platform. According to her, the current WordPress system is established and cheap. When asked how she would improve security, she said that WordPress offers a security package. If elected, this would then something to look into. She also said that she would like to make the SA website more user-friendly. However, how this can be done is unclear.

Lim fielded questions by each of the new SA officers

Lim also stated that the absence of incentives is the reason the SA Facebook and Instagram pages do not gain traction. Her current idea to improve both pages is by consistently posting updates: “I will post updates before the event, not on the day of the event, or the day before,” she stressed. One student asked for clarification on the type of incentives Lim has in mind. In response, she replied with, “so, do you want me to classify the incentives?”.

Additionally, three students asked about her previous leadership and web-handling experiences. Unfortunately, Lim failed to provide a definite answer. Finally, when asked, Jane admitted that she had not consulted the Head of Marketing and Communication because she “could not find them”. Ironically, the very student who asked her about this was later revealed to be the current Head of Marketing and Communication.

Soban Malik

SA Vice President candidate Soban Malik

The second candidate for the SA Vice President position was Soban Malik. After a short speech, Malik demonstrated that he was abundantly aware of his responsibilities and presented brief and effectual suggestions to the issues brought up during the Q & A session. Additionally, Malik stated that he had already met with the current head of Marketing and Communication in order to prepare for his role in the upcoming Nations’ Cup.

Malik also assured the audience that timetables of events and activities will be readily available and updated on the SA website. As well as the contacts of members of clubs and societies. Unlike his opponent, Malik stated that he will evaluate the viability of using wordpress against any other available hosting sites. Finally, to improve publicity and increase followers of SA social media accounts, Malik proposed asking students to follow them upon signing up as for events or by offering them discounts.

Written by Loshni Nair and Rzan Mohamed. 

Photos by Tengku Asila Fatinah

"They say that great minds think alike, but also fools seldom differ"

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