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Rumoured Candidate for KSU confirms Nomination – Paul Caruana Turner to run for Pulse

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An InsiterOnline article last week suggested that political rivals SDM and Pulse have already earmarked a number of candidates to contest next month’s KSU elections – in an exclusive interview with InsiterOnline, rumored Pulse candidate Paul Caruana Turner comes forward to confirm his candidature, explaining the motivation behind seeking a post on the council.

“The closest indication of who the other candidates are is from your [InsiterOnline] article – I’m here to confirm mine as we haven’t met each other yet,” Paul says confidently, confirming that he will be contesting an administrative post on the council, that is either of the President, Vice President, Secretary General, Public Relations Officer or Finance Officer posts.

Rumoured candidates Paul Caruana Turner [Left] and Clive Farrugia [Right] with Pulse President Matthew Zerafa [Center] at a Press Conference [Summer 2013]

Paul Caruana Turner [Left] with rumoured Pulse candidate Clive Farrugia [Right] and Pulse President Matthew Zerafa [Center] at a Press Conference regarding the introduction of ‘Legal Studies’ [Summer 2013]


Joining the Pulse team having built a reputation both on and off campus, Paul brings forward experience as a gay-rights activist for WeAre [the LGBTQQI association on campus]; an executive member for the National Youth Council, as well as a student representative at the Faculty of Laws – one might say KSU would be the next natural step for Paul.

However, he says that the choice wasn’t planned – he argues that such a progression was not in his hands and that the decision to contest depended on Pulse selecting him, rather than his personal decision.

 

“I never planned it out… I was always an active person, but I never thought I’d be asked”, he says, speaking of KSU seemingly appearing as “some sort of elite club” to the every-day student – “not that I think that I should be part of any elite club, but it seems that way from the outside,” he quickly adds.

For Paul, the decision to contest follows a campaign he spearheaded together with the law students’ association and social democrat organization Pulse last summer – on the implementation of ‘Legal Studies’ at intermediate, which would have left prospective law students unable to select a subject which was designed for them.

The issue left Ghsl and Pulse at loggerheads with SDM, ELSA and KSU – all of whom had a different approach to the issue while student representatives like Paul struggled to make ends meet when it came to uniting student organs.

Describing his motivation for joining Pulse in their campaign, he says that the he always found the social democrat organization whenever he needed support:

“In my time as a student activist, if I can call myself that, we always found Pulse when we needed organizations to back us,” Paul says, with reference to the legal studies issue, “When you need to sway public opinion or create awareness about something… you need bigger organizations, when we needed one – we always found Pulse.”

“KSU took the side of the administration, they sent us messages to keep quiet and not put the situation in the spotlight – I felt that was wrong. I thought to myself, are they joking? They’re meant to be the people on our side championing the cause.”

Further elaborating, he says that KSU have lacked an element of representation throughout the past year – pointing out that a joint stand which We Are and KSU were meant to take on homophobia in Russia never materialized. But where does Paul see KSU improving on its work when it comes to student representation?

“KSU has let the students down a lot in terms of representation”

“KSU has the potential for power”, he argues, “if you look back to 1997 for example, the KSU under Manwel Delia was able to bring Msida to a halt and they marched in the streets, they were the voice of the students. I think there we saw that there is potential behind KSU, what has happened – I don’t know, from my personal experience – KSU has let the students down a lot in terms of representation.”

Given that KSU election turnouts have stood at just over 30% at best for the past few years, the conversation regarding KSU quickly turns to one about student apathy – Paul points towards apathy as a result of KSU’s shortcomings.

“This is why sometimes you hear, ‘ah students are apathetic’, I don’t think it’s fair to blame the student – I think you should be pointing the finger to KSU; what are you doing to get them out to vote? I think that it’s not fulfilling its potential.”

He says that SDM’s success in KSU has caused the council to go into stagnation, and as a result, has left students disappointed with the council – “there’s been SDM in KSU for the past years – they have their fixed formula, this works and they’ve stuck to it… students have become disenchanted because whenever there was an issue which doesn’t seem that important to the outside world – and that’s the thing, people on the outside don’t always understand [student issues].”

“If KSU focused less on their social programme and more on student representation – then we’d see a greater input from students in elections.”

Asked about conrete proposals, Paul hesitates due to the manifesto not yet being finalized, however he says that his focus will be towards the council working better with organizations.

“The manifesto hasn’t been finalized, definitely if I can speak in more general terms, it would be more student representation – the social programme is good and fun, I think there are too many events, you have a situation where KSU events clash with events with member organisations, KSU should be collaborating.”

10 thoughts on “Rumoured Candidate for KSU confirms Nomination – Paul Caruana Turner to run for Pulse

  1. Francienne Busuttil says:

    I am curious how he shall he representing students in KSU. He is so full of himself and a lot of people have received nothing but continuous mud-slinging and backstabbing from Mr. Caruana Turner. His campaign motto must be “Use and Dispose”.

    Kudos to Pulse. They surely have the guts!!

    • glc says:

      If ure so certain about what you say why do you hide behind a first namr. Funny that the first name you used is the same as that of an SDM candidate, francienne muscat. PCT is our student rep and he always looks out for us !!

  2. Timothy Diacono says:

    A lot of University students are not stupid and their votes cannot be won over by idealistic manifestos, good-looking candidates and hot dog stands. It’s simple really. If students don’t feel that KSU is involving them in important decisions then they won’t get involved in the non-important ones, such as voting.

    • blt says:

      Great point Tim, thats why its time to vote in people who will involve the students not use KSU as their private club house.

  3. Gianluca Fenech says:

    Oh Hail the savior of student representation. I absolutely love how he’s become the paladin of student representation. I still need to see any concrete work being done by Mr. Turner. A lot of empty statements and futile words to try and impress. Also quite a nasty PR stunt to back stab his team and go public behind the others back just to get some extra days of campaigning. Kind of shows his way of thinking.

  4. Where's the Beef? says:

    Once Paul backs up his claims with hard, consistent evidence I will believe him. What I know for sure is that KSU has an active Education Office that deals with dozens of complaints all throughout the year, while Pulse organises Wednesday meetings and Pancake days. KSU this year has issued over 10 reports which are available on their website and which span a range of key issues. If you follow their page there is not one single day that a new opportunity or meeting is not announced.

    As regards his claims about the Legal studies issue, clearly Paul and his colleagues from GhSL and Pulse have absolutely no idea how to get results in the long term and are adamant to adopt a myopic approach of blatant, uninformed and non-consultative attacks in the media. This antagonises the entity you want to collaborate with and ensures that the willingness to change stance is greatly reduced. What Paul does not report here is that it was the Senate reps that had to do the dirty work and clean up the mess that Pulse and GhSL decided to create. Well done on achieving absolutely nothing.

    If Pulse really is the student organisation for all students then it will learn to stop trying to speak and start listening – and not in the superficial ways it tries to portray that it does. Students see KSU as irrelevant until they notice that KSU offers something that appeals to them – for some this is dancing in Students’ Fest, for others it is the open door policy it adopts towards academic complaints. The key difference is track record, not concepts and ideas.

    • KSUDoge says:

      Wow. Such leader. So report. Much KSU.
      Get over yourself.

    • ABW says:

      Policies are great, and its true that KSU has come up with some this year, but where is the Student representation ? KSU has become like a social club and issues which directly affect the Students are being ignored. It will be a breathe of fresh air to see real student representation from the KSU again. This time i might actually vote !!

  5. Andrew says:

    This idea of two student bodies trying to get elected is a joke. Its not the government.

  6. John Scerri says:

    Pulse is really the student organisation for all students! Glad to see a young intelligent man hailing from a fully Nationalist family and a former George Pullicino general elections campaign activist in their ranks! I really look forward and hope to see him contest the local elections on the PN ticket soon. Best of luck!

    John Scerri
    Sliema

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