Published on December 1st, 2011 | by Luke Scicluna0
“The facts speak for themselves” – Pulse interviewed on JC
With the KSJC (Junior College Student Council) election campaign hotting up, Luke Scicluna sat down with the men behind the curtain, Pulse President Glenn Micallef and SDM President James Cassar, and spoke with them about KSJC, recent events, their organisations, and the role they feel they have to play in the Junior College.
The resulting interviews have been published in four parts, two focusing on SDM, and two focused on Pulse. The first parts of the interviews, which you can read here and here, dealt with the organisation’s guiding principles. Yesterday, we asked James Cassar about student politics at Junior College.
Today, we ask Glenn Micallef of Pulse the same questions, in the last installment of the series, before Junior College goes to the polls tomorrow morning.
LS: Is Pulse satisfied with the past AGM?
GM: I am satisfied because, once again, students decided to take a vote of confidence in the council’s work. Funnily enough, the last council run by SDM did not have its work approved by the majority at AGM. I am satisfied that the work done by the council was approved; it shows that the students are genuinely working to better the environment at Junior College.
LS: What do you consider to be the main goal of the AGM?
GM: The main goal is to approve the work done by the council, both the administrative report, which gives a detailed account of the work done by the council during the past year, and the financial report, which showed that the council’s financial position is a healthy one. We’ve seen that in past years there were misappropriations of funds, and I am quite happy that this year the balance at the bank was a substantial one, and 200, 300 euros more than that of the council before this one, showing that the financial side is on the rise every year.
LS: What do you expect will be the outcome of the elections for this year?
GM: I hope that the students make an informed decision, consider the track record of both organisations, and vote according to whom they believe will represent them best in council. I have no doubt that the students of Junior College can do this, that they have the capability to form an informed opinion. I hope that the best team wins, the team with the best proposals for the Junior College. I am quite confident that we are presenting a good number of proposals this year.
LS: What is your reaction to the Pulse logo incident?
GM: There are few words that I can say about it. It was illegal. The only way I can explain someone doing such an act is hatred, and instigation of provocative behaviour. Disrespecting that logo is disrespecting the thousand members we have at Junior College. These are people who we have represented over the past four years. And some of them have the guts to redesign our logo, to use it to try to put us in a bad light, and I have no shame in saying that it is, first of all an illegal act, as the logo is copyrighted material, and secondly that it is offensive. I am not a homophobe, but I do feel offended by this act, and so do the members that I represent. We feel offended that we were called such things. It’s unacceptable.
SDM did nothing about it. The individual responsible is still representing them, even though they decided they’d take action against the person. So why should I believe him when he says he sorry? Why should I believe them when they say they have taken action? The facts speak for themselves. The pictures speak for themselves. There is nothing more to say. Yes, I am offended that the same person is still representing SDM.
LS: Do you think that such an insult, if you can call it that, is discriminatory to people of different sexual orientation?
GM: I don’t have anything against gay people. I have gay friends, and I have no problem with them. But why should I, why should I, a person who is straight, insult you that you are gay? There is nothing insulting, and if you are gay, there is nothing wrong with it. However, even if you go to the page, it says ‘Pulse Hara’ (Pulse are Shit) the thought behind it, from beginning to end, was to insult us. And I have never received an apology from SDM, regarding this incident. Never. And they have no shame in accepting that same member today, who is wearing their shirt, probably, representing them around the college just now.
LS: What do you think of the rivalry that exists between your two parties?
GM: A certain level of competition, not rivalry, is healthy. It boosts organisations to come up with better, concrete proposals which work for the College. If you look at University, for example, there are 42 organisations or more. However, the same level of competition doesn’t exist as at Junior College. The work done, and the interest shown by students, is at a much lower level than it is at Junior College.
LS: Would you call people from both sides offending each other vulgarly healthy competition?
GM: I do not believe that offending anyone will solve any problems. I believe that when both organisations joined forces, we got the best results. We do have a potential to work together and to get better results. Yes, I do believe that. However, a certain amount of competition is healthy. Offensive campaigning I do condemn. And we do try – what we tell our members, what we preach is ‘Listen, be positive.’ What we do in our campaigning is to try and take pride in the work that we did for the college, to show students what we did in the college. However, in every electoral campaign, there are going to be overly enthusiastic people; you find them on both sides, even on the national level. I believe that we should set an example from here, but these things happen. I do believe, however, that both campaigns should be based on the proposals and the work that will be done if elected to council.
LS: Are you concerned by the lack of another party?
GM: It does concern me a bit. However, I feel that both organisations have been doing a good amount of activities here at Junior College, both organisations have the students’ interest at heart. If we don’t, then I could well stay at home.. I’m not getting anything out of it, as I am sure that the members from the other organisation aren’t getting anything out of it. The fact that there is a certain amount of input, a certain amount of initiative, shows that the younger generations are still concerned and active and giving their part.
A third party would obviously make things different. There are a number of students who don’t want to join Pulse or SDM – and in previous years when such students have contested the elections they got quite good results,. So yes, a third party – why not? We have no problem with it. We show respect to our opponent, both at KSJC and at University. I have no problem with respecting anyone’s opinion, and if they are genuinely interested in working for a better environment at Junior College, then why not? I have no problem with it.
Thank you for your time.