KSU Candidates in the Hotseat – Live Updates

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As part of our efforts to increase the level of political discourse and debate during the yearly KSU elections, Insite Malta in collaboration with TDM 2000 will be holding a separate event to the Presidential candidate debate, putting all other candidates in the “hotseat”.

10 minutes will be allocated to the candidates contesting each KSU office as follows:

12:00 – 12:10 Culture and Entertainment
12:10 – 12:20 Social Policy
12:20 – 12:30 Financial Officer

12.45 – 12:55 Sec Gen
12:55– 13:05 Vice President
13:05 – 13:15 PRO

13:30 – 13:40 International
13:40 – 13:50 Education


Live Updates:

Live Stream:


14:07 The debate has now come to an end. We, Insite and TDM 2000, thank you all for following, and we invite you to join us for our Presidential debate next Tuesday, which will also be live blogged and streamed.

14:05 Cardinal concludes the debate by bringing up the Pulse Slogan ‘Paving the Way Together’ and is met with a round of applause.

14:04 Dalli says that the initiative was a joint one among several European countries.

14:03 Portelli criticises KSU’s Youth in Action Initiative that only brought Finnish and Spanish students to Malta but did not send any Maltese students to foreign countries.

14:02 Vella says that KSU should work more with organisations such as AIESEC and AEGEE.

14:01 It is heating up at last. Cardinali mentions the fact that the second exchange is only taking place during KSU election time but Dalli counters by saying that his point is irrelevant as such an exchange has been in the pipeline for months.

14:00 Portelli says that KSU should organise more events other than the Welcome Party to allow international students to integrate more fully within the student body.

13:58 Cleaven Portelli mentions his four months as executive within MHSA. He commends KSU’s initiative to introduce a handbook to international students. However, he laments the fact that only two student exchanges have been organised by KSU throughout the space of a year because such exchanges can really benefit students… but they have to be given the opportunity to go on one in the first place.

13:58 She says that her experience with SDM has given her the right skills necessary to take up the role of International Officer. Moreover, she has taken an active part in several events but says that KSU should hold more meetings with the international representatives of other organizations.

13:57 Dalli says that SDM have been working long and hard on their manifesto and is met with a round of applause.

13:56 Cardinali mentions his meetings with stakeholders without mentioning who those stakeholders are.

13:54 Cardinali says that he has experience through working in a hotel. He says that the KSU report should be shorter and more to the point, only saying the things that KSU actually achieved and not what they spoke about and discussed.

13:53 It is time for the International Office candidates with Steph Dalli and Daniel Vella representng SDM and Cleaven Portelli and Michele Cardinali representing Pulse. One Pulse member tries to sit down next to Vella but is pushed aside by Dalli.

13:52 On the topic of student apathy, Bajada says that this can only be countered if students feel that they form an integral part of the decision processes within KSU and that this can be encouraged with the introduction of more sub-committees.

13:51 He says that the structure should be more open to the voices of the student representatives. Muscat agrees with him but counters him by saying that discussion already takes place before reports come out.

13:51 Bajada states the need for more meetings and more proper and accurate representation.

13:50 Muscat says that KSU can only be more effective if more students involve themselves in the process…

13:49 He says that KSU has not been effective enough in increasing job opportunities for students and graduates.

13:47 Bajada says that what is weak within the system should be rebuilt. As an example, he uses a legal notice that was apparently urgent but was only made known to students three days before it was spoken about in Parliament.

13:46 Bajada says that KSU should work towards results that come out earlier and more available job opportunities. Julian Caruana points out how both parties are often agreeing with each other.

13:46 The first question involves the tardiness in result-posting and in graduate employability.

13:45 It is time for the education candidates with Thomas Bajada representing Pulse and Francienne Muscat representing SDM. Coincidentally, both candidates are Gozitan.

13:44 Borg Wirth says once again that KSU should be committed to extending the reach of the student voice.

13:43 Polidano says that KSU should look at the logistics behind the implantation of KSU initatives, such as looking at who is attending talks, who isn’t and what is being said.

13:42 Polidano agrees with Borg Wirth and says that he is pleased with the introduction of a PRO internship and says that he will certainly be pursuing such internships further. However, he says that KSU should be more effective in its communication towards students about such positions.

13:41 Borg Wirth says that student apathy can only be combated if other non-KSU students are brought into the consultation process.

13:39 Borg Wirth also has experience in student representation. He feels strongly against student apathy and agrees with Polidano’s intentions to extend KSU’s effort beyond University. He uses himself as a good example of anti-apathy with his involvement within several KSU-organized events.

13:37 Polidano speaks about his experience as student rep. for the MAKS faculty. He says that he understands the importance of public relations and of creating the image of a KSU that extends beyonds the confined walls of the University that will enable a good transition of students into the workplace. He plans to do this by keeping healthy relationships with people outside and within University and by keeping a consistent relationship with students throughout the year.

13:36 It is now time for the PRO candidates with Andrew Borg Wirth representing SDM and Simon Polidano representing Pulse.

13:35 Cachia says that KSU does not foster a sense of belonging among the student body that he believes will result in further student participation. He says that KSU should be one that encourages student participation and not one that remains hidden in his office.

13:34 Grech also says that the Vice President should tackle student internships and claims his self-belief in taking the Vice-Presidency role to the next level it deserves.

13:33 Grech says that, besides his experience within MHSA, he also has experience within KPS, sub-committees and as  astudent rep. He says that the Vice-Presidency role is a crucial one and wants to introduce an online project management system that will keep the continuous work of the student organisations in check.

13:31 Grech says that this year had seen a slight shift in the set-up of Freshers’ Week with the set-up of the organisations’ stands that was met with positive feedback. He says that their stalls should be better ventilated and less squashed. He also agrees that all faculties should have a stand for their respective organisations and brings up the example of MHSA who have already implemented this scheme.

13:29 Cachia says that KSU is there for the organisations, not only for the sponsors and that Freshers’ Week should reflect this. He says that Freshers’ Week should expand beyond the tent at Quad and throughout the University.

13:28 Cachia says that organisations should be responsible for the running of Freshers’ Week and that it should not exist solely for the promotion of KSU-related activities but for organisations to promote their own personal messages and make students aware that student-life should be about more than academics. With regards to sponsors, Cachia says that KSU should start targeting major companies.

13:27 He says that KSU should open a database of companies’ long-term involvement in KSU and that sponsors should be present for other events besides Freshers’ Week too.

13:24 The first question regards the new role given to the Vice-President in the organisation of Freshers’ Week. Grech says that he has been a part of MHSA for three years and that all organisations should be allowed to give their input as to how Freshers’ Week should be set up. He would like to review the Rate Card, which is basically a list for sponsors to know what is available for them. There is still work to be done different types of packages that are aimed to attract different types of sponsors.

13:23 It is time for the Vice-Presidents to take to the stand, with Robert Cachia representing Pulse and Mark Grech representing SDM.

13:16 So which party do you think has been most convincing so far? Share your thoughts on Insite’s Facebook page or in the comments section of this live blog.

13:10 It is time for a five minute break before the debate continues with the Vice-Presidents from both sides taking to the hotseat.

13:09 Caruana Turner tries to snatch the microphone away from Terribile but Terribile pulls it back.

13:08 Julian Caruana tells Caruana Turner that the discussion cannot be on the Legal Studies issue because KSU is not present to comment. He thanks him for bringing it up as an example.

13:07 Caruana Turner refers to Legal Studies issues that had attempted to create a syllabus to render law students more competent with law that KSU just shut down and stuck with the administration.

13:06 Terribile speaks about Caruana Turner’s statement that KSU is not representing students well enough. He says that he has been involved in several of KSU’s events and of KSU’s agreement with UESA’s complaint form system.

13:05 Caruana Turner says that the room allocation report does not take into account the needs of the organisations. He says that the ‘likes’ on their Facebook pages represent their popularity within the student body.

13:04 Caruana Turner says that KSU has not been in the centre because they had refused to listen to organisations.

13:02 Caruana Turner doesn’t believe that the structure of the student house means that it cannot be refurbished. KSU should be in the centre of student life and as such should consult the organisations themselves. He thinks that KSU should think about moving some organisations out of Student House and into empty rooms, perhaps in Gateway rooms.

13:01 Terribile says that only three organisations have asked KSU for an office and questions the need to spend money on offices when a new student house will be constructed within the next two years. He believes that KSU should reorganise and refurbish the organisations’ offices.

13:00 Terribile says that, despite the shift of Campus Fest organisation to the VP’s office, the Sec Gen will still be involved within it.

12:59 Terribile speaks about the Room Allocation Report and his knowledge as to how things are done…

12:59 Caruana Turner speaks about his experience as treasurer and Vice-President, as well as his involvement in ACCA which provides him with a solid administrative background and experience and a good network in setting up large scale events. His age will help too.

12:58 Next to take the hotseat are Kenneth Terribile representing SDM and Paul Caruana Turner representing Pulse, contesting for Sec Gen.

12:57 Pace Cocks says that KSU should stop looking at the past and ahead to the future on a long-term basis.

12:56 Baldacchino once more says that KSU’s failure to rent out the IC Centre resulted in a massive financial loss. He says that KSU should be able to take risks if they will benefit the student body.

12:55 Pace Cocks agrees with Baldacchino’s ideas on cost-cutting but thinks it is so obvious that it is hardly worth discussing. Baldacchino says that the fact that the Vice-President has now taken on the role of organizing Freshers’ Week from the Sec Gen is a good one.

12:54 Baldacchino speaks about the importance of renting out the IC centre that was not achieved by the previous KSU.

12:53 Baldacchino mentions the lack of income made through Freshers’ Week when compared to the year before. He believes that Campus Fest should be more than just quad-tents split up for commercial business and that KSU should look at the money they get in line with what they spend.

12:52 Caruana asks the candidates whether they believe with the previous KSU’s decision to spend over 70,000 euro on the Grad Ball. Pace Cocks believes that, although the prices were indeed high, the fact that students enjoy it rendered the decision a good one.

12:49 Jana Pace Cocks is a B.Comm student, studying accounts and insurance which she believes renders her capable for the position. She speaks about the need for finance transparency within KSU that will be aided by a board of discipline.

12:48 Baldacchino mentions that the largest income for KSU comes from sponsorships, events and income streams, particularly events.

12:47 Baldacchino speaks about his Intermediate result in accountancy but says that the Financial Officer role is about more than accounting and includes management and budget work, which he believes that his three-year involvement and eventual presidency with ASCS  will help.

12:47 Next up are the candidates for the role of Financial Officer with Alistair Baldacchino representing SDM and Jana Pace Cocks representing Pulse. Julian Caruana asks them about their experience in finance. The question is: Considering that the control of plenty of money is involved, it would be interesting to know what experience you have in this regard? How do you plan to increase KSU’s financial revenue?

12:45 Tolu says that it is too little, too late for discussion as the bill has been all but signed already and claims that KSU should start discussing the Gender Identity Bill.

12:43 Julian Caruana asks about the pending of the civil union bill that SDM’s president has said that it is open to discussion to and wonders what Andrew Muscat’s position on it is. Muscat says that he places the student’s voice above all others and reiterates the SDM President’s claims that SDM are indeed open to discussion about the bill.

12:42 Tolu questions Muscat’s lack of involvement within KPS. Muscat reiterates that he has attended cyber harassment talks and that he had the role of logistics officer which means that he was up-to-date, despite his lack of involvement within KPS. He speaks about his legal background which renders him competent in social policy issues.

12:41 Muscat says that the problem is a procedural ones and says that SDM is going to invite students to discuss such major issues.

12:39 Muscat speaks about the current local issue regarding spring hunting, gay rights, the environment, the micro and macro economic approaches, animal welfare and the decriminalization of drugs.

12:38 Tolu says that the problem is that it is only the organisations who discuss issues such as immigration and says that KPS should be more pro-active by making students aware that they are within their rights to call a KPS meeting.

12:37 Tolu believes that the issues that students care most about are not the ones discussed in KPS but ones that involve them on a personal level, such as the lack of enough parking spaces.

12:37 Julian Caruana asks them what they believe are the major issues that students care about the most.

12:36 Next up are the candidates for the role of Social Policy officer with Mina Tolu representing Pulse and Andrew Muscat representing SDM.

12:35 Civelli believes that KSU’s culture and entertainment events have been successful but that there is still room for improvement. He speaks of Pulse’s plan for the World Cup Village this June and for the need to make events more multi-cultural friendly.

12:34 Sammut Alessi mentions the Cultural Commitee work that encourages student involvement. He says that organisations are open to everyone but that their involvement should be encouraged even more. Camilleri agrees with him.

12:33 Camilleri mentions the tight deadlines that she believes render Farrugia’s wishes idealistic.

12:32 Camilleri speaks about the promotion of KSU through their Facebook page but Farrugia questions her as to how much KSU has asked students for their opinions and initiatives and points out that, as it stands, students have to approach KSU themselves and not get invited.

12:32 Julia Farrugia mentions that KSU’s focus has been more on entertainment and less on culture. Camilleri mentions the Culture Fund but Farrugia points out that it has only been implemented very recently.

12:31 Camilleri says that she is constantly trying to appeal students as much as possible. This year she wants to expand on the sub-committee and involve more students. With the sponsorship of V18, KSU will attempt to secure cultural internships as well as more events.

12:29 Kyle Civelli has been involved in student organisations for 7 years. He was also involved in KSJC as President.

12:28 Steve Sammut Alessi speaks about his involvement in MMSA and his role in organizing a live-in that was attended by 285 people.

12:27 Julia Farrugia speaks about her involvement in Youth for the Environment and in the KSU Culture Sub-Committee as well as her experience in JC.

12:26 The first question is: What’s your background and experience? Did you ever organise activities on this scale? Becky Camilleri speaks about her experience as vice-president for KSU and her involvement in Students’ Fest as well as in other mini events. She also speaks about her background in theatre. She claims to know what students consider to be fun.

12:24 The chair for this event is Insite’s Media Officer Julian Caruana.

12:21 The first candidates to speak will be those contesting for the roles within the Culture and Entertainment Office with Steve Sammut Alessi and Rebecca Camilleri representing SDM and Kyle Civelli and Julia Farrugia representing Pulse.

12:18 The event is about to begin. For the first time in the history of UoM, all the candidates representing Pulse and SDM will get a chance to publicly speak about the roles they wish to take up within KSU.

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