KSU’s Alex Hili speaks to The Yuppie on Student Activism

With student apathy on the rise and lack of campaigning becoming the norm, it was only a matter of time before the Yuppie had a sit-down with one of Kunsill Studenti Universitarji’s correspondents. As social policy commissioner for KSU, Alexander Hili was a suitable candidate to comment on the subject at hand.  Indeed, Hili was elected through the KPS commission.

University based politics are at a standstill lately. Hili believes that elections are moving away from bloc votes. Taking this year into consideration, SDM have no competitors, as Pulse have shied away from contending. This is an unfortunate turn of events for student activism — campaigning boosts student life and the will to participate in campus-based affairs. Nevertheless, there is currently a lack of diversity. With only SDM competing, there is no one to contradict and ignite debate — unless of course, independent parties are to take the stand instead. Contradictions and diversity of ideas are important in a democracy. Hili, on behalf of KSU, comments that diversity of ideas is important especially if they could take student politics on a better path.

Indeed, Hili’s described the absence of arguments in the political pool as “stagnant water”. Disappointed in current events, he comments on a certain lack of resilience. Despite the inevitability that one of the contending parties might lose the election, and the fear that loss is often interpreted as a sign of weakness; there is still a silver lining. Competitors would have still pushed forward their ideas — ideas which might have very well resulted in change. Refusal to run, and keeping silent, is ultimately what has led to this ‘rut’ on campus.

The importance of student activists to be aware of current affairs is vital. Moreover, it is essential for organisations to maintain a strong relationship with KSU. This results in how seriously policies are taken. Indeed, if there is widespread interest or concern in a topic, such as congestion or traffic, for example, there is a greater guarantee that action would be taken with KSU on board. After a nine-year-long presence in student politics, Hili believes that student activism is at an all-time low. He states that there’s one commonplace problem with the way series of events are being tackled — the same solution is being used to tackle each and every problem which arises on campus. Another issue is the constant hubbub on quadrangle; it’s always busy. It is to no surprise to me that this is often found to be tiring to students.

Hili vividly remembers his early political years on campus as hectic. Indeed, one of his lecturers had told his class that “[they’re] not only here to learn, but to grow up”. Being active on campus builds character and personality. It is not about simply learning and regurgitating textbooks by heart — it’s about being involved in something that matters. Having an opinion and voicing it is apathy’s worst enemy. Worrying about studies seems to be a popular trend amongst students; Hili remembers a time during which his responsibilities within KSU had affected his studies. However, this did not stop him from being active. He believes that striking a balance between student life and personal life is key. Much to the contrary of popular belief; it is not a game of either or.

Join the ‘Education Without Representation’ Debate on the 25th of April, alongside The Yuppie and Insite Malta to voice your concerns on student matters.

Emma Sammut

Emma Sammut

Secretary General at The Yuppie Malta
My friends describe me as “ambitious”, “relaxed yet dedicated”, “salty” and “borderline-aggressive”. I’m often susceptible to coffee-induced musings at the height of night. And as a law student, I need the caffeine. My know-how lies within International political dynamics, especially those within the European Union.
Emma Sammut

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