As we approach the end of another scholastic year, the time has come for KSU’s Annual General Meeting. The KSU AGM is the highest institution within the University Students’ Council’s structure. It is here that any structural changes to the council can be made, and it is here as well that all formal nominations for the upcoming executive must also be made.
With a lot of chatter about the electoral system behind KSU, and further rumours that an independent candidate will be contesting for a place on the Executive Board; this should prove to be a very interesting meeting.
So join us, as we take you through the events of the day with our Live Commentary only here, on The Yuppie.
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Hello Everyone! We are live at Sir Temi Zammit Hall as we await the start of KSU’s Annual General Meeting. We will be taking you through all the proceedings of this meeting; a meeting which is the highest institution within the University Student’s Council’s structure.
People are still filtering into the Hall, but we’re expecting the meeting to start pretty soon.
So, as we build up to the start of this AGM…what’s the climate coming into today?
The key opening presentation just finished and the meeting has officially started.
For the second year running, Pulse will not be contesting the elections for next year’s KSU’s Executive Board, leaving SDM to contest alone for the second year running. However there will also be an independent candidate competing for one post.
So, Gayle Lynn Callus has been appointed and confirmed as the Chair for this AGM. We’ve got 181 people in the house tonight.
The agenda has been approved, and it will be as follows:
1. Appointment of the Chair
2. Approval of the Agenda
3. Minutes: Reporting of the Minutes and Approval
4. Annual Report
5. Appointment of The Board of Discipline and of The Appeals Board
6. Appointment of the Auditor
7. Appointment of the Advocate
8.Appointment of the Electoral Commission
9. Appointment of the Architect
10. Discussion and Voting on the Motions put forward by the Executive and/or the Partners
11. Nomination and Presentation of the Candidates for the New Executive
With the minutes approved, it’s time for us to go over the Annual Report.
KSU Financial Officer Joseph Teuma now takes us through the Financial Report after the Annual Report, presented by Secretary General, Robert Napier is approved by the 190 members in the house.
Next up is the Financial Report for the year ended December 2016. Surplus for the year 2016 was of some €1,314.
Income itself has increased to 305,736 euros; an increase of 20,000 euros on last year.
Expenses have been noted to decrease throughout the years, except in administration fees, where they have notably increased.
The Financial Report is approved with no votes against.
It is now the turn of KSU President Steph Dalli to take the stand to tell us about the work done by KSU throughout this year.
She speaks about how KSU has promoted ways for Student Organisations to show off their work, through the Organisations Day.
She also mentions a number of activities that have treated important subjects, such as the event One Billion Rising and other events treating issues such as minority rights and eating disorders.
She speaks about the importance of Student’s Fest and the importance of giving students the opportunity to show their talents – doing so through the introduction of Creative Spaces and through the founding of the Malta University Debating Union.
She emphasizes on the importance of the work done daily by KSU in order to keep students connected and providing a medium for them to voice their opinions on day to day student matters.
Next up is vice president Mark Trapani commenting on the success of Fresher’s Week hosted by KSU
She closes off her speech by thanking everyone for the fantastic support she’s received through out her 3 years in KSU, and, with an emotional end, laments on how she will miss having KSU as part of her life.
Thanks to fresher’s week the amount of freebies handed out proved successful in giving a warm welcome to many students at the beginning of October. Furthermore, contracts with HSBC were renewed for another 3 years. Contracts with GO, KPMG and others were refreshed successfully in order to keep the success of Fresher’s Week going strong.
Another point he made was the promotion of the latest Green Area near the architecture buildings. Promotion of the new Nextbike System on campus which he pointed out is proving successful among students so far, extending contracts with support from Gasan Mamo Insurance and Nextbike Malta.
Sponsors such as Times of Malta, Nextbike, Michael Debono Ltd., GO and others were thanked for their importance and contributions to KSU in Fresher’s Week and concurring events on campus hosted frequently at the University of Malta.
Moving on to the speech by Secretary General, Robert Napier.
“It was not an easy year”, he starts. Despite this, he says that continuity is essential and that he has no words to describe how good his time in KSU was.
One of the biggest challenges he faced was setting up the Room Allocation Report, along with maintaining these rooms. He thanks the student organisations for the co-operation that they have always shown with him.
A new centralised system for booking and checking of equipment done through KSU.
For another year, KSU has offered the Student Card which offers more discounts to the students.
The council has also invested in Solar powered lights on the pathway going to IT Services, as he pointed out that it used to be notably dark when walking to lectures in the evening.
The Malta University Debating Union is something that he has been working on for a while. He laments on how successful it has been so far and mentions the successful debate that took place on Quad yesterday; one which saw a very large attendance.
He speaks about how KSU has dealt with issues, such as the proposed rental fees of spaces on Campus by organisations.
Closing off, his speech he thanks everyone from his family, registrar and the wonderful Daniela, KSU’s permanent secretary. This isn’t the last we’ll see of Robert Napier; he is in line to be the next KSU President, with nobody contesting him for this post.
Next up is Joseph Teuma financial officer. An incentive of contract for students fest and others. Further improvements in the KSU research and opportunity fund. Promotion of Two Wheel Fund for students looking to buy their first motorcycle.
Expenses of transport for Gozitan students is being tackled with free transport on Sundays so that students can spend the weekend in Gozo and come back to university residence Sunday evening.
Moving on we have the Public Relation Officer, Anna Vella to give out her speech.
She speaks about Fresher’s Week and laments on the positive results and great experience that came with it.
Throughout the year then, she speaks about the media campaigns followed by KSU. One of these for instance is the “What’s On Campus” initiative.
The second semester saw preparation starting on the AGM but also a Marketing and Design Workshop in collaboration with BRND WGN which was a success.
She speaks about how she always dreamt of being in the position she is today as public relations officer and further talks about how she helps in constantly trying to fulfill all aspirations for students.
She closes off thanking her colleagues notably Mark Trapani for his endless support in the work she does. She thanks her friends and family for the ongoing patience and support and states that KSU in itself will continue to grow in one of the best ways possible.
Next up is the report from the International Officers; Julia Portanier and Martina Briffa.
Ms. Portanier speaks about the activities conducted for international students such as the welcome party and buddy system.
Ms. Briffa speaks about how KSU has collaborated with the European Parliament in light of Malta’s Presidency of the European Union to offer internships to students.
She speaks about collaboration with the American Embassy in a Webinar on Marine Litter two days ago, one which was very informative and well-attended.
She speaks about how KSU have been working to organise the European Student Union Board Meetings which is taking place at the beginning of May and is a prestigious highlight of the Student’s calendar, one which takes place in different locations.
Next is the turn of Education Officer Rebecca Stoner to take the stage.
She speaks about the several initiatives presented by KSU to help students especially in times of exams such as the Extended Library Hours, Dissertation Workshops and Alternative Study Areas.
Ms. Stoner also speaks about how KSU value relating campus with the outside world of work and hence organised the Careers and Research Expo back in March.
Her colleague, Tina Miggiani, takes the stage and speaks of her pride at being part of this Executive.
Ms. Miggiani speaks about how she was worked alongside Ms. Stoner for a number of initiatives which have held the student close to heart, such as examinations in Gozo and Exam Hall and Invigilators Feedback Forms.
Next up we have Etienne Buttigieg and Alex Hili speaking on behalf of social policy.
They speak about the movement “Table a motion” and various discussions organised by KSU on topics like feminism, euthanasia and others. This gives direct involvement to students who wish to table their opinions on such topics.
Etienne closes off with the promotion of the Superheroes of Society and the WALL-E Social policy event during the KSU tech days.
Mr. Buttigieg is followed by his colleague, Alex Hili. He speaks about how they have worked to protect Malta’s environment, through two whole weeks which were dedicated to nature – such as KSU’s Nature Week.
STRIP: Rethinking Our Roots was another important and successful project done in collaboration with SACES that Mr. Hili is proud of.
He also speaks about KSU’s transport initiatives which have all promoted a healthier, more environmentally friendly way of getting around.
He speaks about the upcoming KSU Challenge which encourages students to put their business ideas to the test and win prizes to then get those ideas into reality.
Down to the last office now; Culture and Entertainment as presented by Steve Zammit Lupi and Denis Muscat.
Starting off from Mr. Zammit Lupi; he speaks about how much work and sacrifice it takes to working in KSU. He speaks about how positive the year was, despite the obstacles they faced.
He speaks about student apathy and how it was at times a struggle to get people aware of activities and furthermore; getting them to attend.
A number of activities have been organised; such as the Euro Village, Organisations BBQ, Campus Fest, Grad Ball and a trip to Gozo.
The Drive-In Cinema, Solidarity Week and Lejla Maltija have all been other initiatives focused on this field. Sport has also seen support; with the University of Malta Futsal Team finding themselves in the Top 5 teams on the whole island, whilst support was also given to other National teams. He speaks about the possibility of a University Volleyball team in the near future as well.
Moving on to Mr. Muscat; he speaks about KSU’s Student’s Fest – which he was co-ordinator of. This year’s production, Sai Mulan was a resounding success with 300 students participating and 3 nearly sold out nights of performances.
Local talent has been supported heavily by KSU throughout all their events. Kokka Campus was an idea that recognises that local talent of the everyday people who work hard and make sacrifices for others.
That brings the reports to a close.
Moving on to a vote on all these reports.
The Reports are approved with no votes against.
Next is the speech of the representative from Gozo, Maria Dimech; who is the (metaphorical) bridge between KSU and Gozo’s Students.
She speaks about how she has worked for initiatives for Gozitan students and she thanks KSU for initiatives such as the transport fund for Gozitan students. She speaks about her wish for Gozitan students to be able to sit for exams in Gozo. She closes by thanking Steph Dalli specifically for the work she has done.
Moving on to the next point; the appointment of The Disciplinary Board and Appeal’s Board.
For the Discipliniary Board and Appeal’s Board, the following people have been nominated for the post:
– Luke Muscat
– Maria Muscat
– Ernest Mercieca
– Fran Abela
– Clive Aquilina
– Andreas Anastasi
– Johnluke Ellul
Nominations approved without votes against.
Next is the Appointment of the Auditor – there are no nominations and so the auditors shall remain the same as last year.
The same occurs for the nomination of the Advocate, where Robert Napier nominates Peter Fenech who served with KSU over this past year. No other nominations are received and the appointment is approved.
Next is the appointment of the Electoral Comission. One comissioner is needed whilst another 10 students and 2 in reserve.
Nominated for Comissioner is Mr. Duncan Muscat. No other nominations.
Nominees for the actual comission are as follows: Leo Muscat, Emanuel Zammit, Michael Piccinino, Kurt Grech, James Aaron Ellul, Jeanette Gillard, Matthew John Dougall, Karl Attard, Chiara Francesca Refalo.
Two Reserves now needed, nominated are; Petra Grech and Mario Micallef.
All members approved.
Duncan Muscat is nominated as Architect. No other nominations received. Nomination approved.
Now we come to a discussion on motions by the Executive Board. There is one motion to discuss; a statutory vote, proposed by Robert Napier and seconded by Steph Dalli. The motion changes section 8 which concerns the date of the AGM, which restricts it to between March 1st and April 30th. The difference at the moment is that the statute states that the AGM must happen up until April 15th rather than April 30th.
The reason of this, as Mr. Napier states, is due to the fact that since the holidays came when they came and the hall was occupied by Student’s Fest – KSU was unable to do the AGM within the specified dates.
The vote is passed and the statute is amended.
Time now for the nomination of candidates for the upcoming executive.
Nominations are as follows:
President – Robert Napier
Vice-President – Steve Zammit Lupi
Secretary General – Carla Galea
Financial Officer – Joseph Teuma
Public Relations Officer – Michael Aquilina
International Officer – Anthea Fenech
International Co-Ordinator – Martina Darmanin
Education Officer – Gillian Asciak
Social Policy Officer – Celine Talbot
Culture and Entertainment Officer – Harley Mallia for SDM and Nicholas Martinelli as an Independent Candidate.
Culture and Entertainment Co-Ordinator – Luke Abela.
An Election will have to take place for the position of Culture and Entertainment Officer. All other candidates are automatically elected as they are uncontested; but they may speak on stage to support their nomination.
The nominee Robert Napier will now be giving a short 1 minute speech. He wishes that he gets elected for the 3rd year in KSU. He promises to give his utmost and he will make sure that adequate representation is given to all students as done before in the past two years.
Steve Zammit Lupi is the second nominee for KSU. He claims that being in the council takes large amounts of dedication and personal time which he gladly gave out for his work in KSU. This will be his 7th year being active in student organisations. He is ready for a vote of no confidence.
Carla Galea will be contesting for the role of Secretary General. She speaks about how she helped found an organisation based in Gozo and acknowledges the work that the position she is pushing for has. She says that she will continue on the good work that this executive has done. She thanks SDM for the faith showed to her and she says that she is ready to sit for a vote of no confidence by the house, as is allowed within the statute.
Joseph Teuma 3rd year student, and second year running for financial officer. He believes that he has the adequate values in order to complete his task. He is ready for a vote of no confidence as well.
Michael Aquilina is contesting for the position of PRO. For the past 2 years, he has been involved in the ICT Student’s Association; first as Media Officer and then as President. He is ready to continue to revolutionise KSU’s visual side. He is also ready for a vote of no confidence.
Anthea Fenech She believes that she has that appropriate values to contest second time as an international officer to give more opportunities to students studying at university
Martina Darmanin for international office; She believes that students get to speak about their experiences and uses that in order to get an idea what to see to in terms of more opportunities for said students. She is ready for a vote of no confidence.
Gillian Asciak will be nominated for Education Officer – she is an Archaeology Student who has experience as a student representative for the Faculty of Arts and also served for 2 years in the now defunct Art’s Student Association. She too is ready for a no confidence vote.
Celine Talbot on Social Policy in the name of sdm. She wishes to continue striving for student activism. with student’s help she wants to help achieve the student being constantly informed as well as kept in the loop of university affairs. She is ready for a vote of no confidence.
Luke Abela is uncontested for the post of Culture and Entertainment Co-ordinator. A medicine student, he has 3 years of experience in MMSA. He is excited to work in KSU and looks forward to working for the students. He is ready for a vote of no confidence.
After no objections, it is confirmed that these 10 candidates will form part of KSU for the next legislative term.
It is now the turn of Nicholas Martinelli to put his case forward for the Culture and Entertainment Office. He will be contesting independently. He is contesting for this role as he feels that his experience in the field and in student activism; namely as Events Officer within the University of Malta Futsal Club. Aside from this he believes that a system change is needed wherein he wants to motivate a change in the trend that a student needs to be part of an organisation to gain election into KSU. He affirms that he is ready to work with all the elected members of SDM, if elected.
Martinelli will face off against Harley Mallia who will be contesting on SDM’s ticket for the same post. She believes that she is the ideal candidate for this role due to her experience in this field both within and outside of university. She wants to give a new look to the Entertainment office with new and innovative ideas. With passion and enthusiasm to her field, she looks forward to a year of events and successes that will be of positive affect to the student whilst she affirms that she will be committed to receiving all feedback from students.
With that, this AGM has come to an end – we await news on when the election for the Culture and Entertainment Office will take place. Till then, that’s it from us – and we’ll be providing you with a handy summary of this meeting later today.
Thanks for following!