Husting’s Day 1 saw the competition jump start between the two candidates for SA Home Officer; Andy Tan and Lavanya Sara. After presenting their manifestos and thoughts about their ability to serve this position to the fullest, they were asked several questions from the audience during the Hustings and from IGNITE after the event.
One of the two candidates who is running for the Home Officer post, Andy Tan started the hustings and his speech with a bold greeting of “Reformation, Reformasi” and noted that a reformation is what the Home Students’ Officer position needs at the moment.
Andy’s focus was divided into seven categories ranging from a variety of needs that students were found to have voiced their concerns on.
The first focus of the manifesto was ‘commitment to the transparency in work’ where the activities done by the Home Students’ Officer and his team would be published online via Facebook and the Student Association’s web page.
Another popular keynote of the manifesto was the proposal of a standardised operating procedure for security checks at the guardhouses around the university as many students are disappointed by the current situation.
He then moved on to briefly explain the other aspects of his manifesto from checking and ensuring the UNMC buses’ punctuality, standardising the rules and regulations for the hygiene requirements of food vendors and incorporation of the ‘Engagement Program’ during the yearly Malaysia Festival organised by the Home Students’ Officer.
Question and Answer Session
During the Question and Answer session, the audience raised a number of questions from different points of Andy’s speech and manifesto. When asked what the candidate would do differently for the Malaysian Festival and how the student participation could be increased, Andy proposed the ‘Engagement Program’. As he elaborated, it is a program that recruits Malaysian student ambassadors to provide a ‘guide on campus’ and a first friend figure to an international student group to make their transition into UNMC easier and comfortable.
IGNITE asked Andy what he would do differently to motivate more local students to take part in MYFEST. Andy notes that the Malaysians, despite being shy and reserved, are very open to the idea of getting to know people from different cultures and around the world. The Engagement Program, as part of Malaysia Festival, could be used as a ‘legitimate platform’ and as an excuse to increase the interaction of communication between the locals and international students and thus, motivating them to participate.
Lavanya Sara is the second candidate for the Home Officer position. She opened her speech by a promise not to make empty promises and instead will focus on showcasing how she can serve the student body. She emphasized changes that she wishes to bring mainly concerning health and accommodation.
In her first area of focus, health, she proposed the formation of a standard module for FAST team. The module will be tailored towards the campus needs, focusing on recurring accidents on campus. Lavanya, reiterating some points heard in her competitor’s speech, then addressed the issue of the absence of an ambulance on campus. Lavanya voiced that despite lack of funds and manpower to have an ambulance on campus as reasoned by Andy earlier, she will make an effort to drive the management to reconsider.
The final transformation is to create a standard layout displaying the hall tutors and wardens at fixed positions in the halls for the students to find easily. She ended her speech by assuring the audience that she will not merely be approachable but also to be a bridge between the students and management.
Question and Answer Session
Lavanya was questioned how she was going to ensure that the food options are according to the student’s preferences when the existing food stalls are under a contract with UNMC. Lavanya stated that she believed the student’s are merely concerned with hygiene. She proposed an award of a golden plate for the best stall as an incentive to encourage the rest of the stalls to improve their quality.
Another audience member stated that the first aid certificate was standardised and issued by an outside governmental body and whether by suggesting this module, Lavanya would be proposing a whole separate system. Lavanya clarified that the module was actually a manual that will be provided to students and staff who are not in the FAST team to be used in emergencies. The student pointed out that if the manual is improperly used by an uncertified non-FAST member it would lead to legal troubles. Lavanya backtracked and specified that the manual will be used by the FAST team only.
Written by Samudhra Sendhil and Rzan Mohamed Salih Abdalla
Photographs by Kuan Meng Xian