On Monday 12th November, at 7:30pm in F1A15, everyone was buzzing with pre-Presidential Hustings excitement, while the three candidates were already at the front row seat, preparing for their upcoming speech and Q&A session. Fifteen minutes later, the Student Council Vice Chair, Taiba, took the stage to greet everyone as a cue that the Hustings has officially began.

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Image obtained from SA General Elections Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SAGeneralElections/

The first presenting candidate, Ahmed Elgamal, introduced himself as a passionate individual equipped with necessary “experience” required to lead the Students’ Association. Previously, Ahmed had organised Egyptians’ Society First Island Trip last year, and is leading the Events Monitoring Team as their leader this year. He briefly mentioned several proposed manifesto items, and emphasised on assisting Clubs & Societies who are lacking in “either experience, resources, manpower or advice” through the Activities Network. During Q&A, he insisted on lobbying for van routes from J Block halls to the bus stop, a “luxury” idea which he likened to the bus routes to IOI. On the idea of displaying unoccupied computers on the SA website, he reported that this was not difficult to implement and does not require a lot of hardware, based on his prior consultation with a local expert which he did not name.

Next up was Muhammad Amry, who desired to “rebuild people’s trust in SA”. His leadership history includes being a chief scout, head prefect, and the co-head of Theatre in Literature And Drama Society (2018/19). When asked about how his previous leadership roles could contribute to the SA presidential role, he stated that theatre production in LADS required cooperation across many departments, which is analogous to the SA and its networks. Budgeting was also a skill he learnt from his chief scout experience. He emphasized on “direct communication” between SA Executives and the student body. Nonetheless, questions were asked about how he would improve the chemistry with the SA Executives if he was elected as the president, to which he replied that professionalism – the ability to work well with the team despite differences – was more important than team chemistry, and ensured that he will get things done efficiently with the team.

The last candidate up was Roshini Rajan, whose opening speech was much more focused on her manifesto items. Only during Q&A did she revealed several managerial experiences in university, such as being the course representative. Several questions asked by the audience were targeted at her idea of longer opening hours in the library and availing more classrooms as additional study areas. She admitted that having these rooms open 24-hours was not feasible at this point in time, but she would like to at least extend the classroom opening hours from 8pm to 2am. In terms of bridging the gap between SA Executives and the student body, her manifesto item was to hold forums and encourage students to attend via email and social media. Furthermore, the issue of smokers on campus as well as the release of SA Executives meeting minutes was also brought up.

The Hustings ended around 8:50pm, and immediately the Presidential Debate commenced. The questions asked were as below: –

  • How will you make sure everyone, regardless of their background, will feel included and not isolated from SA and the student body? (prepared question)
  • How will you ensure transparency between the students of the university and the SA Executives such that your progress is witnessed? (prepared question)
  • When there is something the student body wants, but due to one reason or another it cannot be achieved, how will you convey this to the students effectively, rather than looking incompetent? (prepared question)
  • State 3 reasons why UNMC might not vote for you. (audience question)
  • What do you see in yourself that other candidates lack? (audience question)
  • Amry to Ahmed: What are your future plans if you were not elected to become President?
    Roshini to Ahmed: Why run for President when you could just continue being the Head of EMT?
  • Ahmed to Amry: Your manifesto consists more of principles and not of plans.
    Roshini to Amry: Why run for President?
  • Amry to Roshini: How will you encourage students to attend the forums?
    Ahmed to Roshini: Why have manifesto items about additional studying space when Stress Relief Society is already on it, but it does not seem to have good response?

Both the Hustings and the Debate were recorded live on Students’ Association Facebook page. Click on the links below to watch them and decide who to vote for!

The SA Presidential By-Election LIVE

Posted by Students' Association University of Nottingham Malaysia on Isnin, 12 November 2018

SA Presidential By-Election Debate!

SA Presidential By-Election Debate!

Posted by Students' Association University of Nottingham Malaysia on Isnin, 12 November 2018

The voting period hasn’t ended, so don’t miss the chance to exercise your rights as a student in UoN Malaysia’ Students’ Association!