During SDM’s candidate launch last Monday, one of the eleven candidates revealed was Harley Mallia, who will be contesting for the role of Culture and Entertainment Officer for the KSU executive 2017/18. After this news became public, rumours spread that Mallia will be contested against for this role.
It is now confirmed that Nicholas Martinelli has decided to contest as an independent candidate for the Culture and Entertainment role. After releasing his campaign and giving a speech during the KSU AGM yesterday, Insite approached Martinelli to give his comments about his candidacy.
“I believe in a university where students should have the possibility to vote for someone who is not affiliated with any political student organisation. They would vote for the person based on his or her capabilities and ideologies, and not because he or she is associated with a party. I want to show students that you don’t need to be approached by the political student organisations to be given the opportunity for KSU, but rather take the initiative to achieve something great and be the change that is needed at University.”
Nicholas continued to say that what might have been holding independent candidates back from contesting is financial constraints. He discussed that as an individual student it is impossible to match SDM or Pulse’s budget for promotion. Additionally, he touched upon the idea that University students have gotten used to the idea of two parties (SDM and Pulse), which would be difficult to go up against.
When asked about what he will bring to the table if elected, Martinelli said that “If given the opportunity, I plan to bring my experience, organisational capabilities and a breath of fresh air towards the KSU. I look forward to work with the other candidates, some of whom are good friends of mine. Within the next days I will be launching the proposals that were created, with which I aspire to continue building on the work previously done by Denis and Steve and others before them, so that together we will strengthen student activism!”
On the other hand, Harley Mallia expressed that, “Although I am the only one contesting, I do not feel alone or singled out from the rest of the SDM team. Being part of the SDM team means that we function as a whole and this makes a very big difference with regards to this election. While I am contesting alone on paper, it does not feel that way.”
She continued to say that even though this situation is unexpected, the system allows for independent candidates to contest, and she was always prepared for such an instance. However, she did admit that it is strange that they found out about this on social media, after having worked with Martinelli on Student Fest for the past weeks.
She also attended to the fact that the Culture and Entertainment office goes beyond theatre and drama, two things which she holds very close to heart.
“Together with my fellow colleague Luke Abela, we aim to work together on numerous proposals as envisaged on the SDM Manifesto, including the collaboration with the UoM Futsal Team, the creation of a creative space on quadrangle, and the support to the Theatre Group and Orchestra at JC.”
“Being a student within the Faculty of Social Well-being and also having participated and assisted in the voluntary sector, events related to ALS Malta etc. I really envision pushing forward other proposals such as the organisation of a Volunteering Fair, initiatives related to Charity, ‘Be an Inspiration Campaign’ in collaboration with other Student Organisations and also the organisation of a Social Anxiety Campaign.”
The election which decides who will take on the role of Culture and Entertainment Officer will take place next Thursday 4th May from the morning until 18:00. Make your voice is heard by casting your vote to choose who will represent University students for the next academic year.