Dario Cacopardo and Gabriella Sutton will also be going head to head during our KE/KPS Debate on Friday 5th May.
An election will be held on Wednesday 10th May at 6pm in Common Room, where representatives of the different student organisations that are part of KPS will have the opportunity to vote between Cacopardo and Sutton. The chosen candidate will be working hand in hand with the already elected KSU Social Policy Officer Celine Talbot.
Dario Cacopardo is a 3rd Year B.Com student, specialising in Economics and Public Policy. He has been active student since his days at the De La Salle Sixth Form, and has most recently acted International Officer for JEF Malta and then KPS Officer for the UoM Rowing Club.
Gabriella Sutton is reading for a BSc in Applied Biomedical Science. She occupied the role of External Relations Manager within AIESEC Malta, before moving on to MHSA as International Officer and then Secretary General. She is also serving as a student representative for the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Before Insite and The Yuppie welcome the two KPS candidates onto the Hotseat during Friday’s debate, we spoke to Cacopardo and Sutton about their intentions for contesting to be part of this year’s KSU Social Policy Office.
Why did you decide to contest for KPS?
Dario: I have always liked occupying a policy role within an organisation. After attending to almost every KPS meeting held throughout this year, I have realised the potential such an organ has. KPS should not only be a forum for student deliberation. It should be a movement of student activists. I envision a movement which really and truly addresses problems which have been given the side for a long time.
Gabriella: Placing students’ rights and interests first has been my mantra for the past 3 years in the student organisations sphere. I have always made it my duty to act as a support system for as many organisations as possible, by being physically present and lending a hand if need be.
With that being said, KPS is the best platform and support system for student organisations to reach out to in terms of student affairs. The similar attitude I had towards student organisations, and the potential of the KPS office, led me to realise that KPS is the best platform for me to continue fighting for student organisations. This is the main reason why I decided to contest for the role of Social Policy Commissioner.
Which of your proposals will bring something new to the table?
Dario: My manifesto includes 30 proposals, aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the social policy office. These include:
- A fairer distribution of offices within students’ house
- More frequent dialogue with individual organisations
- Introducing the idea of training organisations
- A University Students’ organisations fair for Sixth Forms
- Pressure to recognise student activism through awarding extra ECTSs to the already established amount of 60 ECTS required throughout the year
- Trying to develop a recycling system across university
- The creation of a student think-tank
- Developing a KSU strategy towards sports on campus
Gabriella: A lot of commendable work has been carried out by student organisations and the KPS office to tackle student apathy on campus in recent years. However, I believe that there needs to be a change in perspective, which is why I aim to promote student empowerment as the core principle underpinning my manifest, rather than developing proposals to evade student apathy. This new perspective can be particularly seen in these proposals:
- Devising guidelines relevant to KPS that delve into the technicalities of the office and tips such as how to write policy papers
- Implementing a recognition scheme for students participating in KPS subcommittees
- Introducing a recycling system - student organisations can offer material resources they no longer need to other organisations that would benefit from them
- Increasing outreach of KPS office to appeal to different learning abilities by using a mixture of communication media, such as visual arts, performing arts, infographics etc.
- Introducing technical debates to align debates with coursework material
- Providing an undergraduate flexible employment programme
Why do you believe you should be elected?
Dario: I have been an active student ever since my days at De La Salle Sixth Form. I have never shied away from changing what needs to be changed. As a candidate for Social Policy Commissioner, I promise to tackle student apathy as well put all organisations on a level playing field. The only way forward is through dialogue and determination to succeed. I want all student organisations as well as students to improve, together.
Gabriella: I’m a firm believer that passion, dedication and integrity are qualities that only shine through work channelled into a particular cause, so I always let my work speak for itself. Being in student organisations has taught me to be resilient in the face of a challenge, how to accept constructive criticism, how to work in a team and empower individuals to achieve their goals and most of all how to perceive failing points as key learning experiences. If the student population is seeking a candidate exhibiting these traits, then I believe I should be elected as Social Policy Commissioner.
Insite would like to wish the best of luck to both candidates, and welcomes you all to join us and The Yuppie for the KE/KPS Debate happening on Quad this Friday 5th May from 2pm onwards!
Johann Agius is a fourth year law student who is currently the CEO of Insite after fulfilling the roles of Public Relations Officer and External Relations Officer in previous years. He joined Insite as a writer and photographer in 2013 and was elected in the executive for the first time a year later.