SDM launched their manifest for their upcoming term in KSU for 2019/20, giving importance to the environment and transport, on April 10th. During the “Your New Candidate in the Hot Seat” debate, the new KSU executive members emphasised that in the previous term KSU prioritised the environment and transport and ensured it will give both a priority.
In their manifesto SDM stated that they will be carrying on initiatives such as the 24-hour study area in KSU Common Room, the KSU Drive-In Cinema, the Green Fund, the Toga Rentals, and the transport sub-committee, amongst others.
On the other hand, the new KSU executive has many new proposals such as further refurbishments in Students’ House and recurring proposals such as the installation of more electric charging bays on quad. KSU also intends to reduce its paper printing to work towards KSU’s vision of going paperless. Furthermore, they proposed that they will push to extend library hours, making it available 24/7.
KSU also aims to put pressure on the administration to carry out maintenance and upgrading of lecture theaters. Extended hours for engineering labs, frequent blood drives in collaboration with UM and providing first aid and mental health courses are also proposals which the new executive are to work on in the upcoming term.
Financial Officer, Eman Haber said during the debate, that a new Health fund is to be issued. Through their events, KSU has managed to create new funds which can be allocated to helping the students. What the fund is to involve is yet to be discussed amongst the executive. Finally, the new KSU has proposed a sustainable project called Vision 2030 which will be a year-long campaign envisioning the next 10 years of our university.
With regards to Gozitan students, last year SDM included proposals in their manifesto in relation to the former’s issues with living in Malta and commuting to university. Again, the issue of transport was included in their manifesto along with following up on the issue of Maths and Statistics examinations being held in Gozo. The rental database initiative in which KSU collaborated with GUG and Engel & Volkers Sara Grech is also to continue. As it is, only two bus routes exist for Gozitan students from Msida to Cirkewwa, the X1 and X1A bus routes.
Most Gozitan students pay for private bus services which is a shame since there is free and sustainable transport being provided. The free service is not feasible enough since the X1A needs to be more frequent and entirely in line with the ferry timetable. Furthermore, both the X1 and X1A are usually full with tourists and their luggage, coming from the airport which implies the need for a separate bus route solely for Gozitan students from Msida directly to Cirkewwa. Already the X1A’s existence shows that work has been done, yet work for improvement needs to done as well.
Furthermore, KSU being a large organization could also help in putting pressure for a fourth ferry which is a hot topic in Gozo currently. By spreading awareness regarding the issue and creating a campaign, KSU would be proving that it is representing all students at the University of Malta. By everyone speaking up, eventually, Gozitan students will be heard and obtain the necessary fourth ferry. Within the university itself, KSU could help push for video-conferencing service on Monday mornings and Fridays evenings for students’ use. The equipment has already been set up at the Gozo Campus, yet it is the University of Malta is not willing to allow the use of this service.