By Wei Yng
The 5th MSC Meeting was called to order at 10.32am on the morning of 28th June 2014.
The meeting began with the President’s report. He informed the entire council on the issue of the Canopy Walk which occurred during the semester’s final examination period. In the previous semester, the Canopy Walk was open for 24 hours and it made studying on campus until late hours very convenient for students who use the Canopy Walk to return to their residence throughout the final exams period. However, the Canopy Walk was not opened for 24 hours this semester which raised questions. Among the answers provided by the President were – the Canopy Walk is not directly under the jurisdiction of Monash University Malaysia hence it was harder to convince the authorities to leave it open for 24 hours. The Sunway Security Group were really obstinate in their decision to not leave the Canopy Walk open, citing cost issues as a reason. A compromise was achieved where Monash University Malaysia will provide a van service that will transport students back to nearby residences at 4 specific time intervals which are 1am, 2am, 3am and 4am.
In more mundane news, the President informed the council that the amendment of constitution which took place in the first MSC Meeting is null and void due to lack of caution in carrying out proper procedure according to Clause 63 ‘Amendment of Constitution’ in the MUSA Constitution. Fans were also installed in the cafeteria to improve ventilation in which we would love to disagree after returning from the semester break.
The Vice Presidents requested for an approval of change in their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding their subsidy policy in terms of transportation. Previously, it was RM0.80/km in which distance is calculated based on the shortest possible route the entire journey (to and fro). They suggested a new and more complicated formula which is (Total distance travelled divided by 16km/L) x RM0.80, calculated based on the shortest possible route the entire journey. They noted that 16km/L was derived from their estimation of average fuel consumption which is RM2.10/L of RON95. Since this matter involves money, a debate ensued and boiled down to the simplest and most logical solution which is to follow the MUSA Treasurer’s subsidy policy where they reimburse RM0.35/km. However, there were more arguments made about ‘breaking’ SOPs and pledge made to the students during campaigning. Hence, it was finalized that the VPs will only subsidize or reimburse a percentage (according to their SOP) of the total amount calculated using RM0.35/km.
They also announced that the Monash hoodies is under production and will be on sale soon, that’s one thing to look forward to in this semester!
The Wom*n’s Department requested for an increase of RM580.30 in their budget for a Cookie Giveaway Event in Semester 2. They stated that their event in the first semester was very well received hence they decided to hold it for the July intake. In the end, their budget was not increased as the Treasurers decided that it was sufficient to transfer funds within their budget. The issue of distributing food during the fasting month sparked a discussion about alternatives to get around this. It was mentioned that it might be sensitive to Muslim students. There were no objections to this in the meeting. However, there were a few students who read our live tweets and had very strong feelings regarding this statement and approached us after the meeting. We noted this as we found it interesting. If you have any comments or opinions, feel free to comment below!
This was the end of the supposed meeting agenda. However, the President felt that time was in our favour as the sun was still out and the clock hasn’t struck midnight. He decided to add a few issues in the other business and informed the council a few more matters in which some needed discussion.
Information Technology Services (ITS) informed him that the WiFi was in the works of upgrading capabilities in high density areas such as the Cafeteria and the Foyer. FMD had apparently solved the issues of pests in the toilet by placing pesticide in the sewer system at that point of time. It was announced that a new rest area will be implemented for students and staffs who are forced to come really early in order to secure decent parking. It was hoped that it will be ready when the new semester commences. These are all matters where we would like to disagree again as we still find ourselves facing the same problems upon returning to campus for the new semester.
The General Secretary brought up two issues. One of which was the incompetence of the School of Arts and Social Sciences (Male Representative). The arguments made were that he did almost nothing, was not present in any of the MUSA events and did not commit to anything. He did not cooperate with the Female Arts Representative on another event which caused the event to be cancelled. The EXCO was not able to contact him to obtain the justification behind his actions, but the response from his side was as sparse as the occurrence of rain within the last two months. The council agreed that the General Secretary will issue a warning letter to him with two conditions, where he must assist the Female Representative of School of Arts and Social Sciences or the council will carry another motion.
On another hand, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (Male Representative) is unable to commit and contribute to MUSA due to health reasons, as he is unable to attend most council meetings or any MUSA events. Prior to this meeting, he mentioned to his female counterpart that he will resign from his post. However, the General Secretary has not received his resignation letter at the point of time when this issue was brought up. The council then decided to give him a deadline to submit his resignation letter.
The last and most interesting issue of the day was raised by the MUISS President. He informed the council that a total of RM8,580.00 was stolen from the MUISS division office on the 19th of May 2.30pm. This issue has been settled and Monash University Malaysia’s administrators has taken the blame. The money lost will be paid back by the first week of the second semester. On the 26th of May 2014, MUISS property has been damaged where the computer screen of their HP tower and walls were sprayed with gold paint. He mentioned that he took a look at the CCTV. Incidentally, the theft happened within the timeframe where the Monash Sports Center suffered a power outage where the magnetic locks no longer work and the CCTV was switched off. He also mentioned there was unfortunately, a blind spot right underneath the camera which is the entrance of the MUISS office but the person they suspect who damaged their property appeared to have a key to the office.
Minds were blown and the meeting adjourned at 2.59pm.
Note: The meeting took place during the semester break hence the highlights weren’t posted during the holidays. We did live tweeting during the meeting so follow us at @MUSAMongaMondo for real-time updates on any MSC Meetings!