For some, six is a ominous figure. For MUSA, it marked the beginning of their second semester. (Editor’s Note: If you have any interesting suggestions to introduce these meetings after summarising them for about five times, I would really love to hear them.)
While President Thush was a no-show due to a bad gastric, Vice President Khai Tze delivered the President’s report on his behalf. To kick things off, the President is in talks to bring in UNICEF’s U-Report for students to file reports and give feedback via social media platforms. To comply with Monash’s active stance against sexual harassment, every student has to complete a mandatory Respect. Now. Always. module. Students failing to do so will be barred from joining beyond-campus activities. However, this raised a few concerns from Activities Chairperson, Siemone who pointed out that it is potentially difficult to impose this on new students who are unfamiliar with the school system. While some suggested that it would be feasible to mandate through the Enrolment Questionnaire, it would be rather difficult to cross-check whether current students have completed the module. Khai Tze reassured that these concerns will be highlighted to the management as this initiative is still in its infantile stage.
Thush also has plans to execute MUSA Forum in a different manner — potentially in a dialogue or panel session (à la Comic Con). While the floor seems rather receptive to the idea, Siemone pointed out that most concerns stem from students not actually knowing how the feedback system works. Editor Ling Jie, suggested that panels can be conducted according to concerns (e.g. Welfare and President on the same panel for parking, food-related matters).
During General Secretary Tharshini’s report, she announced Publicity Officer Trisha’s resignation. As this position is held by a duo, Publicity Officer Milton would supposedly need to step down as well and reappointed (while having his title stripped off). A by-election also would not be feasible as this was not three months before the ongoing elections. As a solution, Tharshini ran a motion to have Milton remain in his position. Needless to say, this motion was passed with a landslide, applause included.
Milton then came on to talk about his involvement with revamping the unironically outdated MUSA website together with four IT students. He also expressed his gratitude of having able to pick up coding skills.
MUISS’ KL Tour has also received a major rebranding, as it is now called Jom KL. International students get to familiarise themselves with local transportation as they would visit places with public transportation, but come back with transportation provided by Monash. The only hiccup they faced was having students walk all the way up to Batu Caves to only witness a construction site.
C&S prepared the floor for some pretty heavy agendas and announcements, starting off with giving updates on their C&S Handbook. Any externally-representing teams would now automatically fall under Team Monash, and all clubs are eligible for the external pool fund. With the help of a newly-elected sponsorship director, high achieving clubs (those who consistently place top 30% in competitions) are eligible for further subsidy — they just need to let C&S know about their tournaments and final placement. Monash Cup will also have a lowered budget as compared to their sensationalized 90k figure.
With long-term goals in mind, both C&S Heads Sharik and Ashley wanted the floor to discuss what happens if uncontested positions do not get elected. Tharshini offered a couple of alternatives, which include having the incoming executive committees take over said roles until by-elections, or appoint temporary candidates who are willing to fill up the position. Another discussion brought up was in reference to one of the first motions passed by this council back in MSC #1, which was regarding how MUSA members may not rerun for the same position in upcoming elections. Sharik and Ashley reminded everyone about the lack of amendments since it was passed. This however, strayed into a discussion regarding the adequacy of a motion to begin with. They also wanted a discussion with regards to how MUSA members should not be coerced into a second voting session if the majority chooses to abstain, as they believed that delicate issues should not require immediate responses. The only motion they endorsed was for MUSA members to not revoke written and signed approvals, which piqued a mixture of confusion from a few, who either wondered if something happened or if something that was already implicit needed to be explicitly exercised. While Sharik and Ashley chose to not reveal what exactly happened, the motion was passed upon them expressing its relevance and importance.
Moving on, Activities Chairpersons Siemone and Ryan pointed out that applicants for Orientation Bash had decreased since last semester, and how the differently-executed July Orientation had been a mess that would require a lot more finessing. At the same time, Wom*n’s Officer Melinda pointed out that it was rather unfair that last semester’s Welcome Back Party and Jom Makan only required booths from the few, same departments instead of having everyone else involved. Other MUSA members were seen to only mingle among themselves, while those with booths had to deal with having little to no food. In response, Tharshini replied that this was due to some miscommunication between the President, her, and the other departments involved and would require further reflection.
Upon passing a motion for all student reps to attend every Orientation Bash, Siemone expressed that the motion was called for due to her department’s severe disappointment with the lack of support from her fellow MUSA colleagues. After confirming with Business Rep Zu Peng that he was the only school representative who attended the July Orientation Bash, Siemone was disheartened at how MUSA attendance went down from the already low headcount from Semester 1. She and Ryan both mentioned how her department was mostly unable to seek external help for their haunted house event, which they barely pulled together over days of sleepless nights. Sharik reminded the floor that unlike the general student population who aren’t able to witness what goes on behind the scenes, MUSA members themselves who are well aware of the time and effort should extend their empathy and help out. The floor was mostly left to reflect in silence.
After that, Welfare Officer announced that the once-stained pantry walls are now decorated photographs and invited everyone to come forth and contribute to the decorations. Microwaveble lids and first aid kits (second drawer, next to the fridge) are also new pantry additions. The Study Space Warden Program that was brought up in the previous MSC will also take place across six different study places to ensure that facilities are properly placed after each use, and that belongings in vacant spaces will be moved to shelves if booking slots have exceeded.
Someone mentioned that this was the second longest MSC the council has had, and what better way to begin the second half of their term with that?
Article by LingJie Tuang
Photos by Terence Kong