Manifestos for Dummies: MUSA Elections 101

It’s that time of the year again when heated debates and intense hours of campaigning can be visible across our campus. In other words, MUSA 2019 elections are currently underway, filled with the underlying promise of change and the overpowering feeling of hope. As we all know, MUSA elections are highly competitive and involve long hours of hard work, focus and an unwavering determination. This often adds a new dimension to the usually peaceful and borderline dull campus, on a normal day. However, the immense amount of effort that goes into actually running for these elections, projecting new policies and ideas that may benefit the student community and arguing with fellow students and friends who oppose these ideas or offer contradictory policies, – is often not common knowledge.

The debates have seen numerous policies that are beneficial to the student community, although students believe that some are slightly controversial

Despite this fact, MUSA elections are often not recognized by the student community as being a practical or accurate representation of the students. Ironically, the elections for a student body that represents the students, are often neglected by the students themselves. This is because of the widespread sentiment that the policies and manifestos of those who are running for office, are often created to cater to their own self-interests. Not to mention the undeniable fact that many students are not even aware of these elections or their purpose and significance in the longer run. This is often because they have minimal access to information regarding the processes and structure of MUSA itself, which leads to many students abstaining from voting for something that they feel is unnecessary, impractical or generally irrelevant.

To address this issue, here is some basic information that every student on campus needs to know regarding the MUSA 2019 elections! Hopefully, it will simplify the seemingly long and complex manifestos and shorten the dense and often intimidating debates that are happening on campus:

  1. This year, there are two teams consisting of 70 candidates participating in the MUSA Annual Election with the names “The Spero” and “The Vox”.
  2. Both teams consist of diverse, enthusiastic, highly passionate and motivated individuals who are trying to benefit the student community to the best of their capacities.
  3. Their manifestos are not only about the policies that they plan on implementing; there is also information about why they have decided to run and what makes them suitable for the roles they are applying for.


Manifesto Highlights from The Spero:

“Your voice, our actions”

The Spero: Some of the major policy highlights from the Spero include:

  • Johnathon Wong’s (presidential candidate’s) focus upon increasing utilities and their accessibility for the students, increasing the number of vending machines and improving cafeteria cleanliness.
  • Ong Yu Gin and Jessie Lim Lye See’s (vice-presidential candidates) focus on encouraging students to engage in extra co-curricular activities and developing a peer-to-peer assistance program for students with similar courses and schedules to motivate one another in their studies.
  • Chow Jia Xin and Lai Kin Lok’s (welfare officer candidates’) focus upon increasing the number of lockers, launching an anti-hogging seats campaign, continuing BRT Rebates and channeling the revenues made from the student lounge into grab promo codes for students to enjoy.
  • Charulatha Pitigala & Fizzah Riaz (women’s officer candidates’) would like to introduce ‘Bar and Nightlife Safety’ and ‘Active Bystander Training’ workshops. Through this, the prospective women’s officers are hoping to increase awareness regarding practical safety measures for female students to ensure that they feel confident and strong enough to challenge and call out any perpetrators.


A lot of mixed reactions was seen from the crowd as candidates from disclosed their initiatives/policies

Manifesto Highlights from The Vox:

“The Voice of Monash”

The Vox: Some of the major policy highlights from the Vox include:

  • Kajendra Govindasamy’s (presidential candidate’s) focus upon introducing initiatives like Coffee with the President, encouraging student journalism and building better informal communication methods to enhance the relationship between students and MUSA.
  • Nikita Matilda Fernandes & Siow Zhi Shuen’s (vice presidential candidates’) focus upon finding harmony between students’ academics and extracurricular activities and helping students to manage their time and stress levels.
  • Lew Win Lynn & Khoo Loo Li’s (welfare officer candidates’) focus on decreasing the student lounge pool rate to RM10/hrs and the PS4 rate to RM3/hr, to have a power bank rental service to let students charge their devices and to provide umbrella rentals and free raincoat services.
  • Nor Anis Ayuni & Jayasree Ananda Raj’s (women’s officer candidates’) focus on organizing engaging events that everyone may participate in and establishing a forum where people can share their experiences/concerns with one another in a comfortable and casual manner.

MUSA Elections are a platform for students to make a change to policies that they are dissatisfied with, to voice their concerns regarding the current state of affairs of their campus and to find concrete solutions to their various troubles. These policies and manifestos may often be long and dense, but in the long run, they are intended to benefit each student on campus. So as a student of Monash Malaysia, take a few minutes to look at these guides for more information- they might surprise you with their depth!


Article by Ananyaa Sreekumar

Photos by Nalau Nobel


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