“Your Voice, Our Concern”.
In line with the slogan of Sunway University Student Council (SUSC) and Sunway College Student Council (SCC), both student leadership bodies serve as a mediator between the students and the upper management. As their main purpose is to improve the student life experience here in Sunway, both Student Councils take heed of the voices of all students, from feedback to suggestions for improvement.
Thus, for the first time ever, the Bi-Annual Town Hall was held as a result of the collaboration between SUSC and SCC. The main objectives were to practise better transparency between SUSC, SCC and Sunway students through open discussions on progress and plans for potential resolutions as well as encourage engagement and better communication between SUSC, SCC and the Communities of Sunway.
The event took place on Wednesday, the 9th of November at JC3 Hall, Sunway University. Committee members and representatives of clubs, societies and student leadership bodies, as well as normal Sunway students, made their way to the registration booth. Upon registration, each attendee received a doorgift which included Mentos, a Watsons voucher and the information cards of the SUSC and SCC and an official Bi-Annual Town Hall sticker.
Once everyone had settled down in their seats, the event commenced at 6pm. A warm welcome speech was given by the emcee, Yan Wai, which was then followed by the introduction of the core committee members of SUSC and SCC. Following that, Shay Azman, the Vice President of SUSC, gave an opening speech. She expressed that the Bi-Annual Town Hall was a safe space for students to voice out their concerns and get immediate feedback. With that in mind, she asked for all attendees to remain respectful throughout the entire session and said that an update on the progress accumulated so far based on past feedback by the students would also be given.
Next, a speech was delivered by Charmaine, the President of the SUSC, where she introduced what SUSC stood for. Essentially, Sunway University Student Council (SUSC) is the official student body representing the Sunway University student community with the main purpose of bringing together all parties within their reach and connecting Sunway University Students, staff and external parties to the best of their abilities. As President, Charmaine proceeds to explain the functions of the SUSC, some of which include putting forth the best interest of students and promoting transparency in the decision making operations and daily activities.
In addition to that, she walked the students through SUSC’s past events and initiatives which were very impressive. One of the past events mentioned was the Info Booth organised by the Public Relations Department with the purpose of collecting direct feedback from students to be presented to management, promoting the newly established SUSC website to students and expanding SUSC’s outreach among the student population.
Adding on to that, the Extracurricular Department had also launched an Events Calendar which provides an overview of events by different Clubs & Societies and Student Leadership Bodies in order to address the issue of students not knowing the events held by different parties. As for future plans which are currently under discussion, SUSC promises that we can look forward to a Food & Music Carnival and for girls, accessible emergency pads for all through a collaboration between the External Relations Department, Laurier and FreePads4Her.
The spotlight was then shifted to Sunway College Student Council (SCC) where Su May, the President of SCC, gave her speech. Beginning with an introduction of who SCC was, she then elaborated on the functions of the SCC which include being a recognised channel of communication between the students and the academic & administrative authorities of Sunway College. Additionally, SCC also functions to organise student-related activities. With a walk down memory lane, Su May went through a few of SCC’s recent initiatives such as Colour My Life, a tie-dye tote bag sale and workshop which was held in conjunction with Suicide Prevention Month. Not only that, SCC had also organised events like eMotion and Social Hive to provide a platform for students to socialise and build meaningful connections. Some exciting projects that the SCC is currently working on is Scouting Sunway, an Instagram Reels initiative that promotes the vast array of amenities in Sunway that cater to the students.
Management Meeting Outcomes
Moving on, the Student Relations Director of SUSC, Sritesh, and the Student Welfare Director of SCC, Zhi Hsuen, lead the next segment, Management Meeting Outcomes, which kept students up to date with the relevant outcomes of the Councils’ meetings with the Management.
Here a few of the outcomes quoting them:
WIth regards to queries on online examination timings, the solution at hand was to have conference calls and consultation rooms as well as extending exam periods to 24-hour take home papers. Then, the Council also reported that the applications of V-Labs are downloadable based on schools and programmes. The report also included clarification on why fees have to be paid during the internship semester for university students. According to the Management, a fixed amount of resource fee that has to be covered is divided equally among the semester. Thus, if not paid during the internship semester, the fees for the other semesters would be higher.
Furthermore, regarding the raised safety concerns of On-Campus Accommodation, CCTV’s have been installed at blind spots for the tenants’ safety. From the aspect of food & beverage, the Management has assured that the increment of the food prices on campus will be capped at a reasonable percentage in order to help the vendors and students. Moving on to health, safety & environment, a fire drill will be conducted at the end of the year. Students need not worry because they will be informed about it beforehand and a video explaining the whole fire drill process will be made and played during orientations too. Then, addressing a common problem faced by many students, Class Timing, the Council confirms that classes are to end five to ten minutes early so that students have sufficient time to walk from one class to another. It is important to note that the iCheckin code will only be generated once the class has started, not before. After a meeting with the Library Committee, the Councils announced that the user interface of the Sunway eLibrary has been upgraded to a neater and more user-friendly design. Lastly, the Councils reported five outcomes from their Facilities Meeting. To start off, the soundproofing of several classrooms in the North East and North South blocks will be installed during the semester break by the Facilities Department. Moreover, hot water supply is available at water dispensers located in NW-1 and NW-3 of college and outside Fresco for the university side. The Councils also mentioned that cooling fans will be provided when students want to book the booths on campus. In response to the concern of the safety of water supply, they assured students that water from water dispensers around campus are safe to drink because the water is tested daily by technicians and water filters used are changed once every two weeks. Last but not least, students may submit feedback such as faulty water dispensers or slow WiFi connection through the iZone e-Feedback Form and it will be investigated within three working days. To stay up to date with the latest updates regarding such meeting outcomes, students may check out SCC’s Instagram Highlights and SUSC’s Website, susc.carrd.co.
After a very productive and informative session led by the Councils, the next agenda on the list was the Q&A Session, also known as the most anticipated segment of the event!
The session first began by addressing pre-submitted feedback, that was anonymously submitted questions through the registration form. Shurti and Ken, who are Directors of the Academics Department in SUSC and SCC respectively, addressed some feedback about the attitude of lecturers.
Then, the directors of the Extracurriculars Department in SUSC and SCC, Shireen and Jimmy, addressed several raised concerns such as the Clubs & Societies Carnival being decentralised, making it difficult for students to navigate the Clubs & Societies (C&S). As a solution, Shireen elaborated that a C&S Carnival Website was created to ease the navigation process of students and will be a long-term initiative for upcoming C&S Carnivals. In response to the feedback given that students are unaware of what C&S events or activities are ongoing, they came up with a solution of setting up a Public Events Calendar. Its purpose is for students and C&S Leaders to have an overview of all the happening or soon-to-happen events in Sunway. The final problem addressed by the Extracurriculars Department was the C&S’s inconvenient access to equipment in the C&S lockers. Thus, the providing of keys to C&S will be implemented in 2023 for easier access.
Last but not least, the Student Welfare Department of SUSC and SCC, Sritesh and Zhi Hsuen, addressed a common problem faced by many Sunway students, the insufficient parking spots around campus. Though nothing new could be implemented, they suggested that students could opt for the Student Season Parking at Sunway Pyramid or view the upcoming Instagram Reel by SCC about parking spots in Sunway City. Another common issue addressed by Sritesh and Zhi Hsuen was that the canopy bridge besides Starbucks closes too early. The response to this issue was that there was a lack of manpower of security guards, thus leading to the canopy bridge closing early.
Finally, the floor was opened to questions by the students themselves through the Live Q&A session, which was moderated by the emcee. Among the many questions asked, one of them was regarding the SUSC Executive Committee team’s manifesto. Charmaine and Shay, the President and Vice-President of the SUSC, confidently stated that the recent initiatives launched including this Bi-annual Town Hall, was a fulfilment of Shay’s manifesto. Other initiatives that are in progress and expected to be launched next year such as the Peer Tutor Program and Freshies Night will be fulfilling Charmaine’s. Besides that, a question was asked about why mineral water was not sold in university. The reason given by the Student Council was that Sunway aims to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which includes trying to minimise plastic trash. However, a student suggested that the school could look into Tetra Paks, that is water sold in cartons, as an alternative.
There was also a concern raised by new students, claiming that there was no proper guide for them. In response to this, the Student Council stated that a Freshers Package is going to be launched next year which includes basic information such as places to eat and chill. Many other students had raised various concerns and feedback which were immediately addressed by the Student Council themselves. If the Student Council could not provide an immediate response, a follow up would take place after the session.
After wrapping up the last few questions from the students, a QR code for the Town Hall Feedback Form was then projected on the screen so that the attendees could express their thoughts on the event and how it could be further improved. It was then followed by a group picture session of all the attendees, student leadership bodies and Student Council members who were present in the event. Once the event had officially ended, attendees collected light refreshments prepared outside the hall, including free hash brown sandwiches, snacks and a drink.
As the Town Hall is meant to be a Bi-Annual event, students are reminded to look forward to the upcoming Town Hall of 2023. More feedback will be addressed during the next town hall, including the resolution progress of concerns and suggestions brought up during the previous one. To stay updated on the details of upcoming Town Hall sessions and interact on platforms to express your feedback directly to the student councils, follow SUSC and SCC on their respective instagram pages!
See you in the next Town Hall!
Written by: Caitlin
Edited by: Poorani