Sunway University Student Council (SUSC) and Sunway College Student Council (SCC) have once again come together to organise one of their most significant events: the Sunway Student Council Town Hall 2023, held on the 4th of December. Many attendees arrived at Jeffrey Cheah Hall 1, Sunway University at 6:00 pm, awaiting the commencement of the event with bated breath.
6:30 pm: Ali Imran bin Mazli, an executive from SUSC Student Relations Department acted as the emcee for the night. He delivered a quick opening speech, introducing the core committee of SUSC, as well as inviting the panel of student council representatives on stage.
Front row, pictured from left to right:
. Yap Fui Fun (SUSC Extracurricular Director)
. Liew Ren Jie (SCC Extracurricular Director)
. Syarifah Nursyaqirah binti Syed Norazman (SUSC Academic Affairs Director)
. Amber Chong Wen Xuan (SCC Academic Affairs Director)
. Marielle Moeko Fernandez (SUSC Student Relations Director)
. Edward Liew Min Yu (SCC Student Welfare Director)
. Emily Islam (SISA President)
. Lee Wen Qi (SCC Community Service Director)
. Manreet Singh (SUSC Public Relations Director)
Back row, pictured from left to right:
. Wong Yan Wai (SUSC Secretary)
. Davian Chan Kinman (SCC Treasurer)
. Andrea Tan Chiao Pin (SUSC Vice President)
. Liam Edward Nelson (SCC President)
. Darren Ma Joon Yuan (SUSC Treasurer)
. Megan Lim Jia Yin (SCC Vice President)
. Aaron Shua Zhong Zhe (SUSC President)
. Kuek Jing Yu (SCC Secretary)
. Thor Yi Ling (SUSC External Relations Director)
6:35 pm: SUSC President Aaron Shua delivered his opening speech and began his presentation. He gave the attendees a recap of past events such as Freshmen Fiesta and SUSC Executive Recruitment. Aaron Shua also offered a hint of future events to come, notably SUSC Fundraising Event and Pads for Paddington, an initiative aiming to provide pads for female students.
6:40 pm: SCC President Liam Edward Nelson began his presentation by giving a rundown of past events such as Droplets of Life: Blood Donation Drive. He also highlights the Biannual Sunway College Feedback Form, which collects feedback regarding many aspects such as academics and facilities.
6:46 pm: Sunway International Student Ambassadors (SISA) Director Emily Islam provided the attendees with a recap of previous events such as Mix and Mingle and Diwali Night. She also offered insights into tentative future events, namely International Cultural Night.
6:51 pm: SUSC Student Relations Director Marielle Moeko Fernandez and SCC Student Welfare Director Edward Liew Min Yu presented the resolutions for previous issues, encapsulating facility issues, academic affairs and extracurriculars. Notably, the implementation of Student Program Reps and Student Department Reps was introduced.
6:58 pm: Live Question and Answer (Q & A) session commences. The attendees posed various questions surrounding different aspects, including infrastructure, academic affairs and miscellaneous concerns. These questions were dutifully answered by the student council representatives.
7:24 pm: A brief intermission was called.
7:37 pm: The live Q & A session resumed, with the questions now being sourced from Padlet.
8:05 pm: SUSC Vice President Andrea Tan Chiao Pin and SCC Vice President Megan Lim Jia Yin concluded the event with their closing speeches, expressing gratitude to the attendees and the organizing committee.
Question and Answer Session
The Q & A session was conducted in real-time. The student council representatives took turns addressing a wide array of questions from attendees, ranging from academic affairs to infrastructure and facility issues.
Infrastructure and facility issues:
- Question: The university’s fire escape door is not open on the weekends, I believe this will pose a safety hazard to students in case of an emergency. Is there any solution in place for this?
Answer: This is indeed a critical safety concern that will be brought up with management.
- Question: As the representative for Diploma in Hotel Management, I’d like to address the scarcity of lockers. Since we are not allowed to bring in valuables such as our phones during practical sessions, I would like to point out that there are not enough lockers available on Level 5 of the university due to the high number of students. We do not have enough space to store our uniforms either.
Answer: Thank you for bringing up this issue as we were not previously aware of this. We kindly request that you provide further information to us for a follow up.
- Question: There isn’t enough space in the Sunway basement for parking. Sometimes, the parking lot is already full by 7:30 am. There are also cars that park near the pillars, making it hazardous for cars to turn. To get a parking spot, we need to arrive at campus very early, however, we don’t have anything to do in the meantime as the library isn’t open yet. With intakes that keep rolling out in the future, there will certainly be more students. Therefore, is it possible to have more parking space in the new buildings such as the Engineering and Technology Building?
Answer: Unfortunately, it is very difficult for our management to expand parking space at the moment. Alternatively, students can opt to park at Nadayu, the Sun-U Monash BRT Station or even Sunway Medical Centre. To our knowledge, there is also a Sunway Pyramid Seasonal Pass available now.
We are aware that space on campus is always a concern. Hence, we will continue pushing for better infrastructure and more parking. Also, we will definitely bring up the possibility of opening the library earlier to management.
- Question: In my opinion, there seems to be an overwhelming number of assignments due consecutively. In theory, the number of assignments per week is limited to 3. However, when there are 3 assignments due weekly for consecutive weeks, it is a lot of pressure for students. Is there a system in place to protect student welfare in this aspect?
Answer: Yes, there is a consensus that states that there is a limit of 3 assignments due per week. Please provide more information and clarification in the feedback form which will be directed to the Academic Affairs Department. Additionally, discussing this with your fellow coursemates to gauge if they face similar challenges could help. If a majority encounters this issue, we can explore further actions.
- Question: I am a student pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Interior Design. I am part of the September intake and I have been taking this course for roughly 3 months. In the span of these 3 months, I have spent upwards of RM 600 on assignment materials alone. Could the university consider offering a ready-to-purchase kit? Also, I suggest the implementation of a storage space to store excess materials in the Art Lab, which can be then redistributed amongst the students.
Answer: According to the School Of Arts funding policy, it is stated that certain assignments require personal funding from students. Nonetheless, we’ll address this concern with management to alleviate high expenditure. As for the storage problem, there are lockers available for rental at Sunway University.
- Question: I would like to raise the issue of inconsistencies in a lecturer’s words and actions. This lecturer stated that lectures are optional, however attendance was taken for all classes in the previous week, causing some students to have more than 10 absences recorded in I-Zone. This is totally unfair to students who trusted the lecturer and may potentially be barred from final exams.
Answer: We express regret that this happened to you. Clear communication regarding attendance is crucial, and it’s unfair when assurances conflict with actions. As students, you have the right to be briefed clearly on attendance requirements. We advise you to approach your lecturer or program director to resolve this issue. You can also voice out your concerns on the Midterm Evaluation Form. If you require further assistance, feel free to reach out to SUSC and SCC at any time.
- Question: I am concerned that the student council elections lack sufficient transparency in detailing the leadership selection process, and there is noticeable scarcity of manifestos on social media platforms.
Answer: We understand your concerns and will make sure to be more transparent during the elections in the next term. We will improve our efforts to promote the election to a wider student audience and make the manifestos clear to everyone. This is to ensure that every student will be aware of the candidates they are voting for.
Interviews with Organising Committee and Attendees
Organising Student Council Town Hall 2023 was no small feat, and the SUSC and SCC Committee deserve recognition for their hard work. We have had the honor of interviewing SUSC’s Vice President Andrea Tan Chiao Pin, who aimed to provide insights into the organisation of this event.
What is the aim of this event, and to what extent were you successful in achieving it?
The aim of Student Council Town Hall (SCTH) is to promote transparency, accountability, and collaboration between the councils and the students by encouraging the student body to voice their concerns and to bring awareness to SUSC and SCC’s function to the student body. We were successful in achieving the objectives of the event, as it was a great pleasure to welcome a wide variety of clubs and societies, student leadership bodies, student representatives, and general students to the event. Additionally, healthy conversations were cultivated during the town hall, creating an environment of open discussion and collaboration. The councils gained a thorough understanding of the current concerns of our fellow Sunwayians while gaining their perspective on potential resolutions.
- What were some challenges faced while organising this event? How did you overcome it?
A challenge faced while organising the event was that we were running on a tight schedule which coincided with the assignment season of the September semester. However, we are truly grateful for the commitment of our task force members who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend meetings, follow up with tasks and provide creative ideas to keep the ball rolling. Another challenge faced was coordinating the town hall platform to provide the utmost accessibility to all interested participants. We wanted to include students whom it was inconvenient for them to travel to campus, as well as international students who were not in town. Thankfully, we were able to conduct the town hall live for the first time ever thanks to our lovely Public Address (PA) and Audiovisual (A/V) Team. It was definitely rewarding to see the huge turnout both in person and online despite our fellow Sunwayians experiencing such a hectic period in the semester.
- Are there any improvements you would like to make in the future regarding this event?
In the future, we would love to continue the practice of conducting the event both online and offline to provide inclusivity for all Sunwayians via different platforms. We would also love to improve the intimacy of the event to foster closer connections between the students and the councils, such as by choosing a smaller or more relaxed venue. Furthermore, thanks to our enthusiastic participants who filled in our feedback form, this provides a wide array of possibilities with which we can improve in the future.
Overall, from the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank our fellow Sunway students for their commitment and courage in attending the town hall, as well as the hard work of the SUSC x SCC task force and core team who ensured the smooth running of the event. We look forward to the next town hall, and until then, your voice, our concern!
We also had the pleasure of interviewing one of the SCTH attendees, Sunway A-Level Student Council (ALSCO) Director of Public Relations Department, Goh Yee Yao, regarding her experience attending this event.
- What encouraged you to join this event?
I attended the event on behalf of my program’s student council, A-Level
Student Council (ALSCO). I aimed to listen to the issues raised by the students, enabling us to better serve them as a council. Additionally, I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about addressing and solving problems, which I believe will be valuable in the future.
- What was the highlight of the event for you?
The highlight of the event, for me, was the live Q&A session. I was truly amazed by the composed responses of the EXCO board of SCC and SUSC to the students’ questions on the spot. Their calm demeanour on stage left me with a great impression of their council.
- What is your takeaway from this event?
I’ve come to realise that people perceive things differently. What may seem trivial to one person could be a significant problem for others. As student councils, it’s crucial for us to make every effort to assist each student. Witnessing how the EXCO board of SCC and SUSC addressed the students’ questions was truly impressive, and I’m eager to learn more from their articulate approach.
All in all, attending the SCTH this year has been a genuine honour that provided an insightful and eye-opening experience for everyone involved. While we eagerly anticipate next year’s town hall, we’d like to express immense gratitude and appreciation towards SUSC and SCC for their continuous dedication and commitment.
Written By: Sarah
Edited By: Ruby