Over 200 participants attended today’s AGM which was chaired by ex-KSU President William Farrugia. The minutes of past AGM and EGM were not read because they had been online for the past 3 days already. The minutes were approved.
The administrative report was read by ex-KSU Secretary General Julia Cini. This year’s KSU board conducted 12 executive meetings and also had notable external meetings with President of Malta, Dr. George Vella, Prime Minister Robert Abela, Leader of Opposition Bernard Grech, His Excellency Mons. Charles Scicluna and Minister of Education Justine Caruana. This year’s sponsors were PwC Malta, HSBC, 89.7 Bay and Engel & Völkers.
The financial report was read by KSU financial officer Andrea Galea. The report was audited by PKF Malta. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic income this year was drastically reduced as many income-generating events were cancelled such as StudentsFest, Egypt Trip, Fresher’s Week and GradBall. A loss of €13,034 was registered. There was also some loss from investments in Go p.l.c and Malta Property Company as a consequence of the pandemic. However, in the face of this obstacle KSU managed to add more initiatives and apply for more funds, receiving upwards of €115,000 in funding. The process of creditors was also improved for better continuity and transparency. Most importantly, the creditors were reduced by half. The auditor’s opinion was that KSU had good management of assets.
Highlights of the Annual Report
President – Matthew Xuereb:
This year an internal exercise was conducted within KSU to see if any changes could be done. This resulted in a reform which was passed during the last EGM. KSU was also was part of the SMGB (Student’s Maintenance Grant Board) and assured that all cases presented to the board were taken up and dealt with. KSU also asked for the removal of capping of hours that students can work in order to receive a stipend and this restriction will be removed in the following months. With less students on campus, KSU took the opportunity to renovate the KSU-PwC Common Room. A Calm Room was also introduced.
KSU also worked with MMSA (Malta Medical Students Association) in the Barts task force whereby they filed a request via the Freedom of Information Act. This request was rejected and so the task force tried to mediate to ensure that all clinical students are getting the same quality of teaching as Barts’ students. KSU also showed solidarity with Belarussian students in times of unrest. The implementation of Sports Students Organisations Federation was also discussed this year. KSU would like to have celebrated its 120th anniversary much more festively this year, however due to the pandemic this was not possible. Instead 12 trees will be planted.
“Everyday working with KSU was a privilege”– Matthew Xuereb
Vice-President – Matthew Gauci:
In these dire times, KSU has decided to maintain its commercial relationships and has continued collaborations with its sponsors such as HSBC. New relationships were also formed such as with PwC Malta. This year’s Freshers Week was themed ‘A New Today’ and practical concepts for the students were introduced during the week. The Green Fund was kept in place by the €3 charge for the parking permit, which serves to facilitate access to green transportation.
Secretary General – Julia Cini:
This year the KSU student card was established which allowed students to get discounts from certain shops. There were also changes in the RAR report, with the focus now being more on evidence on campaigns rather than prolonged writing. The Student Solidarity Fund was set up to help the students most affected by the pandemic. As Secretary General, Julia also served on different University of Malta committees in order to represent the students.
Financial Officer – Andrea Galea:
KSU managed to receive over €115,00 in funds this year, from the EU and other local agencies. The campaigns ‘Your FuturEU’ and ‘Democracy Derailed’ were also funded. An online payment system was also implemented on the KSU website in order to prevent students from coming unnecessarily on campus. As financial officer, Andrea also managed to help implement a new direct bus route from Ċirkewwa to the University of Malta in order to facilitate travel for Gozitan students.
Public Relations Officer – Tano Bugelli:
Due to the lack of students on campus this year, KSU’s online presence was more important than ever. A new design model was implemented for KSU in order to allow for consistency. A commemorative logo for KSU’s 120th anniversary was also designed. KSU’s online presence grew by over 1400 likes on Facebook and 1850 follows on Instagram. The website was also updated to provide new services that previously could only be done on campus.
International officer – Matthias Caruana:
Unfortunately due to the pandemic, travelling could not be done this year. Instead, the fund which was donated to help students who were gravely hit by the pandemic. The KSU buddy system was implemented, whereby international students could apply to have a Maltese contact person who could help them. This was well-received with over a 100 applications. The Erasmus booklet was launched to help answer any questions students might have. By collaborating with ESN (Erasmus Student Network) KSU was able to organise online game nights to bring together international students.
Students Affairs Officer – Yasmine Ellul:
This is the first year that this role was implemented. KSU worked on a number of projects to help other university student organisations maintain their Senate recognition and their Voluntary Organisation status. KSU also developed a Student Organisations Handbook and organised workshops for them. PSY2650 was once again implemented as a study-unit in order to encourage students to become more active. KSU also co-ordinated the Pandemic Response Policy and worked on two campaigns: ‘#Represent’ and ‘Draw the Line’.
Education Commissioner – Edward De Gabriele & Education Co-ordinator – Elsa Cassar:
KSU worked to resolve any academic complaints which came up during the year. Even in the midst of a pandemic, KSU managed to organise the yearly Careers Expo virtually, in collaboration with PwC Malta. Since this year sixth form students could not come on campus to see what university life is like, KSU toured the sixth forms virtually to give them advice on this subject matter. The Educational Commission worked on the Pandemic Response Policy Paper as well as the Early School Leaving Policy Paper. They also managed to publish ‘The KSU UM Students’ Handbook’ to prepare first-years. KSU celebrated World Education Day by a philanthropic event.
Social Policy Commissioner – Julia Zammit Galea Testaferrata & Social Policy Co-ordinator – Neil Zahra:
The Social Policy Office was able to discuss various issues with other student organisations over the year. These issues included the need for a constitutional reform, American politics, journalism in Malta, the national sexual health strategy and Black Lives Matter. KSU managed to produce the Pandemic Response Policy and several other statements. 3 cleanups were also organised and the anti-racism campaign ‘See Me’ was also launched online.
Culture and Entertainment Commissioner – Jurgen John Gauci and Culture and Entertainment Coordinator Nicole Galea:
While many traditional events such as StudentsFest and the GradBall could not be conducted due to measures to curb the pandemic, KSU managed to stay pro-active. The term kicked off with the KSU drive-in cinema which was an overwhelming success. The KSU car treasure hunt was also organised as well as a photography competition in collaboration with SEA-EU. The University of MAlta has one of the highest participation rates in the competition with over 90 submissions. KSU planned to hold the Football Village but unfortunately this had to be cancelled.
The following were elected to the Board of Discipline:
- Yasmine Ellul
- Chris Grech
- Matthew Xuereb
- Elsa Cassar
- William Farrugia
The Board of Appeals was elected:
- Robert Napier
- Carla Galea
- Luke Abela
The elected auditor for the year 2021/2022 is PKF Malta while the elected advocate for the same year is Dr. Peter Fenech.
The Supervisory and Consultative Finance Commitee was also elected and now consists of:
- Matthew Gauci
- Yasmine Ellul
- Joseph Theuma
The KSU Electoral Commission was elected and now is now as follows:
- Electoral Commissioner: Perit Duncan Muscat
- Claire Muscat
- Andrew Camilleri
- Tristan Camilleri
- Matthew James Debono
Perit Duncan Muscat was also elected as KSU’s Architect for the year 2021/2022.
No motions were proposed.
The new KSU board for 2021/2022 was elected:
President: Neil Zahra
Vice-President for Internal Affairs: Andrea Grima
Vice-President for External Affairs: Thomas Galea
Secretary General: Matthias Caruana
Finance Officer: Sarah Ebejer
Public Relations Officer: Claire DeBattista Sanderson
Student Affairs Officer: Kylie Fenech
Social Policy Officer: Alex Gaglione
International Officer: Yanica Cini
KSU Education Officer: Julia Debono
Culture & Entertainment Co-ordinator: Nicole Galea
Culture & Entertainment Co-ordinator: Jurgen John Gauci
“I have the greatest confidence in this team and I would like to thank them in advance for their work.”– Neil Zahra, KSU President-Elect
Insite Malta would like to thank the previous KSU board for all their work and wish all the new members good luck!