It is undeniable that student activism at UM has taken a huge bump these past couple of years. If you speak to any student organisation on campus, they’ll say the same thing – some students just don’t care.
In hopes of getting more students involved, KSU was hosting a student activism campaign a couple of weeks back by the name of REPRESENT to make students aware of student activism on campus as most students still feel that student activism is futile.
The phrase “dahlu biex jidhru” is something I have said myself and have heard repeatedly from many students. However, now that I practice student activism myself and have met many other student activists; I can truly say that the above phrase is not true.
Many might see students organisations as useless and never doing anything actually vital, but they do so much more than that! The majority of the things on campus that you take for granted everyday would not be there if not for student organisations, such as:
- The many events organised where you meet a bunch of great new people.
- Social policy papers being presented to the government so students can have a more direct involvement on country laws that affect us students.
- The way the COVID-19 pandemic was handled and is still being handled. Although many us were complaining about the imperfections of such a plan; if it were not for KSU everything would have been way worst.
- There would not be any easy contact between the faculty/department/institute and the students. The faculty based organisations really help students with a smoother transition from a sixth form to university life and with any problems you might be facing during your course.
- The many webinars/seminars organized.
- The many environment/political/social campaigns initiated that help us gain more awareness and change the mindset and perspectives of many issues around us.
- The ability to voice our opinions, for example, through article writing without any grave consequences.
- The work experience gained.
- Daily updates of everything that’s happening around on campus.
- Past papers.
- The library opening late.
- Environment and sustainability measures.
In fact, the organization I represent, Insite Malta, contacted Yasmine Ellul (KSU’s Student Affairs Officer) and asked why she believes student activism is important, her response was:
I believe that student activism is important as through it we can accomplish much more than simply representing students in academic matters and organising events; we can actually bring about societal change. If we take a look at history, we can see that students at the forefront of various movements have managed to have meaningful political impacts for the betterment of the society they live in.
Any problem you may be facing can be fixed if you use your voice. You do not need to only know a person in a student organization, look for the organization that you need and go for it!
I can assure you that student organisations are always looking for more people to share the workload they face every day. In fact, the Registrar sent an email to everyone on campus with loads of Senate and Boards of Faculties, Institutes and Centres based positions that need to be filled by eager student activists. Find all the information you need in the link below: https://www.um.edu.mt/registrar/students/studentrepresentatives?fbclid=IwAR1HQasNMFAisNkUBua5VUpOIPEWq7PsYfrJBrrj7zXcvmaEVnWMfMB0Uzc
Therefore, I urge you to not hold back and do everything in your power to become a student activist. I promise you it will be worthwhile and rewarding in so many different ways!