KSU have recently made it a trend of theirs to organise a series of debates on campus. The Spring Hunting debate that is going to be held on the 22nd November is testimony to this recent phenomenon. Although the initiative itself and overall contribution towards the student body is commendable there are also risks involved that should be kept in mind when an organisation with KSU’s scope resorts to these types of tactics.
Firstly, why is KSU organising debates of their own that are of such a sensitive (political) nature? One also needs to keep this in mind in relation to KPS. Hunting in general has been discussed ad nauseum during KPS meetings during which student organisations come together and attempt to formulate policy on specific issues which KSU must then relay. KSU’s scope should be larger and more ambitious than hosting debates akin to other student organisations. It should be an active participant in these types of national issues with the aim of representing both the position adopted by the Student Organisations during KPS and also that of the general student. It would be extremely unprofessional if they were to do so during their own debates.
The approach KSU should take is one where it entices other student organisations, in this case the organisation “Greenhouse”, to host these debates through collaboration or through encouragement. In order to address specific issues such as student apathy, the student needs to see a vibrant and active student body. By ‘outsourcing’ these types of debates student groups related to that particular topic would gather more prominence nationwide.
Also, to be completely blunt, it seems to me that KSU is lowering itself to a particular level that is usually associated with Student Organisations when in actual fact it should be something that is looked up to with more prominence and prestige.
Citizens and students alike need to see it as a council that is at the heart of everything student related and that’s why it shouldn’t be interfering with the competences usually associated with student organisations.
One cannot omit the disputable nomination of Mr. Norman Vella, a rumoured MEP candidate for the nationalist party as moderator of the event. Considering the recent media attention surrounding Mr. Vella, several questions can be raised towards his validity in terms of impartiality. I’m more than certain that a good chunk of the guests will feel uncomfortable at the thought of having him as moderator to such a highly politicised and sensitive topic. Moreover, if KSU does not change the moderator for this debate then it may be well on its way of continuing to ‘fan’ the perception that it has a particular bias towards a political party – a perception that negatively affects the entire student body.
The hunting debate is one of the hottest topics both nationwide and also on campus due to its highly politicised nature. By hosting the debate themselves KSU are losing a prime opportunity to showcase the opinion of the students on their home turf.