With KSJC election day approaching, Luke Scicluna sat down with Pulse president Clive Farrugia to discuss the incumbent organisation’s current standing.
LS: What are PULSE’s principles?
CF: First of all, I would like to thank you for this interview. Pulse’s aim has always been working with the students – if the students need a service, or something else, Pulse has always been there, for every student. Whether it was MATSEC regulations or O-level regulations, be it Junior College or University, or even MCAST, Pulse has always been there for the student.
LS: Would you say that they are adhered to by supporters of PULSE?
CF: The Pulse members have always been a source of courage and they have always shown their support – “We are
behind you, and we know that you work in our favour.” It happened last in the case of the Systems of Knowledge project, when a good number of people signed a petition that we released.
LS: What do you offer JC that you feel others don’t?
CF: We offer many services, like consulting with students to see what could be changed. I think that a basic fact about Junior College is that it’s not about how many parties you throw, or how many events – events are important, but what is important is being there for students day and night.
LS: Is PULSE satisfied with the past AGM?
CF: I think the past AGM was the biggest that has ever been held. I think we’re satisfied with the turnout – apathy at Junior College is fortunately on the decline, students are showing more support for organisations. I believe that the result was satisfactory – both the administrative and financial reports were approved, and as Pulse, I can say we are happy with the past AGM.
LS: Has AGM been a success for PULSE in past years?
CF: Let me say, as I have before, that the administrative and financial reports were not just approved this year, but every year with a Pulse KSJC. I believe this was the fifth AGM where the students flocked to listen to what KSJC has accomplished – to listen to how funds were budgeted by Pulse in KSJC. I can honestly say that Pulse has always been happy with AGMs when they were in Council, for students have always approved their work.
LS: What do you consider to be the main goal of the AGM?
CF: I think the main principle of the AGM is for the student, whether Pulse, SDM, or neutral – which is why it was great to have people in the middle – is to listen to what the council has done. There are a lot of rumours surrounding the AGM – this hasn’t been done, this has been done badly, this was done well – but the AGM is that time when students can listen to the voices of the councillors themselves, and vote, at the end of the day, on whether the work took place or not, and if it was to their liking.
LS: How important does PULSE consider the AGM to be?
CF: I think the AGM is important – not just for Pulse, but for SDM also – in order to be able to see what has taken place and what hasn’t. KSJC has this single opportunity to showcase its work. I think both organisations have their own methods for the AGM, but nevertheless, I think that everyone attends the AGM to listen and to see that funds have been used well.
LS: Are the elections a particularly busy time for PULSE?
CF: An election is always an election, and work goes into developing a good campaign. Things do not happen magically, and there has to be a team, one cannot work alone. We are a strong team, which is something encouraging, and we spend a lot of time together.
LS: What do you expect will be the outcome of the elections for this year?
CF: Difficult to say. It is an election where two organisations are contesting, both of them have a chance. There is never a clear winner – at the end of the day, one cannot say.
LS: What do you think about the current KSJC?
CF: The KSJC which has just ended its term had a manifesto which saw it elected by the majority of the students at JC. Work to fulfil it commenced immediately, and obviously KSJC needs funds to do anything, and funds are raised mainly through the Prom.
I think that there was very good budgeting as to how funds would be used, and KSJC henceforth commenced its work. The manifesto was fulfilled in the stipulated time, and I believe we added to it. A positive thing I can mention is that KSJC was always there for the student in each and every issue – be it stipends, IVF… – the students have always had representation.
LS: Do you feel that PULSE’s beliefs and aims have been applied to JC through the KSJC this year?
CF: I think that if one visits Junior College and hears about the projects which have been executed, if one takes a look around and sees the work done not just in the past year, but over the past five years, willingly or not, one will be able to see the effect on the students. With Pulse in KSJC all that was promised has happened, and we saw during the AGM that people know this.
LS: Do you feel that the needs of the student population have been furthered?
CF: Yes – I believe that services were provided to students, services which did not previously exist, for instance, goingto the KSJC office to get a locker, the buddy system when it’s still Freshers’ Week and you’re new and don’t know where to go…One can find KSJC, Pulse, and even SDM to help out.
LS: What is your reaction to the conversation leaked earlier this month?
CF: Well, first of all, permission was never given for that recording to be released – I am not saying this to defend myself, because I didn’t say anything wrong. Our reaction was what it was because SDM tried to hijack the AGM by creating a Facebook event, an event which it was not supposed to create. KSJC released their regulations for the elections, and SDM did not follow them.
Obviously, we had agreed to meet and decide on what was to happen – the following Friday both organisations were scheduled to meet, but the regulations were not followed. And for that reason, as soon as that event was created, we contacted SDM’s President and Sec Gen, and said that if the event was not removed, we would go by our rules.
In fact, after the recording was released, both organisations met and Mr. Xuereb, the vice-principal, was present, as were KSJC, Pulse, and SDM, and we discussed how things would be laid out. We agreed on a Head Commissioner and on a Commission, which we decided would be split, 5 and 5. The rumours present in the recording are obviously… there is a court case.
LS: What do you think of the rivalry that exists between your two parties?
CF: I think there will always be rivalry – at the end of the day, it’s an election. However, whenever we could have worked towards the same goal, we did. Perhaps, there are those who think that because we are Pulse and SDM, we fight, but some of my friends are part of the SDM executive. Obviously, however, there are a few weeks where we are rivals.
LS: Are you concerned by the lack of another party?
CF: I think that Pulse and SDM are in a good position at Junior College, however if there were to be another organisation at JC, I think that it would be a good initiative – there would be less student apathy.
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