On the 15th of March, IIUM Student Union Election Commission (EC) has finally released the official announcement on IIUM Student Union Election 2021 after it has been long due through all social media platforms to keep the students informed. The election has been postponed time by time considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, and this issue is undoubtedly concerning to some parties as they view the current student executive committees threatening if they might abuse the power that is granted to them. Therefore, it brought some relief to the hearts of students when this official announcement regarding the election was released.
However, despite all the challenges we faced, are we students really ready for this election? We must realize that election is really important to keep the spirit of democracy alive. And speaking in our context as a university student, it is our responsibility to go out and vote. Bringing up the students’ voices and channelling it to the right people can only be done if everyone casts their vote. We must make sure that no one gets left behind. If a huge part of the students do not take part in the upcoming election, democracy could not function in total transparency.
The IIUM Student Union Election must be taken seriously and students have to play their role to vote because these elected student leaders will be representing us later as we are the major stakeholder of IIUM. With all due respect and trust, we live by the slogan that the Student Union holds which is from the students by the students. The power entrusted on them is ought to be honored with promising actions and seamless management for the students. The will-be-elected individuals must be highly visionary, competent, principled, brave, intelligent and equitable to champion any raising issues. We do not want the will-to-be elected individuals to be swayed from true aspiration of Student Union’s establishment which is to bring back the autonomy of the students.
Let us have a look at the data of the past kulliyyah elections. It is noteworthy that the level of campus political awareness is still significantly very low among IIUM students.
· IRKHSSS: 34.2%
· LAWSOC: 36.5%
· EMSS: 37.4%
· ICTSS: Only 223 students voted
· ENGINIUS: First day of election 51.46%. Second day of election 34.58%.
· BEDSA: 80.19%
I am floored by the statistics. Again. Are we ready for this election? Our voice is at stake and this is upsetting. Most of the voters’ turnout for the past kulliyyah elections did not even reach half of the total number of students and that has to be mended. We should change this culture of ignorance and proactively execute our responsibility as a member of the university.
Maybe this question remains lingering for some of us. Why should we get involved in campus politics and what happens if we do not participate?
Well, this is a matter of our rights and morals as a student. Participating in campus politics means that we are concerned with our needs and rights as a major stakeholder in the university. We have to make sure that our rights are not being violated by acting as the check and balance mechanism to the university administration. We are the pressure group that pushes the administration to prioritize students’ welfare above all things. We are the union with knowledge and virtue that upholds integrity, transparency and good governance for all. Profoundly, this is a matter to realize the student union’s philosophy and bring back our golden years of student intellectualism and activism.
While ignoring to be involved in campus politics, you are basically denying your rights as a student. Denying to voice out your opinions and concerns, while all of them are completely valid and heard, denying the right to actively channel them to any concerned, responsible bodies in IIUM, denying the fact that you do have a voice in making change in the university’s system and denying that you can actually drive the university to be better.
Well, that is definitely something to ponder upon.
To end this, I call upon all students to come forward and participate in the IIUM Student Union Election 2021 or campus politics as a whole so that we can bring transparency, integrity and accountability as a practice into our campus. It is also hoped that all students’ political front, kulliyyah based societies and other student societies put aside their ideology as well as principle differences and start to work collectively as one student body of IIUM. Therefore, I urge everyone to mark your calendar, and let’s vote on the 9th of April 2021. To a better campus politics.
By: Nabil Haziq | Harmoni IIUM