Student Union: From the students, by the students, for the students

By Ariani Mohd Nor

GOMBAK, 26 October 2019: The IIUM Student Union (IIUMSU) became the first student-led autonomy and governance in a Malaysian university in about 40 years when it was successfully launched on Wednesday (23 October), in Wadi Budi, IIUM campus here.

Established officially on 5 September 2019, it is characterised by the solidarity of its members, shared governance with the university administration and autonomy in managing student affairs.

The union was proposed and launched by Education Minister, Dr. Maszlee Malik, who was also the former President of IIUM. In his officiating speech, he highlighted about the need to instil responsibilities and maturity within students as they are now part of the university’s governing body.

Based on its launching, here are a few things on how the IIUMSU will run in IIUM.

Wadi Budi, IIUM is now the official building for IIUMSU activities

IIUMSU is an autonomous entity separate from IIUM

The IIUM Student Union, though run by and held at IIUM, is an autonomous entity separate from IIUM.

President of IIUMSU, Irham Dollah, said during his opening speech at the launching that the newly-launched body is registered under the Malaysian Registrar of Societies (ROS).

This means that the Student Union is entitled to their own constitution drafted that does not come under the Office of the Deputy Rector (Student Development & Community Engagement) (ODRSCE). However, IIUMSU will respect the rules and regulations of IIUM as they operate under the university’s premises.

Student activities will be completely under Student Union

With the IIUM Student Union system, activities and events organised by clubs and societies will no longer have to require approval from university offices; the IIUMSU themselves will manage and approve student programmes. As such, students have the opportunity to explore their interests and what they see best for their clubs.

Idayu Mumtaz, a member of the IIUMSU committee, said that the IIUMSU is still stabilising its system, thus, “students are advised to stay updated with the announcements.”

The IIUM Student Union is also under a joint partnership with companies such as GamesMy, Moovby, and PayLah. Furthermore, the Education Minister, Dr. Maszlee Malik has also contributed a no-strings-attached fund of RM100,000 besides the annual allocation of RM170,000 from the university contributors for the development of Student Union, as well as the activities that are under the body.

By that, budgeting for events and schedules should be easier for clubs and societies (under terms and conditions).

Any IIUM community member can become a member

Any of IIUM community members – undergraduate or postgraduate – is entitled to become a member of the IIUM Student Union. Signing up as a member of the IIUMSU will entitle him or her to vote for the upcoming elections on February 2020 and be part of selecting their representatives in order to make the university fit for the students. Being a member also entitles student to attend IIUM Student Union grand meetings.

All in all, it has become one of their main goals to withhold the integrity of the university; with the finance flows and with their plan of actions being transparent to the university, there is no need to be vague and silent about any of their schemes.

The demand for a student-based governing body has flagged off in February 2019, when the IIUM Student Union Town Hall was attended by over 1,000 IIUM students regarding the plan to establish the body. Then, speakers’ corners, conferences, and many countless meetings to spread awareness on this establishment, were held all around the campus.

Dr. Maszlee, in his speech, also mentioned that following updates on the Student Union might be beneficial for the sake of the university. He ended with the quote, “Power should not be taken lightly, but responsibly.” ***

Dr. Maszlee Malik, Minister of Education, during the launch ot IIUM Student Union

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