Executive members of the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) Student Representative Council (MUSREC) have since July 2, 2017 been in Mulanje to review and revise their constitution before undergoing student leadership orientation.
MUST students elected a new executive of the MUSREC two months ago but the team could not undergo orientation due to pressure of work as the semester was also drawing towards an end.
Speaking on July 3, 2017 when he opened the orientation on behalf of Vice Chancellor Professor Address Malata, executive dean of Malawi Institute of Technology Dr Davies Mweta tipped the student leadership by highlighting ten qualities of a good student leader.
DR Mweta asked the student leadership to establish a good working relationship with the University’s management by always giving dialogue chance before resorting to strikes and marches.
“Most university students are today known for all the wrong reasons. We want MUST to be different in line with its desire of doing business unusual. As management, we are ready to support you in whatever way possible. We will open our doors for discussions in case you have some concerns,” he said.
On his part, MUSREC president Sydney Chawinga apologised for his team’s apparent militant approach to issues. He attributed this to lack of understanding of some of the rules and regulations governing their office.
“We promise to cooperate and ensure that we discuss things amicably. We believe that the University’s good name in beneficial to both students and management and we will work with management and others stakeholders to ensure that MUST is a model of responsible university studentship,” he said.
Chawinga also asked management to provide them with legal counselling opportunities, arguing some of the student actions are ill-informed due to lack of proper guidance on matters of law.
Among others, the student leaders are being drilled on University governance structures, expectations from the office of Dean of Students Affairs, time management, financial management, conflict resolution and disciplinary matters, procurement procedures, university facilities, and communication and publications.
Before the orientation, the student leadership reviewed their constitution in readiness for submission to management which will further seek approval from the Council.
It is MUST’s policy to orient student leaders soon after their election so that they familiarise themselves to their working environment and ensure that they balance roles as students and representatives of their fellow students.