To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

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Monday, October 02, 2006

North Malaita students take up leadership challenge with SISA

Several of our To'abaita students studying at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva have taken up the challenge to stand for various positions in the upcoming Solomon Island Students Association (SISA) annual election tomorrow.

The SISA annual election is usually carried out around October each year whereby a new USP Laucala Campus executive is elected to coordinate and facilitate the Solomon students' needs. The previous SISA executive was led under the leadership of Mr Douglas Ete and one of their obvious achievements was the payment of the 60% allowance increase to USP students. The positions that will be decided after the elections tomorrow are the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.

North Malaita students who are standing for the presidency position include Mr Peter Fairamoa (Bita'ama Village), Mr Alwyn Danitofea (Roso Village), Joyce Konofilia Maetoloa (Malu'u) and Mr Stefaldo Fanakui (Rufoki Village). Mr Rodney Suibaea (Manakwai Village) is also standing for the Vice-presidency post. The last North Malaita student who is also a candidate for the Secretary's post is Ms Matilda Dani from the Suafa area.

Some of the eminent issues that the new executive is expected to attend to upon their election tomorrow may include: end of year container, flight arrangements, on campus accomodation and meals after school closes next month, and allowances for families that will remain in Fiji during the christmas holidays. However, most of the candidates have already indicated their plans and how they can address these issues once they come into power during an organised campaign last thursday. The student returning officer which is appointed to oversee the SISA one-day election is Mr Augustine Bata'anisia who is also entrusted with that role last year.

All the SISA Executive positions are volunteer based posts that allow executive officers to serve the needs of about 500 students at no cost. Therefore, it is very encouraging to note that alot of our North Malaita students are committed to take up volunteer leadership roles with the sole aim of serving Solomon students' needs. This is the first time for North Malaita students at USP to show a drastic interest in taking up volunteer leadership roles in SISA since the establishment of the university. This is a clear reflection of the inspirations and capacity building from TARD activities and goals. We wish these candidates best of lucks.

In another related news, the USP Students Association (USPSA) which SISA is affiliated to as one of the 12 member countries of the university has also had its annual elections last week on friday. The new USPSA Executive is dominated by the new Pacific Alliance Party which is led by the interim president of SISA, Mr Douglas Ete.

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