Chiduku Michael Simbarashe & Rebecca Chan Yoke Kit

Future leaders are moulded at Nilai University through elections to the Students' Representative Council.

"It is a great honour and privilege for me to be entrusted with this responsibility by my peers," declares Chiduku Michael Simbarashe proudly. The 22-year-old BBA (Hons) in Marketing student has just been elected as the President of Students' Representative Council (SRC) at Nilai University (Nilai U). Standing proudly alongside is Rebecca Chan Yoke Kit (BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology) who was elected as Vice President. She concurs with Michael that being elected is an honour and intends to serve Nilai U student populace to the best of her abilities.

Michael and Rebecca are typical Nilai U students. Both are well-rounded individuals and are active in various activities on campus. Michael is on the committee of the Nilai African Students Association while Rebecca is active with her programme's Life Sciences Society. Both are active in sports and take an active part with organising the annual Campus Games.

Michael and Rebecca have both jumped at the chance of taking part in the annual Future Leaders Camp which is organised and hosted by Nilai U at the Nilai Springs Resort Hotel. This event is open to students from all public and private institutions of higher education and is an opportunity for student leaderrs to network, listen to prominent speakers and learn various soft skills. Needless to say, Michael and Rebecca intend to volunteer their services as student helpers at the next edition of the Future Leaders Camp, such is their enthusiasm for it.

"It was a great opportunity to meet people from every corner of the globe and for us to build a meaningful network for the future," says Rebecca. She particularly enjoyed the mock parliamentary session where participants got to discuss and debate on various topics concerning students. "It was that first brush with the democratic process that inspired me to stand for elections to the SRC."

Michael is also effusive of the Future Leaders Camp as well as the 1World Culture event. The latter event is also another event co-hosted and organised by Nilai U which is open to students from all public and private institutions of higher education. "The 1World Culture event is a great showcase for the international students and the SRC is very involved in the organisation of this event," says Michael.

Both students have manifestos which they intend to carry out in office since they were elected based on their campaign promises. For Michael, it is to give international students a greater voice on campus and to get them more heavily involved in the many activities held at Nilai U. "Too often, international students tend to only be active in clubs representing people of similar backgrounds. I want to get them more involved in other activities. This will help integrate the student populace and foster better cultural understanding," says the 23-year-old from Harare, Zimbabwe.

Rebecca says her agenda is to get more focus on the various environmental campaigns that the Life Sciences Society runs every year. "These campaigns are designed to raise awareness among students and staff on how they can make Nilai U's campus more environmentally friendly," says the 22-year-old who hails from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

The SRC elections is Nilai U effort to give its students a real stake in campus life and embed in them the importance of the democratic process. It is very much in line with its 'Enrichment for Life' ethos which is to provide students with every opportunity to broaden their horizons and grow into mature young adults. A term as Student Representative Councillor will give students a chance to learn vital lessons beyond the confines of the classrooms.

Nilai U believes in being able to produce graduates who are academically proficient and socially confident. Students are also required to take a number of elective modules beyond their core subjects. These include Dale Carnegie Skills for Success, Outward Bound Survival Course, Theatre and Acting, and many more.