Meet the Candidates: Isaiah Riolo!

Posted On April 25, 2023

Insite and The Third Eye have come together this year in a collaboration to cover the KSU Election for Officer for Culture and Entertainment.

As media organisations, we thought it a good idea to interview each candidate to give both a fair chance at voicing their ideas should they be elected. By doing this, we also wanted to give students a chance at getting to know each candidate.

Below are the questions and the answers we received interviewing Isaiah Riolo:

What made you decide to run for the role of Office for Culture and Entertainment?

Whenever I tell this story, it always starts from the very beginning – my experience at St. Aloysius college when I was in sixth form. Something I really enjoyed doing was helping direct and run the SAC soirée. That is a show entirely produced by the students, and I was part of the directing team. That gave me a small taste of what I actually love doing, which was leading and being in a team of people that lead students in creating something better. As soon as I got into university I was introduced to SACES, and I fell in love with the role basically. Even though it is quite difficult to get elected in SACES during your first year of studies, me and a friend of mine decided to try anyway and we both got elected as events coordinators. We had a really good run that year. We organised some of the biggest events SACES had ever seen – the last archoholics before COVID that was organised at Fort Manuel was organised by us and we had like 800+ attendees. We took care of it from start to finish. That made me fall in love with the role, with what I was doing and with SACES – so much so that I decided to run for the next two years, and I was elected both times. During my third year I was considering running again for events coordinator, as it would’ve been like a full-circle moment, but I also wanted to run for an admin role to try and help SACES get back on its feet after the pandemic.

Other than that, I was also introduced to KSU Students Fest which I absolutely fell in love with last year as part of the general cast. This year, to further my experience in architecture also, Matthea and Racquel trusted me with the role of set coordinator and set designer. Coordinating, designing and helping to construct the set helped me get a better understanding on what Students Fest is all about. From there I decided, that should I not be approached by KSU, I should run as an independent candidate because I feel that I do have the qualifications needed to be a good fit into the KSU office.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’ll start on the weaknesses: I am not the most organised individual, whether it’s in my daily life on in my work/university life. In fact, generally when I work on things such as events I always have someone helping me with the logistics and financials, whilst I’ll be making the calls, creating the meetings, going on site and so on; which is why I think I fit so well into an events role which is always on the go, going around, and working hand-in-hand with someone who can work on the logistics and financial side. In terms of weaknesses, I also feel like sometimes I spread myself too thin. Whether it’s in daily life or my work, I take on a number of responsibilities and I am not able to give my 100% on all of them. When it comes to strengths, I feel like I have very good interpersonal skills, and I am quite good at working in a team – and other than leading a team, I can also be part of one and follow directions.

How good can you work under pressure?

As an architecture student, I think we are used to very tight deadlines, pulling all-nighters, working on a tight schedule, so I believe I am pretty good at working under pressure.

What goals do you have in mind for any future projects?

Some events I would like to add, as mentioned in my manifesto, is the creation and beginning of Kokka Sajf. This would be a series of weekly or biweekly events which would be put up throughout the summer months. This would be low-budget and low-maintenance events which would essentially act as get-togethers for people who usually meet on campus, for people to meet their course mates for a day at the beach and have a chill day. In addition to adding many more events, there would be things which I would like to do to generate interest on quad. I believe there need to be more events happening on quad in order to get more recognition and attention from the students – I really liked the SDM proposal of bringing the KSU office on quad every week, because I believe it would bring KSU closer to the students, as it is needed, instead of just being in the office where it may seem a bit inaccessible.

How much time are you willing to invest to improve current and future projects?

Like I mentioned in my strengths and weaknesses as well, I usually spread myself too thin. But this is something which I have actively been working on and trying too avoid, and in fact this year I decided to take a step back from water polo as a sport as well, as I wasn’t feeling as passionate about the sport as I did before. Even though I still have a great love for sports, I felt like this year, especially after sustaining an injury at the beginning of the year, wasn’t the year for me to continue taking it seriously. Due to this, I believe this year is like a ‘now or never’ for me to be part of the KSU team, as I have more time on my hands.

Do you have any ideas on how you want to continue doing Sports Week on campus?

Personally, I haven’t heard much about Sports Week. Part of the reason behind this, I believe, is that there isn’t a proper marketing plan that is organised by KSU for any event that is done – whether it is on quad, a party, or done throughout the summer months. What I believe that KSU needs the most is the creation of a plan that can be used for every single event organised. There needs to be a sort of checklist. In addition to this there needs to be people who are in charge of promoting the party, with incentives for people to attend as well. Back to sports, one of the points in my manifesto was to collaborate with sports organisations, to bring more interest and generate more attendance to their events, important matches and games, by creating certain events where people can meet up to go to games together and therefore foster a sense of community around these teams.

Do you think you have what it takes to lead the people around you to further these projects?

I think if you asked anyone who has worked with me for Students Fest throughout these past few months, they would all tell you that as much as I am capable of leading a team, I am also capable of listening to the people around me. I think my place in KSU wouldn’t exactly be that of being a leader, but rather that of executing ideas of the people around me in addition to providing my own, as I wouldn’t be taking a high-up level such as president or vice-president. I am taking place within a team of 11 people, who all have their own ideas, their set manifestos and are going in as a group. If I am elected, what I intend to do is, in addition to providing my own ideas, is also following through and working hand in hand with these individuals.

What are some accomplishments you are proud of and think make you eligible for this position?

Besides what I mentioned in the first question, I would also include the fact that I am a co-founder of a party brand called ‘Social Circle’; this is a 21+ brand of events which was designed and created post-pandemic. So, I feel like I also have experience in creating something new which was launched in a time where, essentially, parties weren’t popular, which was quite a hard thing to do.

In your manifesto you state that one of your goals is to create collaborations with student organisations. Could you further elaborate on how you intend to do so?

One of my goals would be to meet withs smaller organisations and see with them how we could boost their popularity and interest in the organisations, as well as KSU itself because I feel like a lack of interest in student politics and student representations is widespread throughout the entire university and not just within smaller organisations. Student representation in general is in decline, people aren’t as interested and don’t feel like they would be a good fit to represent the students.

What made you decide to run for the position as an independent candidate?

It’s a bit of a tough question, because there are so many answers but none of them is like ‘the one’. I think it’s a combination of different things. Besides believing that I have the experience to lead the Culture and Entertainment Office in KSU, I think a lot of people around me have also told me that they imagine seeing me in such a position and they would want me as their representative. So, hearing these people say ‘’I wish you could do it next year’’ and so on, really made me want to push for giving students an option, essentially. My main goal is that to give students a choice in who is their representative, and I believe that this year with a fair election, they can have a say in who they vote for – essentially.

Find the article for the candidate Krista Hili on our website!

Written by Insite Malta


Related Posts

A Deeper Look Into Our Candidates: Krista and Isaiah

A Deeper Look Into Our Candidates: Krista and Isaiah

Following the interviews, Insite and The Third Eye thought it would be a good idea to provide another article which delves more into the candidates' backgrounds, more specifically any prior experience they have which they deem relevant for the role of Officer for...

Meet the Candidates: Krista Hili!

Meet the Candidates: Krista Hili!

Insite and The Third Eye have come together this year in a collaboration to cover the KSU Election for Officer for Culture and Entertainment. As media organisations, we thought it a good idea to interview each candidate to give both a fair chance at voicing their...

Jeremy Mifsud Bonnici Elected New KSU President 2023/24

Jeremy Mifsud Bonnici Elected New KSU President 2023/24

Today, 19th April 2023, Kunsill Studenti Universitarji – KSU held their Annual General Meeting, this was held Sir Temi Zammit Hall. Over 100 participants attended the AGM, which was chaired by KSU’s ex-President Neil Zahra. The minutes of the past AGM and the Agenda...