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thestream sdm’s views on campus

issue no.1

Page 06 News of the World

Page 07 Hall of Fame: Guido

Page 09 Photo essay: China

Page 15 Best Capuccino

University Survival kit for freshers SDM WELCOMES NEW STUDENTS UPON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS After going through all the trials and tribulations of Sixth form, leading to those dreaded A level exams, you have finally managed to reach the highest educational institution of our country. Now what? During your first week on campus you will probably experience an array of feelings from both sides of the spectrum. You might feel excited or restless, waiting in trepidation to start your studies at university, you’ll most certainly feel lost and helpless when you look at your timetable and find out that your lectures will be held at lecture halls GWH, ALT, or SLT. You’ll probably feel intimidated and puny when you go to quad (the tree-laden square shaped area in front of canteen; university’s meeting place par excellence) and see a thousand twenty-one-year-olds, strutting around as if they own the place, and you will most certainly feel humbled when you come to grips with the fact that, you’re just one of many, in your course that dream of becoming insanely successful, popular or just filthy rich. Having said that, not everything is as bad as it may sound, and if one faces this new experience, with the right determination, the correct state of mind and just a pinch of salt, settling down at university should be relatively plain sailing.

thestream | October 4th 2010

During Fresher’s Week, help is always round the corner, as many of the student organizations hold familiarization tours, and many of them are more than willing to give a helping hand to those who need it most. Therefore, although you might feel discouraged with the large number of students present, the extensive infrastructure and new learning methodologies, keep in mind that you are not the first one and that in your state as fresher, you are not alone. In order to facilitate your adaptation to this new habitat, we have prepared some short points which will hopefully aid you.

Fireworks: A genuine dilemma STREAM INTERVIEWS TWO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH VERY DIVERGING OPINIONS

The beautiful colours and shapes, the magnificent displays around the world, the crowds and their excitement , and the very complex and accurate nature of the firework making process, make me and my fellow enthusiasts, so passionate about our hobby.

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thestream

This Publication was Published and edited by Studenti Demokristjani Maltin, Student’s House, University of Malta, Msida

Editorial.

Thomas

bugeja

Dear Readers, At the start of yet another scholastic year on campus, one is faced with growing challenges and difficulties, but also with new and exciting opportunities and prospects. As we sadly bid our summer farewell, we return to our usual routine and add a dose of hard work and study to our previously idle and unperturbed existence. This year we have taken up the challenge, to bring you a fresh and stimulating outlook, on life on campus, and the world around us. A different take on things, with contrasting views and opinions, that will hopefully entice you to be inquisitive, and make up your own opinion on the matters at hand, because that I believe, is what being a university student is all about.

Welcome on campus

Stefan

balzan

SDM WELCOMES NEW STUDENTS UPON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS As I write this welcome note to feature on our newly revamped Stream, SDM is gearing up to welcome students from all walks of life, back on our beloved campus. SDM has always focused on the student; the student’s needs, the student’s desires and the student’s aspiration to excel at whatever he does. The student’s aspiration, is our same aspiration to excel, to work harder and to renew our organization, in the same way our university renews itself by welcoming hundreds of new students every year. On behalf of SDM and all the executive board, I wish each and every student a fruitful academic year, wherein we promise to do our utmost in the interest of all the students at university.

NEWS 04 Survil Kit for Freshers All you need to make it on the University Campus 06 News of the world News from Around the Globe. 07 Verbatim Bold Statements of the week

thestream | October 4th 2010

07 Twitter Twitter Posts of the week

OPINION

OTHER

OTHER

08 Peshawar fil-Mediterran Fireworks recently

07 Hall of fame Guido De Marco

15 Best Cappucino Best Cappucino On Campus

08 Education Education and the way we look at it

09 Photo Essay China

10 Vice Versa Fireworks disasters from two opposite views

11 Organisations Page Elsa and Greenhouse

TRAVEL 12 Travel Diary East Africa

14 Sdm Junior College A Picture says it all

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NEWS

University Survival kit for freshers ALL YOU NEED TO MAKE IT ON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS After going through all the trials and tribulations of Sixth form, leading to those dreaded A level exams, you have finally managed to reach the highest educational institution of our country. Now what? During your first week on campus you will probably experience an array of feelings from both sides of the spectrum. You might feel excited or restless, waiting in trepidation to start your studies at university, you’ll most certainly feel lost and helpless when you look at your timetable and find out that your lectures will be held at lecture halls GWH, ALT, or SLT. You’ll probably feel intimidated and puny when you go to quad (the tree-laden square shaped area in front of canteen; university’s meeting place par excellence) and see a thousand twenty-one-year-olds, strutting around as if they own the place, and you will most certainly feel humbled when you come to grips with the fact that, you’re just one of many, in your course that dream of becoming insanely successful, popular or just filthy rich. Having said that, not everything is as bad as it may sound, and if one faces this new experience, with the right determination, the correct state of mind and just a pinch of salt, settling down at university should be relatively plain sailing.

“if one faces this new experience, with the right determination, the correct state of mind and just a pinch of salt, settling down at university should be relatively plain sailing.” During Fresher’s Week, help is always round the corner, as many of the student organizations hold familiarization tours, and many of them are more than willing to give a helping hand to those who need it most. Therefore, although you might feel discouraged with the large number of students present, the extensive infrastructure and new learning methodologies, keep in mind that you are not the first one and that in your state as fresher, you are not alone. In order to facilitate your adaptation to this new habitat, we have prepared some short points which will hopefully aid you.

04

BEING A UNIVERSITY STUDENT Being a university student is not about simply being a student, in the normal sense of the word. In order to have a truly prolific university experience, you have to be creative and innovative, taking a different approach to your studies. Gone are secondary school and parrot-like learning (although that might come in handy, when you try to cram a semester’s worth of knowledge, the day before the exam) Interest in academia is essential, whilst the odd hour of research and additional reading is a must if you want to stand out from the horde of classmates you’ll probably find at your first lecture. Get to know the place 1 One of the main problems one may encounter during the first few days is that of getting to a lecture room without ending up in some valley or in a garden which looks like part of The Last Samurai’s set . Around Campus one may find various ‘You are here’ maps, which will be of immeasurable help when you’re utterly lost, whilst University and Kunsill Studenti Universitarji’s (KSU) signposts will also come in handy. Best thing to do is to walk around and find your way before the lectures start, so that you get acquainted with the place.

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Visit Administration Building Be sure to keep yourself updated with the various notice boards spread around campus. Make sure you open your webmail page at least once a day, since students are only notified about lecture

cancellations, which are as frequent as the trains passing through King’s Cross Station in London, on webmail. Esims which is an exceptionally handy webpage, is a great way to keep up with your academic progress.. Regulations Knowing the regulations governing your course is an important thing. Sometimes this is taken for granted yet it is the safest and surest way to know how the ECTS system works within one’s particular course. All regulations can be found on the Registrar’s page on the University website - http://www.um.edu.mt/registrar/regulations. Not knowing is no excuse. Networking Isolation is not for you. Do not stay alone or limit yourself to a small group but do your best to broaden your network of friends. Getting to know people older than you will help you by knowing from before, what to expect from your course. Getting to know people from different areas of studies will broaden your knowledge and help you in having an interdisciplinary approach to your studies, something that is quite crucial today. University can be the ideal place to socialize, the Quadrangle, the gardens and green areas, the canteen and the surrounding cafes are all ideal meeting points were students meet in a relaxed environment. University facilities. Eg Student Advisory, Counselling, Chaplaincy etc The University offers various services to the students. The University offers counselling services and the Student Advisory Committee helps students make their academic choices. The Chaplaincy apart from its clear spiritual role,is another popular meeting place for students. The University also has a Stipends Office in the Administration Building, and if one encounters any problem with one’s stipend this is the place to go to. You complain, you gain! Its useless to grumble about things and not trying to find a solution for them. It is thus important to get to know one’s Faculty student representative,in order to get in touch if any problem arises. You might also want to talk to the concerned Faculty/Department student organization. A complete list of student representatives and student organizations can be found on the KSU website. If your problem cannot be solved at Department or Faculty level than one should get in touch with KSU’s Education Commission through the You Complain, You Gain Initiative for further assistance. Library tips The library is the heart of our University. The library is an immense store


the stream | sdm’s voice on campus

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of knowledge which can be of great help in your studies. The library contains an extensive collection of journals and periodicals, dissertations and books. For more recent publications, the online search engine (i.e. OPAC) can be a really useful tool. One can access this search engine from the comfort of one’s home through the university web page. It is highly recommended that you take one of the tours that are organised during the first weeks of the academic year to get acquainted with the library and its resources. The library might not seem like a popular place at first, but when exams are on the horizon, finding a free desk at the library is a treasure hunt in itself. The library in particular the silent study area is an ideal studying environment for those who are constantly distracted at home. Just take your printed notes with you, take a deep breath, and immerse yourself in the ‘wonderful’ world of study. Then pack your things when it gets dark, go home, and start studying again. What books to buy? Do you need them? At the start of each semester you will be given a set as reading list. This does not mean that one has to buy all the books. Asking a word of advice from older students would be a good idea, and one can also borrow the mentioned books from the library or share them with your friends. Sometimes only a set of chapters are relevant for the specific study unit, and needless to say, buying the whole book would just be a waste of money. Lectures and Attendance Attendance for lectures is obligatory, watch out especially for certain lecturers who make it a point to enforce such regulation. Listening to lectures is one of the best way to get a better understanding of the particular study unit. Keep in mind that lecturing is different from simple teaching, as lecturing gives you only a foundation, and additional work is essential. Public Transport 3 We know most of you are in a hurry to get a hold of that driving license and start driving a car, but it’s good to know that the University bus schedule is one of the best on the island. It’s always good to know the bus schedule, and what the future transport reform has in store for us students.

thestream | October 4th 2010

STUDENTS’ HOUSE

4

Downstairs (Student Organistions Offices) – Be Active! Organizations are what makes Campus life exciting and fun. Visit their stands during Freshers’ Week and pick one out. Being a member of an organization is an excellent way to make new friends and meet other students, with interests similar to yours. UPSTAIRS (CANTEEN) The canteen is a good meeting point for you to meet your friends or class mates, grab a bite and discuss the latest gossip; plus, it’s usually the only building on campus that’s open at 7am, a godsend in winter, for those who happen to arrive early on campus.

Andrea

pace Albert

camilleri

UPSTAIRS (COMMON ROOM) This year the Common Room is being redecorated, so make sure you give it a look. Most university events such as debates and meetings take place in this room, and when it’s not being used, anyone can go in, sit back and relax.

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NEWS

News of the world INTERESTING NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

could have opened up a land bridge at one location.T his would have enabled people to walk across exposed mud flats to safety.

South America: Brazil: A Brazilian clown who is a hot-favourite to win a seat in the lower house of the Brazilian parliament, has to prove that he is literate before being allowed to hold office. This follows allegations that the clown is illiterate, making him ineligible to run for public office. Tiririca (meaning Grumpy) drew the crowds with slogans such as ‘It can’t get any worse!’ Asia: North Korea: In its first meeting in thirty years, the Central Military Commission appointed the son of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as Vice Chairman and a 4 star general despite having no military knowledge. Kim Jong-un is widely expected to replace his father Kim Jongil as the communist dictator of the nuclear armed state which suffers from regular food shortages. Africa/Middle East: Israel: New computer simulations have shown how the parting of the Red Sea, as described in the Bible, could have been a phenomenon caused by strong winds. The account in the Book of Exodus describes how the waters of the sea parted, allowing the Israelites to flee their Egyptian pursuers. Simulations by US scientists show how the movement of wind

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schools, says the phones will also be used to keep in contact with students training in hospitals. The devices will have to be returned when students graduate. All fourth and fifth year medical students at the university are going to be given iPhones.

Oceania: Australia: In a rare TV blunder, Australia’s Next Top Model’s first prize was awarded to the wrong contestant. Kelsey Martinovich had been crowned champion by public vote and was making an acceptance speech when presenter Sarah Murdoch interrupted her. She then announced the real winner was 18-year-old Amanda Ware. "This is what happens when you have live TV, folks," she said. "This is insane, insane, insane

Europe: UK: More than 500 medical students at the University of Leeds are being issued with iPhones which can access online text books. The university, claiming a first for UK medical

Latin America: Costa Rica: A fisherman in Costa Rica has developed a unusual relationship with a crocodile called "Pocho", who he plays with like a pet dog.The fisherman said that he found the reptile with a gunshot wound 20 years ago on the banks of the Parismina river and nursed him back to health at his home. He says he released the crocodile into the wild but he followed him back, and the pair have been inseparable ever since.


the stream | sdm’s voice on campus

Verbatim BOLD STATEMENTS OF THE WEEK

Edward

camilleri

“We are the school teachers, we are the cab drivers, we are the street vendors we are a part of this society” Sharif Al Gamal, property developer behind the proposed Islamic Centre at Ground Zero

“France is not enforcing European law as it should on free movement, so we are launching an infringement process against France,” EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding

“David has to do the right thing for himself” Ed Miliband, newly elected leader of the British Labour Party, talking about his main opponent in the leadership contest and brother, David.

‘I want him to go to school here, I swear to God I’m worried, I’m worried, oh people, I’m worried. God forbid Mirwais should be forced to leave Afghanistan’ Afghan president Karzai, referring to his 3 yearold son, weeping during a state broadcasted interview.

“The half a century-long history of Kim Jong Il’s revolutionary activities was a history of heroic struggles in which he blazed the path with his ceaseless thinking and pursuit and extraordinary energy and a history of victories in which he made gigantic creation and innovations with his iron will and pluck” North Korean Central News Agency describing Kim Jong Il’s regime, which will soon be handed to his youngest son Kim Yong Un.

thestream | October 4th 2010

Hall of Fame PRESIDENT EMERITUS GUIDO DE MARCO

Let’s face it, being President Emeritus, automatically means a lot of work. We have heard a lot about the life of Professor Guido de Marco; however, not much has been said about his role as a lecturer. Many people in such positions barely have time for themselves, let alone for their family. However, Guido de Marco still devoted time for his students. His love for Criminal Law was freely shared with second year law students, who chose to sit for his lectures, and listen to the number of feats accomplished by this giant in Maltese politics. Despite his frail health, Professor de Marco conveyed his message with feeling, and did his utmost to raise generations of law students who cherish law as much as he did. Professor de Marco will be sorely missed by us students, who have lost a great mentor.

Grazie di tutto, Professore. Arrivederci.

twitter Barack Obama(@whitehouse) “The other side is counting on you staying home this Nov. They’re counting on your silence. They are betting on your apathy. Prove them wrong” Diddy(@iamdiddy): “I love rice crispies!!!!” Will.i.am (@iamwill): “I'm going to say something controversial but true...Today Latinos are the new "blacks in america" (With no martin luther king)” Ke$ha(@keshasuxx) “What day of the week is it?” Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) “Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn't go away over night. I am working hard to overcome it and am taking positive steps”

07


OPINION

Education is not the Peshawar fil-meditterran filling of a pail, but FIRE WORKS RECENTLY

the lighting of a fire EDUCATION THE WAY WE LOOK AT IT Having had a whole summer to indulge in the pleasures of the season, the month of September comes along with all the joys and foreboding of the scholastic year ahead. As children prepare their backpacks and parents sigh in relief at the thought of more free time on the horizon, a group of students (most of which having now attained their 18 years of age) opt to continue their higher education in an establishment which should be able to cater to their now assumed higher level of maturity and intelligence.

Up to last year fireworks and their by-products would ultimately lead to two inevitable scenarios: A or B; black or white. A, being: long drawn “Oohs!’ and “Ahhs!” of sheer delight; and B, being: grunts and moans of constant distress. Fireworks, therefore, were like tomato juice: you either love it, or you can’t stand seeing someone drink it. Things have now changed drastically, as this year scenario C has entered the equation. Scenario C can’t be easily described or put to words, though a comparison can be drawn with the Pakistani city of Peshawar. Peshawar had its fair share of trouble in the 90s, however, it was a relatively normal city - normal in Pakistani terms, mind you - where billows of smoke and thundering roars, from self-exploding Jihadist terrorists, would turn heads, cause panic, and make a juicy news item for CNN Asia. However, in 2009, 108 counts of terrorist bombings were reported in Peshawar; and, let’s be honest, a bombing every 3 days is not met with surprise and fright. However, it does result in the Pakistani version of our scenario C, whereupon hearing the explosion in the neighbouring district, Ranjit the Pakistani greengrocer, would roll his eyes, in a here-we-go-again fashion, and return to his chicken curry. Our scenario C, as you might by now have gathered, involves Doris the housewife, folding the laundry up in her washroom, as she spots the third Hiroshima-like mushroom cloud in the span of 5 months. The fact that most of us muttered, “Il-aħwa erġajna?” upon hearing about the latest fireworks factory explosion is seriously perturbing, especially when we keep in mind the increasing death toll of such a dangerous pursuit Fireworks, some say, are an intrinsic part of Maltese life, and frankly, I tend to agree. The loud bangs are synonymous with our noisy demeanor, and our language and gesticulations are as colourful as the night sky on Santa Maria. We paint the town blue, green and red, consume gazillions of litres of beer, and party in the village square in the name of a saint, which lived a thousand miles away, thousands of years ago. We promote health and fitness, but then we probably have the highest food outlet to population ratio in the world; and we honestly and genuinely think, that every occurrence which makes us happy, most notably – football, feasts or politics, is a perfectly plausible excuse to drive around Sliema, honking our horns and acting like rioting orangutans. Being Maltese at times means being irrational, and being irrational has its consequences. Dire as the consequences may be, they are an inevitable part of our unreasonable existence on this island, and we must accept them as such. However, life’s too precious to be wasted so carelessly and so often; so let’s learn from our mistakes, avert the avoidable, and introduce a measure of sanity to our infinite recklessness, unless we want to become Peshawar ‘fil-Mediterran.’

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The academia therefore sets out to delve into the painstaking feat of going through timetables, coursework and the never ending hours of compulsory attendance to lectures which seem to lose their lustre and importance by the end of the year - or should I say term? For those interested enough to probe further into what their course offers there is always the good old library offering the possibility of supplementary knowledge, or a couple of hours of utter boredom in a hall stacked with books on various topics. Students head home after a gruelling day with the prospect of yet another routine tomorrow which will reach its culmination at the end of the year when exams come along. The above may sound like a gloomy welcome to the fresh start which some hope to experience in the coming year; yet, in economist John Kenneth Galbraith’s own words, “We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.” The distressing story is that this is where it ends – at least for some students. However, is this really what student life should be all about? How is the true essence of academia being fulfilled by those who live vicariously through the life of an uninterested, lethargic Homo sapiens? Going through the prospectus of several universities, one will note the constant harping on the university’s campus life. In addition to its academic achievements, one is made aware of the establishment’s cultural, social and athletic achievements. Princeton University’s campus life description states, ‘A vast range of cultural, educational, athletic and social activities are available to Princeton students, faculty and staff.’ This seems to be in stark contrast to the academically loaded University of Malta prospectus which makes no reference to such extracurricular activities. At this point one may mention the recently introduced Degree Plus which is offered at an extremely low price, with the condition of a two hour a week attendance; yet, students are either

Lara

cassar

uninterested in taking up the offered activities or gradually lose interest in the activity signed up for. The university may truly have its faults in this department yet students seem to lack the initiative to do something about it. Indeed it isn’t the lack of organizations which seems to be the problem but rather the students’ lack of interest in actually making their contribution. Some feel that such organisations are a closed market involving only the inner circle of those who are constant participants. Others consider involvement in activities, such as debating societies, as a waste of time since it would not be relevant when it comes to fulfilling the required coursework for one’s particular course. However, this mentality which is fast proliferating in our academic sector, produces individuals who are knowledgeable but who have never experienced the true meaning of what it means to be an academic. This mentality, coupled with the university being unable to recognize the importance of awarding extra credits for such initiatives, is producing the solely close minded, book-smart students which will lead and operate the Malta and world of tomorrow. Universities should seek to produce intellectuals rather than just intelligent creatures. The above quoted William Butler Yeats contends this view, seemingly suggesting that education should seek to give birth to innovative ideas rather than just fill the minds of individuals with information. Paulo Freire would be appalled by the apathy which clouds the situation at hand. In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, he maintains that: "Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world." In situations like these one wonders, was Seneca right in stating that "Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis " (It is best to endure what you cannot change) or should we brave enough to follow through Maria Robinson’s attitude that, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”? I think it’s, therefore, high time that students decide into which category they would rather fall. In my opinion we must come to our senses and rather than just talk about it, we must do something about such deficiencies in the academic system which seems to have gone so terribly amiss.


the stream | sdm’s voice on campus

Photo Essay:China

The honour guard lines up at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

A young woman prays at the City God temple in Shanghai

Impoverished Chinese live in the shadow of newly built apartment blocks, in Heifei

Fishing boats sail out to resume their fishing after a two month ban imposed by the Ministry for Agriculture, in Zheijang province

A factory building outfitted with nets, installed to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths, at a Foxconn factory, in Langfang, Hebei, where a dozen suicides in a year have lead to investigation on the factory conditions, which produces parts for customers such as Apple, HP and Dell

Attendants place biodegradable urns on a table at a cemetery in Tianjin, northern China, for a collective ecoburial , in a country that with 10 million deaths per year is still to find an efficient way to deal with its deceased.

thestream | October 4th 2010

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OPINION

ViceVersa

DIVERGING OPINIONS ON CAMPUS

Isabelle

camilleri

Fireworks Enthusiast Alistair Zammit Mechanical Engineering

The beautiful colours and shapes, the magnificent displays around the world, the crowds and their excitement , and the very complex and accurate nature of the firework making process, make me and my fellow enthusiasts, so passionate about our hobby. Although I am focused mainly on ground fireworks, I still love aerial fireworks and I personally believe that without such fireworks, our traditional festa would lose its luster. Why stop and prohibit something which should be our pride. Yes, it can be dangerous and have its consequences; however we should never hamper something which we’re good at. Just some weeks before the last major fireworks factory accident, a group of Maltese producers participated in a global competition, and came home victorious. Everyone has heard about the deaths at Gharb, but how many knew about such a prestigious victory?

The risk involved in this hobby is an important issue that needs to be addressed. Precautions and safety measures, which I assure you are always taken day and night, can however be improved, and safety should be the number one issue on the agenda. Many young fireworks producers, study mechanical engineering at mcast and university, and I proudly state that my choice of course was heavily influenced by the fact that I produce fireworks. Such a hobby has helped me practice some of the fundamental aspects of mechanical engineering, and I am more than sure that this experience on the field, will translate into benefits in the long term. We fireworks enthusiasts are obviously shocked whenever we hear of the latest tragedy. Imagining friends and family disappearing in a flash, is not easy for anyone, but having supportive relatives helps us move on and appreciate our good fortune. In conclusion, it is obvious that something must be done to improve safety precautions and to minimize risks, however everyone should understand that our passion should be enhanced, safeguarded and protected, to become a source of national pride and unity, and not an issue which causes division and grief.

Luke

History Quickie

mizzi

Fireworks Hater

Michael Calleja - LLD Student Up the stairs I go, racing towards the roof thinking that some crane or machine has plunged into our driveway. To my disbelief, the road is quiet and no truck or crane is lying on the porch. Instead the massive explosion I heard was something else…a mushroom cloud lurks eerily over me as if to say: ‘it was me’. Yes, another fireworks factory has blown up and possibly claimed the lives of more people. I’m going to be honest with you...I hate fireworks and feasts. The whole idea of getting up on a Sunday morning at 10am to party in the streets whilst washing down dozens of Heineken bottles fails to convince me that this is what Saint Andrew (who was brutally killed btw) really wants. Then the sudden appearance of a small cloud out of nowhere followed by that awful noise which must remind elders of when Malta was heavily bombarded during WW2, also fails to convince me that this is indeed a feast. It’s true that fireworks form an integral part of our culture and indeed perhaps attract tourists to our little island. However, one must ask…should we keep on producing this ‘spectacle’ at the cost of people dying and suffering? Try asking this question to Marceline Micallef who just lost her husband, father and brothers. Who can forget what happened in 2008 when an innocent woman

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Did you know that the U.S State of Alaska, formerly belonging to Russia, was sold to the U.S, on the 30th of March 1867, for the mere sum of $ 7.2 million dollars, approximately $ 4 per square kilometer? The purchase at the time, was described as the 'crazy' purchase of a 'polar bear garden'. died in Naxxar because some fool was secretly harbouring all that ‘gunpowder’ in his basement. Fireworks should be banned…not indefinitely as that would result in a change in Government but at least, they should be banned until we clear our heads and get down to the point…that the way things are going…this country is simply not safe. Please excuse me while I go check my neighbour’s cellar... ‘

Today, Alaska is territorially, the biggest of the 50 states, producing an astonishing 400,000 barrels of oil a day, and an annual gross state product of $ 45 billion..That’s about $ 6500 in return for every invested dollar, spent to buy the territory..Crazy returns, for a 'crazy' investment.


the stream | sdm’s voice on campus

Greenhouse

Elsa What is ELSA, and what are its main goals? ELSA is an international association of law students having 30 000 members Europewide. It is represented in over 200 faculties in 41 different countries making it the largest independent law students association in the world. ELSA works to improve the academic skills of law students by organizing international seminars and conferences, offering traineeships through our STEP programme and more. ELSA allows law students to form part of a large network of students allowing them to establish foreign contacts, not only with students but also with representatives from international law firms such as CMS - an international law firm which is one of ELSA International’s main sponsors. Moreover ELSA serves as a forum for cultural exchange. The association was established in 1981 and its original purpose was to build a network and foster mutual understanding between students from both sides of the iron curtain. It was officially founded in Malta in 1992. ELSA’s purpose is “To contribute to legal education, to foster mutual understanding and to promote social responsibility of law students and young lawyers.” Finally, and most importantly is our vision: "A just world in which there is respect for human dignity and cultural diversity." Is it senate recognized? Yes, ELSA Malta was approved by the University Senate on the 22nd of December of 1993. Who sits on the ELSA executive board? The National Board is made up of 7 persons, 4 administrative posts and 3 persons responsible for ELSA’s 3 main areas. Claudio Caruana is the President, Tessa Mallia Borg is Secretary General, Sara Ellul is responsible for Marketing and Stuart Firman is Treasurer. As regards the main areas Lauro Fava is responsible for Seminars and Conferences, Edward Mizzi for Academic Activities and Andrea Debono Sant Cassia for STEP (Student Trainee Exchange Programme). Moreover we also have a Director responsible for ELSA’s International Focus Programme, an area of law chosen collectively by all the National Boards on which ELSA then focuses its efforts. This area, since the International Council Meeting held in Malta last April, is Health Law an area about which we are taught almost nothing at University and which is growing in importance. We also have Director of Publications and a recently formed Editorial Board. What kind of events did ELSA organize last year? Last year ELSA Malta organized the ELSA International Council Meeting here in Malta. This was a huge success and attracted 400 hundred foreign law students to Malta. 3 Seminars were also organized, one on drugs legislation (again we are taught nothing about this at University notwithstanding that it nowadays forms the subject matter of the absolute majority of criminal law cases); another on Financial Services; and another about 3 seperate areas of law - climate change, IT law and Health Law. Annually ELSA Malta organizes the national round of the Telders Moot Court Competition for LL.D. Students. Another most popular ELSA event is ‘ELSA goes to...’ which was held in Gozo last year. Last but not least are ELSA’s parties. Some of the most successful included the Rave Party at DCODE in Gozo, another party in honour of St. Ivo (Patron Saint of Law Students) and a Christmas Party in collaboration with Saces. Anything exciting planned for this year? ELSA goes to Rome has been a huge hit and we had to increase the number of places as we were fully booked before Fresher’s week even started. We’re all looking forward to this event which is being organized outside Malta and Sicily for the first time. Its evident that the students are extremely enthusiastic for this event. Another interesting event which we are organizing is a seminar on the work of Giovanni Di Stefano, an internationally renowned lawyer who has defended the likes of Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. We have established contact with this International Criminal Lawyer who has confirmed his attendance. It will offer students the opportunity to ask questions about ethical dilemmas commonly faced by lawyers to a person who has publicly claimed he would be willing to the defend the Devil himself in court.

thestream | October 4th 2010

What are the organization’s core values? Greenhouse’s values are those of upholding and creating awareness regarding environmental matters including sustainable development, recycling and respect for the environment, as well as animal awareness, social justice and civil participation. While being composed mainly of students hailing from the University of Malta and being an active organization on campus, Greenhouse strives to disseminate its message to as wide an audience as possible. It is also important to note that Greenhouse is a non-political organisation. On a more practical level, all members of Greenhouse and the general public are encouraged to take the initiative for the betterment of the environment and of society, and therefore for the attainment of the central values of Greenhouse. Indeed, Greenhouse itself is nothing more than a collection of individual initiatives taken by members active in the organisation, though aimed at the attainment of the organisation’s central values. Our modus operandi is to understand in all its complexity the present scenario, following which we brainstorm ideas and formulate a project to bring about the required improvements. Is it senate recognized? Greenhouse obtained Senate recognition and together with it the right to vote at Social Policy Committee meetings (KPS) in June 2010. However, our endeavour for legal and institutional recognition had been an ongoing process since August 2009, and, more specifically, from the date our organisation was officially registered as a non-governmental organisation (NGO). This allowed Greenhouse to obtain funding and to become a recognised stakeholder in decisions on civil society matters. Greenhouse has also been one of the few student organisations to become active in the consultation process of MEUSAC on matters relating to the environment, agriculture and fisheries. How many members are there in your executive committee? The executive committee of Greenhouse is made up of six members, four of which hold official roles as outlined in the statute. Additionally, more informal roles are assigned on project-related basis. Could you mention some events or campaigns organized by Greenhouse? During the last academic year Greenhouse set up numerous campaigns and initiatives, including a stand providing booklets of used paper for use as rough paper, which has become a permanent feature at the University’s Students’ House, and the MEP Watch campaign, which involves direct contact with Maltese MEPs to provide information to the general public regarding issues tackled in the European Parliament. Greenhouse is also involved in the ‘Care Creates Change’ project, coordinated by Wasteserv, and which is intended to provide training to housewives, unskilled youths and other young people in waste management, computer and literacy skills, creative thinking, customer care, recycling and other areas. These are but few of the myriad projects and initiatives undertaken by Greenhouse in the past year. Perhaps the most important project to date, and the one to which the members of Greenhouse are most committed is what we call the ‘composting project’. Greenhouse has engaged with Wasteserv, student organisations, university authorities and commercial entities for the eventual purchase and use of industrial composters for organic waste to be converted to compost. Greenhouse aims to initiate this project at the University of Malta and surrounding areas, following which it will be launched on a national scale. Any surprises for this year? The members of Greenhouse are currently working on various projects, many of which will be revealed later on this year. We do not intend to be reticent in this regard, but one must understand that many of these projects are still in an embryonic stage. However, we will certainly try to involve ourselves more fully in activities organised by KSU in the coming year. We are also all looking forward to having our website up and running in as short a time as possible to present ourselves and our work to the public. Finally, we will give renewed focus to matters related to development, migration and human rights, owing to our having become associate members of SKOP, the National Platform of Maltese NGOs. For further information do not hesitate to contact us on: green.uom@gmail.com

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TRAVEL

Travel Diary A 6 hour flight, countless multi hour bus ride, and an adventure later, Andrea DebonoSant Cassia recounts his time in Africa to Maria Grima. During the grand final between Spain and Holland, Andrea departed for East Africa along with friends to begin a 6 week trip to Tanzania and Kenya combining travelling as well as working in a clinic in Tanzania and an orphanage in Kenya‌ Andrea, perhaps you are best known for readily capturing each and every opportunity to exploit all that life has to offer. Why Africa? What was it that inspired you to visit Kenya and facilitate in the maintenance of the orphanage? Well personally, travelling has always been a main point of interest. Africa just captures my mind and when this opportunity arose I couldn’t pass it up. Coupled with my desire to carry out voluntary service abroad this trip was the best way to kill two birds with one stone. Looking back on your experience now, would you say there was a particular intention behind your will to perform charity so far away from home? Aside from my desire to travel and experience a new lifestyle, I wanted to do some good. And

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the stream | sdm’s voice on campus

although I had no particular skill in manual labour, I got the opportunity to carry out some physical work such as tiling, building a gate(which was extremely complex and much more difficult than we presumed), painting, etc. It didn’t stop there. I feel that this really helped me grow up. There are a few things that have changed in me after living through such an experience in Africa. Tell us about your first impression of the civilization in Africa. Complete culture shock! As soon as we got off the plane in Dar Es Salaam, we took a taxi to the clinic in Buza to deposit some medicines (which is a slum area of Dar Es Salaam) and it was just like the picture they paint on television during charity shows; limited running water and electricity (wasn’t as bad as I made it seem), mud and dirt and the typical rundown homes one would expect. And as for food, get used to goat and lots of it! Well, chicken and beef are available but they are more expensive. (Chuckles…) Really, goat is not as bad as people think!

“limited running water and electricity (wasn’t as bad as I made it seem), mud and dirt and the typical rundown homes one would expect.” What was your most missed memory of home while you were there? Family and friends…and a lot of small silly stuff, for example a terrible craving for a Big Mac and fast food! And what is your fondest recollection of Africa now that you’re home? It must be the Africans and their mentality. Even though one initially feels out of place, the people make you feel welcome there, as if they appreciate your presence. What we measure our life by here, doesn’t apply there. Despite the fact that everyone is poor and doesn’t live as comfortably as we do, they still are the friendliest people you’re ever going to meet. Judging by what you have been telling us, I gather that it got quite tough sometimes. Tell us about a negative episode of the trip. The worst bit was when we took the orphans to Lake Victoria. In order to make some form of commission out of us, our bus driver took us to an unsafe port area which was full of children sniffing glue, and street robbers , not an ideal location for us and the children. I was extremely anxious, mainly out of worry for the orphans, and out of concern for our safety but it all worked out well in the end.

thestream | October 4th 2010

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SDM JUNIOR COLLEGE

“Unbelievable how time flies! It seems almost like yesterday when I first entered JC and registered myself as an SDM member. Ever since, I have been caught in a whirlwind of activities, together with the other members!” says one person, who last year started the matriculation course at the Junior College.

We’ll leave it to the photos below to describe what SDM is, and how SDM is our family away from home!

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the stream | sdm’s voice on campus

Best Capuccino on campus

When reading this review, one should keep in mind that points awarded are subjective and that service and products can change from one day to the other. Everything possible was done to make this review as objective as possible, as our aim is to shed light on the different prices and services offered, to help the average university student, make an informed and intelligent custom.

Meet ‘n’ Eat 9.010 Price 10/10 Meet n Eat’s cappuccino is one of the cheapest on the block; just 1 Euro Quality 9/10 Excellent froth and great strong tasting coffee, served in standard cup and saucer. No biscuit was served with the cappuccino. Ambience and Service 4/5 Coffee Shop was clean and pleasant, coffee was bought at the bar, with quick and friendly service

Pasha’s

8.3

10

Price 7/10 Pasha’s cappuccino is the most expensive one around, 30c more expensive than the cheapest one on Campus – €1.30 Quality 8/10 Cappuccino was pleasing standard fare, warm, frothy and served in the usual cup and saucer. No biscuit was served with the coffee Service and Ambience 5/5 Pasha’s is the only place where you can sit at a table and expect a waiter to take your order, serve you throughout your stay, and bring you your bill, whilst you chat with friends. Seats are comfy, service is friendly and ambience is more than satisfying.

Lo Spuntino

8.7

Price 8/10 plenty of cheaper coffees across the road, this one costs €1.20 Quality 10/10 This one was warm, perfectly frothy and sprinkled with cocoa powder. Lo Spuntino’s cappuccino just takes the biscuit, both literally (the coffee was served with a tasty almond biscuit) and metaphorically; this cappuccino was the best, quality-wise. Ambience and Service 4/5 Coffee was also bought at the bar, service was friendly, tables were clean, and premises pleasing.

Pizza by Luca 8.410 Price 10/10 1 Euro, together with Meet ‘n’ Eat, Pizza by Luca has the cheapest cappuccino on campus. This cappuccino will set you back just €1 Quality 8/10 Cappuccino was pleasantly frothy, tasty and served in a standard manner. No biscuit was given with the cappuccino. Ambience and Service 3/5 Coffee was bought at the bar, and cashiers and staff were welcoming, however, used and dirty dishes were on some nearby tables, and remained there during the whole duration of our custom. thestream | October 4th 2010

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VOLUNTEERS EDUCATION

ACTIVITES THERAPY FUNDRAISING

INDEPENDENT LIVING

Inspire, the Foundation for Inclusion, is the creation of two leading NGOs working in the disability sector in Malta. The Eden Foundation and the Razzett tal-Hbiberija have recently joined forces to help over 1000 children and adults with learning and physical disabilities across their 5 centres in Malta and Gozo. The Foundation is always looking for volunteers who are willing to dedicate their time and lend a helping hand with extra workload that presents itself at particular periods during the year, whether regularly or occasionally. Your hands-on effort could enhance the work of the Foundation, and, of course, reward your own personal satisfaction. Inspire also organises a number of charity events throughout the year that enable us to fund our various disability services and programmes. Make sure you keep yourself up to date with what’s going on. Whether it exhibitions, sporting events, or fun teambuilding activities, there’s something for everyone! Inspire would also like to appeal to the university students and encourage you to organise your very own fundraiser, there is nothing more fun than helping people in need, whilst having a great time doing so! Find out more by visiting www.inspire.org.mt or calling us on 2189 0000.


The Stream