Name: Wong Chan Kit
Course: 1st Year Chemical Engineering
Post: Committee Member
Proposer: Tan Wei Jian (2nd Year Medicine)
Seconder: Cheong Heng Hoe (1st Year Civil Engineering)
I want to start things off by expressing how grateful I am to be part of the awesome family that is the ICU Malaysian Society (more fondly known as MSoc) . When I first received my unconditional offer from Imperial College, I was ecstatic as I was finally able to embark on my 4 year journey at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. That feeling suddenly died down upon realisation that I was also about to leave everything that was dear and familiar to me : the comfort of my bed, the loving arms of my parents, the sibling tirades I constantly shared with my brother, the smell of my mom’s scrumptious home-cooked meals, and most importantly, the warmth of my beloved ‘tanah air’ Malaysia.
As Confucius once put it many millennia ago, the journey of a thousand steps begins with the first.
The first step, it turned out, was the most challenging bit. I did not even know where to start, despite being bombarded with information on visa applications and college accommodation. I was also very anxious and worried, having never travelled abroad all by myself.
Fortunately, the anxiety and feeling of helplessness disappeared once I was absorbed into the crazy and awesome world of Imperial College MSoc. Through the Fresher’s Camp, I got to meet fellow freshers and coursemates with whom I have gone on to foster strong and true friendships. How can I ever forget the cooking sessions we had together, the lame jokes we exchange amongst each other, and good times we shared during MNight practices. The seniors were ever so helpful in dispensing some well-needed advice and tips on how to survive in London and Imperial College. Indeed, help never cease to come from them even after fresher’s camp; they were instrumental in helping me to settle down in this foreign land during my first few weeks. Therefore, I feel obliged to give back by serving the very same society that made my stay in London akin to a home away from home.
Alright, back to serious business. If I were to be elected as your committee member, there are a few things that I would like to carry out. I cannot promise you that they will all be fully implemented in the case of my election as a Welfare Officer, but I will see to it that most if not all of these initiatives do come to fruition to the best of my ability. They are the following:
Revamp the buddy system altogether.
From my observations, the current buddy system tends to alienate 3rd and 4th year seniors, as well as inactive MSoc members (a.k.a. phantoms). As such, it is my goal to incorporate these older members into future buddy families. To me, the buddy system at its core should be all about uniting Malaysians from different courses and years under mutual interests. I will ensure that ALL new and existing MSoc members be obliged to sign-up for the scheme, and this will be made clear during Fresher’s Camp and through weekly newsletters/ OGMs etc. Needless to say, I truly believe that being part of a buddy family is one of the most crucial and integral part of MSoc membership and should be treated seriously. I will implement guidelines to ensure that everyone feels welcomed in their respective families instead of being side-lined.
Promote the buddy family at Fresher’s Camp
To encourage more freshers to join the buddy family scheme. I will push for increased publicity during our Annual Fresher’s Camp back in Malaysia. Perhaps a short information session on what it is about, how does it work etc. can do wonders and shed some light on this important scheme.
I will also make registration for the buddy system available immediately after Fresher’s camp. This has mutual benefits both to the fresher and to the buddy family committee as this would give freshers plenty of time to sign up for the scheme, and also make the assignment of buddy families more time – efficient. To streamline the division of members into different families, I will implement a list of options for them to choose from when gauging their hobbies and interests (instead of a normal fill-out form, where things can get a little wordy and messy). To be fair to everyone, a poll will be held beforehand to select these options.
Improved Fresher’s Camp
Through the power vested in me, I will ensure that the incoming freshers experience the best Fresher’s Camp yet. I will improve on the information and Q&A sessions as I found the ones that was held during the last camp to be insufficient. A video session on various topics such as important locations, life in Imperial and course-specific videos might be of great help, instead of relying on traditional presentation methods. Also, I believe that it is a good idea to include 3rd and 4th Year seniors in the camp, so that the fresher get a broader view on their respective courses beyond the confines of the first and second year. I would like to retain and improve on the more popular aspects of the camp, namely the game sessions (to be discussed with the future sports secretary). Dodgeball and captains ball were a hit with the crowd last year, and for this year, I would also like to hopefully increase the number of water games.
More buddy-centric activities
I would also like to increase the number of activities that buddy families can participate in. Events like Sing-offs, Tele-match and Pop Quiz can be implemented easily on one of the weekends at the beginning of the term, before everybody starts getting busy with their coursework and Malaysian Night practices. Speaking of Malaysian Night, I propose to allow the more talented buddy families to start their very own performance on either nights. Not only will this help strengthen the bonds between family members but also improve the recognition of the respective families within the MSoc community at Imperial College.
I generally sport a friendly demeanour so I believe that most people would not find it too awkward to approach me to discuss any problems that they may have. I may not be the best counsellor but I do believe that my advice may yet help alleviate any sense of insecurity or worries that incoming fresher may experience, coming from someone who was in their shoes before.
I truly believe that I am the best man for the job, and I hope that you do place your trust in me. I am hardworking, and I will always give 110% in what I do. As a final word, kudos to the outgoing committee members for a job well done and given the opportunity I will step up to the challenge of emulating their success in the following academic year and ,fingers crossed, to better them.