Lester Soh 0

Appeal to NTU to revert back to the old Freshmen Orientation System

30 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
Lester Soh 0 Comments
30 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

Dear seniors, i hope you would pledge your support for this:

I had recently posted a confession on the NTU Confession page on facebook. Little did i expect it to get almost 600 likes in support. So i have decided to take this further.

Lets see how much support we can gather.

Here's why I am fighting for this cause. As a senior in my final year, i don't think 10 years down the road i'll be thinking back or remembering time spent in lecture halls and tutorials. I would most likely have nostalgic memories of the crazy things that i used to do at my young age, FOCs included.

I cannot just stand by and watch future freshmen get deprived of this fun times, in the name of inclusiveness. I am all for inclusiveness. If we can include more freshmen, lets do it! But it is very apparent that the restrictions and rules placed on the current organizing committee makes it close to impossible to conduct FOCs that are not of a diminished quality.

You might question why quality is of any importance. Well, last year my faculty tried a trial version of what a 'school run' Orientation Program would be like. Right after lunch on the very first day more than half of the freshmen left, went home and never came back for day 2.

Whats the point of including so many people when you are not able to engage them? I would rather advocate for more camps, than larger camps.

Btw, stated below is the original confession posted on NTU Confessions:

"Long post ahead!

Well done NTU! Thank you for killing FOCs.

The new guidelines are ridiculous, not only because they are restrictive, but because it is almost impossible to achieve. Seems like you guys have no idea of what happens on the ground. Classic example of how you just make decisions that you deem fit without proper channels of feedback.

First of all the issue I will raise is with the aspects of funding

1) You expect us not to take in any grants or canvassing from external sources

2) You ban us from collecting any fees from the students participating

3) You provide us with 45 dollars per student

4) Funding does not include meals as you expect students to get their own food

5) Funding does not include accommodation as you expect students to apply for ‘special accommodation’ at halls

From 3 years of experience i can tell you that my faculty has managed to have a fee of just 50 dollars, after extensive canvassing and applying for grants. 50 dollars for everything, including logistics, transportation, meals and accommodation.

So looking at the fees structure now, freshmen are actually paying more than they would under the old structure. With 45 dollars per head, we have had to cut back on lots of things. It has become almost impossible for us to charter transportation for outside activities. It has also made it impossible for us to rent vehicles to aid the transportation of larger number of logistics. We now depend on physical manpower and strength.

Secondly I would like to address the issue of planning and manpower distribution.

1) We are not allowed to reject any freshmen. i.e. We are unable to place a cap on the upper limit of participants

2) Freshmen are expected to go get their own meals during the orientation ‘program’

3) Freshmen are expected to stay in their own halls at night

4) Orientation ‘program’ is to take place on the first two weeks of August

5) All faculty camps will take place over the same week

When there is no upper limit that we can set, how do we know how much time to allocate for each event, how much logistics to get and how much manpower to employ? Futhermore the seniors who are helping facilitate the camp are doing so out of good will. The number of seniors that we would need to facilitate a camp that accepts every freshmen is something that is close to impossible to achieve.

Pont 2, Can you imagine freshmen and seniors from every faculty going to find places to eat in school during meal times. The crowd would be insane, and a total waste of time waiting and fighting for seats. In addition imagine the nightmare of coordinating and tracking the movement of all the freshmen!

This leads on to point 3. One of the primary concerns raised by NTU last year during the dialogue on orientation camps was the accountability for freshmen safety and whereabouts. They even made us implement a sign-in sign-out form to track when and where freshmen leave to during camps. So how does getting freshmen to go back to their own halls increasing accountability? We are unable to determine what can take place during the time spent at night.

Point 4. Many of the seniors whom help out in the planning within the management committees are in their second or third year. Many of them go off on exchange or internship during the 1st semester (the one that starts right after FOCs usually). As such, placing the camps on the first 2 weeks makes it impossible for them to help or facilitate the event. This further decreases the pool of manpower available.

Point 5. Does NTU think that it has unlimited facilities to accommodate activities of every faculty? This is the very reason why FOCs have been staggered over one month. The schedule came out from many years of coordination and understanding. Each faculty knew which week was ‘their week’. With the current model, many faculties find themselves with no facilities available. Big faculties (i shall not name them as this isn’t their fault) have already made a massive sweep of available facilities.

In conclusion, I think NTU doesn’t know what they are doing. It’s just a group of office workers sitting around a conference table making decisions without knowing anything that happens on the ground."



Share for Success