It’s really been a long while again. I’ve had so much to write about but time doesn’t gimme the leisure to do so. But sth happened yesterday that I couldn’t resist not ranting away about it.
After a whole day of slaving over my project, I rushed out for dinner and went for IUC meeting. There were 2 agendas for the meeting. 1 is regarding the ragging issue and the other was on the HAS Distance point feedback and suggestion. Due to the late arrival of the president, the 2nd agenda was started first. So yeah the issue is the distance point for international student (which is currently 9 pnt regardless of year of study) maybe changed to 9, 8 and 7 pnt from as we progress in our year of study? What are your thoughts on that?
After the question was raised, a few particular people started throwing their feedback/reason/argument/complain/comment/nonsense/bull crap/waste of time (Yes, literally “/” because everything was mixing up together). You can’t really tell them apart, whether it’s complain, reason, argument or feedback. This is what happens when people use emotion and feeling to speak. I was sitting there close to 3 hrs thinking in my head “what a blardy waste of time, I could be better off slaving over my project right now.” I mean these people were raising an arguments that has already been repeatedly talked about since this issue started 4 or 5 years back. You are just being annoyingly redundant. But haven’t they thought of that? No, because apparently they sounded as if other people are stupid enough not to see the argument until they pointed it out. A few examples of the arguments raised were regarding the Singaporean has home and foreigners has no home, so Singaporean has an alternative and we don’t. Also, this is a distance point so by right, we should have it higher than the Singaporean since we live much further than them. These are the 2 classic ones and there were a bunch of others like renting house/room outside are expensive, exchange rate issue, blah blah… blah blah… Seriously, you’re getting nowhere with these. Then I was like never mind since already wasted my time, I might as well start praying for someone to at least come up with a creative and plausible feedback. Guess what!? Someone did went creative. Creatively bullshit.
He/She said the school should look at it from a financial point of view as in who earns more and who earns less. I was like what!? what the hell? where is that coming from? Well, I could see how she derived that out because well, according to the exchange rate Singapore has more or less the strongest currency in South East Asia, and apparently, he/she believes that it’s a common sense that foreigners’ families are poorer (as in earning less) than the locals’ families. The first factor was reasonable since it’s a fact. But the 2nd, prove that. I mean I’m on her side on the 2nd one since I’m from a middle-class family in a poor country. But the thing is will being poor and having been hanging around with poor international students and “rich” locals prove your common sense? How do you know one are poorer than the other? Because they said so? If I were to take myself as an example again, so far most people who just know me or barely know me assume that I’m one rich ass kid from my country. But how true is that? Well, after the SU side explain that this couldn’t be a valid point since we can’t prove it. He/She accepted it AND went more CREATIVE with the suggestion. He/She said the school should study the financial status of all the students and do a review on it. Seriously!? Did he/she just throw that for the sake of creating argument or he/she have seriously thought about it? I mean if he/she seriously thought this could be done, then I’m speechless. He/she was saying that students gave school their family income and financial status at their disposal so why can’t they just use the information to work this out?………..I was like SERIOUSLY? This is ultimate bullcrap. Maybe he/she did gave hers at the school disposal but not everybody does. It’s easy to say it when we’re poor since we have nothing to lose when it’s reveal that we’re poor. We’d just stay the same or probably gain sth. But how would rich people feel? I mean you can ask yourself a simple question? Why do rich people spend so much money and waste effort to put their money in a bank that promise them highest level of privacy? At the end of the day, even if 99% of the student agreed that their families’ financial information are at the school disposal, there school still can’t conduct the study because of the 1% that doesn’t agree. Man, when they went on lik 1 hour long regarding this financial issue, I was really close to stand up and walk out of the meeting.
Well, that was 1 of it. Then somebody else took on the creativity to a greater height. He/she said now the issue it’s not about who earns more and who earns less. It’s about who’s pays more and who pays less. wow! He started of pointing out the difference between our tuition fee (as in the locals and foreigners). And I couldn’t remember his/her exact wordings but he/she was basically trying to say that if the school wanna treat us equally they should put us in an equal financial ground. That means to say either we should be paying the same amount or the rental outside campus should be as cheap as the ones provide by the campus. That’s like asking Apple to sell ipod at $500 to the rich and only $100 to the poor. Anyway, that isn’t the main problem. The main thing is he/she now trying to involve MOE and Singapore Government into the equation and not just the university. Either he/she is that dumb or he/she has really has no clue that tuition fee/tuition grant and real estate price not under the university’s control. So if you’re aware of that, it really sounds as if he/she is trying ask Singapore to change their policy just for this issue. wow! that’s simply creativity at its best. And I could see that the SU President and Vice President were both -___-” though they are foreigners as well. However, they were polite enough to answer everything politely and not asking he/she to zipped up and f off. I mean foreigners or not, we should be able to see this clearly that money is not part of the equation and that the result they’re looking for in this equation is a “≥” sign and not an “=” sign. You just make a fool of yourself and make all foreigners look stupid by suggesting this.
Finally, I just wanna wrap this up by pointing out a some basic points that we can ask ourselves. First of all, nothing is equal and fair. Otherwise there won’t be people working much harder than the others. In fact the university is being very kind by trying minimize the casualty. If you look at university all over the world, people don’t even have hall to stay at. From there you tell, that the university has every right not to provide us hall, and every right to charge equal to outside rate (just look at how SMU and NUS charge compared to NTU). And when you complain about how expensive is outside rental, please do bear in mind who pay for your education here. The university and Singapore government. What if they tell us that ok, now we don’t pay for your tuition fee, tuition grant, and school fee and pay for your food and rental outside instead. Will you be happy? If you do the math, I don’t think you’d even consider coming to Singapore at all. Ask yourself why are you here? Never use money as an argument to an issue. Local or international alike, there are always people having problem with money. Asking why Singapore charge foreigners more education is like asking why a country charging tourists extra for visiting their attractions. You’re here means you’ve made your choice, informed or not. So live with your choice. Even it it turns out to be a mistake (financially in this case), it’s your fault. You can give 101 reason that the university didn’t explain clearly to you that it’s gonna be like this. But you have to remember that they are but salesman, their job is to sell, doesn’t matter how. It’s your problem after you choose to buy it. That’s why we should appreciate it when they have good customer service.
Man, I can’t believe that I’ve actually wasted 1hr+ ranting on these pointless arguments. But I really do hope that all my friends who end up reading this will not end up being in the same shoe as those people. We are educated people, and the university treat us as educated people. So when they give you opportunity to voice yourself out, you’d do so like an educated person and not simply making a fool of yourself and the community you’re representing. When we’re holding a representative position, it’s not just our individual image is at stake but our community’s. If you think you have nothing better to say, then take the most educated response by shutting up.