By Christine Wan and Kintan Andanari
It spanned for 2 hours and 55 minutes. 2 hours and 55 minutes, so here’s the summary of what happened:
- It started out in a safe way. Smiles plastered all of the candidates’ faces as they introduced themselves. 1 or 2 hours into the QnA, the questions intensified and started catching candidates offguard.
- Questions that caught people off-guard: how to better integrate the year 3 and year 4s, which were met with answers like ‘we could invite them down to share about their experiences’. Whether or not seniors actually come down to Cinnamon to share about their experiences is debatable.
- Another question that got people flustered is whether or not to organise RAG. The candidates justified it based on the ground of ‘forging bonds’, but none addressed whether forging bonds justifies the amount of money spent on RAG, which is probably what the audience is interested about. Basically, both RAG director nominees (Zi Yi, and later on, Walter Tan) support RAG. That said, these freshies are probably unaware of the long running sentiment surrounding RAG, given the very neutral-sounding question posed.
- Another contentious question: how can the year 1s, who are barely into their first year, represent the USP community as a whole? Candidates’ answers: injecting new perspectives, bringing diversity, and making sure the year 1s are still connected to the MC.
- VP Comm Life nominee Walter Tan announced that he is leaning more towards becoming a FOP director halfway through the QnA.
- So many questions from the audience. Like, so many.
- Everyone taps on magical catchphrases like ‘feedback’, and ‘engagement’ and ‘one-way portal’ and recite them like mantras. Also the phrase ’empowering individuals’.
- A lot of the candidates seem to be technology-savvy – at least 3 people want to use applications to solve issues on feedback, funding, and GUIs.
- Some candidates had more conviction than the others, and it showed. They communicated with previous office-holders, and actually know what the role they applied for actually entails. No beating about the bush, and answers tend to be short and succinct.
- Everyone seems to be running in teams, except for the president who clearly stated so. Some of the teams have collaborated since the pre-FOP days. Editor’s question: if one whole team gets elected, how are we sure that they are able to represent the great diversity of the USP community? Is forming teams better, or should everyone just run individually, no