By Kintan Andanari
So Ewe Zi Yi, a year 1 Engineering student, was the only one running to be Freshman Orientation Programme (FOP) director, but Walter Tan, a year 1 Business student and former VP (Comm Life) candidate, announced his sudden
defection decision to run for FOP director during the QnA session 2 nights ago.
On his decision, Tan told The Cinnamon Roll that “after seeing more concerns raised by the seniors and taking a step back to see the clearer picture, I would be better suited for FOP director. As much as I want to run for VP (Comm Life) with the experience I have, I guess a year two would know exactly what the community wants.”
Guess the QnA session is not just a hotbed to grill candidates, but also a platform for self-revelation, self-discovery, etc, etc.
Moving on to the interview, when we asked why each respective candidate is more suitable for the role, they quickly underscored their interpersonal skills and connections.
Walter Tan: I went for the maximum exposure experience as a freshie (Editor’s note: apparently the term maximum exposure is used to describe freshies going for every single event in the Great Orientation Package – Scholaris, Camp, RAG, Ingenio, O-week, and all the other mini events that the editor missed), and I met many friends, which will be very beneficial because the year 1s will be the ones comprising the future FOP team.
Long before the elections’ results are announced, people have actually contacted me on which position they want. I think it’s good that they’re joining not just because of friendship, but because they wanna contribute with a specific purpose in mind
Ewe Zi Yi: Our strengths are kind of similar. We went to every single FOP event, and met with friends from different houses. Even after the school started, we still meet albeit not on a daily basis.
Having known so many people, it would be easy to get support from everyone, and amass a team of people with different capabilities and from different houses as opposed to finding them from your (closer) circle of friends.
Although networking will speed up the recruitment process, a good FOP director needs to offer more than just being a social butterfly. Apart from your skills in roping in people, what skills do you bring to the table?
Ewe Zi Yi: In the past, I have organised student overseas trips, so I know more of what to expect and what I should do go to get people to work.
Walter Tan: I led many school and corporate projects during my time in SP’s Events and Management course, one of them includes chairing the Dinner and Dance committee for the graduating batch. Through the experiences I got, I believe I am more able to plan events.
We then assessed their knowledge on the field by asking them what the FOP director role actually entails.
Walter Tan: I want to create a memorable experience to the next batch of freshies, with an element of surprise. I liked how Charlene Kwang, the previous FOP director, planned FOP, but I think ‘the surprise’ was only thrown at my group. I think we can actually do ‘the surprise‘ to everyone. I would also like to maintain the pace in which the camp proceeded – it wasn’t too ra-ra, and no one was forced to do anything.
Ewe Zi Yi’s explanation went beyond the welfare of the freshmen, and touched on managing the FOP team.
Ewe Zi Yi: I want to organise an FOP that is fun, where people can get to know each other. I’d also like the events to be such that they inspire them to participate more in USP.
As a FOP director, I would also bridge the different interests of the different subcommittees. Sometimes, some group lean over towards the creative side, while some question the practicality of such initiatives. I would try my best to align, or at least bridge the different perspectives. It’s important for the subcommittees to have shared views.
On the subject of what changes they would look into for the next FOP, they both cited Scholaris, adding that the event didn’t give them a good overview of FOP, and USP in general. Both also mentioned that the ice-breaker games trivialised the event, and should be moved to the camp period instead.
Moving on to campaigning matters, we asked them about their campaign methods.
Ewe Zi Yi: My campaigning team is Su Jin, Jeremy, and myself. We have been pasting posters on freshman floors mostly, and we might come out with more stuff.
As for Walter Tan, the campaigning period saw him acquainting once more with Photoshop after a 2 year separation from said programme.
Walter Tan: my poster is that Instagram poster I pasted on the lift. I think Instagram best represents me, and I’d like to include a bit more or myself in my campaign items – there are photos during my RAG days, USP camp and so forth.
Last of all, when we asked them something interesting about themselves, both wound up giving food-related answers.
Walter Tan, for instance, does not eat sushi or anything raw (shock and horror!!!1!!!!1!!), and Ewe Zi Yi is quite a fasih eater – his food has to be good, but cheap.
So how’s the dining hall food for you?
Ewe ZI Yi: It’s ok actually.
And here’s another photo just because