24th Student Council Elections

Apologies for the late post. I had trouble getting into the TPJCian blogging account.

On Thursday, during Civics and Moral Education Assembly for the J1s, we were treated to speeches by the J1 students who are running for Student Council Elections as an Independent Candidate. Ready with a camera and a notepad, I expected speeches that would inspire and instil confidence in us, as regular TPJCians, that these people were capable potential leaders of the college.

All of them had past experience in leading. Ko Ming Jun served in the Boys Brigade and Stephanie Goh has experience in organizing Talentime as she was an assistant head prefect and a CCA president. I have no doubt that these people have the capability and the capacity to join the Council. But when they presented themselves up for voting, many of them fell short.

Most, if not all, of the independent candidates drew inspiration from Mr Barack Obama and talked about this new buzzword “Change.” They stood up there at the microphone onstage and promised each and every J1 TPJCian change in the college. I was left scratching my head. What’s wrong with this college? Why do we need to change it? The candidates mention change, yes. But they did not specify WHAT kind of changes they were going to make.

Some did. One example that sticks out in my mind is Poh Ju Zhong and his want to change the relationship between the school and its non-teaching staff. He stated that he wanted to have social cohesion between the two, because having an grateful student cohort will make the staff feel appreciated and hence will work harder to keep the school in tip-top shape. Koe Sin Ying wanted to promote a conducive environment for academic excellence by installing fans near study areas and encourage cleanliness. All the changes put forward were sensible, and more importantly, feasible.

Some changes proposed, however, just didn’t make sense. Payal had jaws on the floor when she proposed a J1 Prom night. She believes that the role of council is to make things more fun around the school. Voting for her, apparently, was a vote for a new level of fun. Roodra also promised change, saying that it is her “responsibility to make sure what we want in TPJC would be there.” She was a prime example of someone who promised us change, but didn’t specify exactly what kind of change it was.

There were two people who made me sit up and go, hey! I’m giving my vote to this candidate. These candidates were none other than Gabriel Koh and Joseph Lim. Gabriel Koh delivered a very well-planned, well thought out speech that didn’t just try to sell to us who he was. Rather, he stared off with saying that he was “humbled as a candidate” to be standing before us. That single sentence captured my vote, because it really portrayed him as someone who can stand alongside us and lead, rather than someone who just takes it by the leash and runs. His speech included references to Gotham’s vigilante and Barack Obama, which was very different from all of the “I want to serve and change” speeches that followed. He did mention change, but as a process that is long and ardous, which needed a combination of conviction, determination and a healthy dose of college values.

He even had a slogan! Vote Courage. He came off as someone who thought through his speech and selected the proper arguments to win votes, which probably reflected his character as well. He seemed like someone, if he becomes a student leader, who would think through everything that he does before actually acting on it, a trait desired in every leader. Gabriel, I’m voting Courage this year.

Secondly, Joseph Lim had me enthralled from the beginning. He had a pleasant, charismatic voice that was gently persuasive. He also managed to inject some humour, drawing analogies between his characteristics, and schoolwork. My favourite line was the one where he said that he could balance his work and his co-curricular activities because his “clockwise moments equal to his anti-clockwise moments,” and therefore, was in a state of equilibrium. Joseph Lim’s speech was informative and interesting, which made him stand out from all the “I WANT TO BRING CHANGE!!!! \(^O^)/ “ speeches. He was outstanding.

There were some that didn’t really have me convinced. Stephanie gave commendable effort by writing a poem, but it didn’t really tell me anything other than “Change is Stephanie,” and that she liked baked potato and iced tea. Wong Cyndia wanted to run for Council to understand her fears. Not very convincing as well.

Hence, these are my picks for Council Elections.

Joseph Lim
Gabriel Koh
Shermaine Tan
Poh Ju Zhong
Koe Sin Ying
Ko Ming Jun
Alina Choong

Please vote on TPJC.net anytime from NOW till MONDAY 13TH APRIL!


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