Raffles Institution’s History & Strategic Affairs Society boasts a long history (pun intended). This CCA, more commonly referred to as HISSOC, is one of the oldest CCAs in RI, having been founded along with the school more than a century ago. HISSOC has since grown from strength to strength through the years to gather an average of at least 60 members in every batch.
The CCA stays true to its founding mission of developing its members’ passion & potential for politics, history & current affairs, through numerous student-led initiatives. Its flagship event – the Raffles Model United Nations* (RMUN), regarded as one of the most competitive & prestigious competitions in the local MUN circuit, is entirely student-run. As HISSOC’s president, Pung Zi Bing (13S03G) says “We do everything! From deciding conference themes & debate topics, managing the event’s budget, to painstakingly planning the best dinner & dance experience for our delegates.”
Aside from RMUN, HISSOC’s vice-president, Shawn Lee (13A01B) enthusiastically added, ‘HISSOC is always on a look-out for more ideas to engage our members. For example, we are unveiling our new website column soon and we’re looking at bringing in experts to discuss developments that may prove vital in shaping the future of our world!”
Although there are no stipulated weekly meetings (no ‘fluffy weekly GMs’), HISSOC members train regularly to attend prestigious Model United Nations (MUN) competitions both local and overseas. This year, the CCA sent its members to attend Singapore’s The Hague International Model United Nations and Harvard Model Congress Asia. As HISSOC’s MUN director Chan Kai Yan (13A01A) indicated, all members are given opportunities to attend these competitions, regardless of whether they have had prior MUN experience, “because we believe in developing our all members’ potential to the fullest, and many who joined us without MUN experience at the start, eventually became directors in RMUN.”
When asked about the prerequisites for the CCA, Zi Bing similarly suggested that the most important selection criterion for its members is passion. One does not have to be taking history in JC to join HISSOC, neither must he/she have had taken history at the secondary school level to join HISSOC. As she quips, “Take me for example, I’m a BCME student.”
HISSOC also prides itself on the stellar record of achievements of its alumni, many of whom now have moved on to become outstanding leaders in politics, foreign affairs and the private sector. In fact, HISSOC’s president in 2011 Jarrett Huang and MUN director Adil Hakeem were two out of the five recipients of the President’s Scholarship – an incredible feat indeed! That said, the chairs of HISSOC reassured that “we really don’t expect our juniors to come into our CCA as crazy high-achievers…we don’t accept president scholars, we turn you into one!”
For more information about HISSOC, visit their website at www.raffleshissoc.com.
* Model United Nations is a simulation of the actual united nations by having participants role-play as diplomats representing a nation or NGO in a simulated session of an (committee) of the United Nations, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly.