By The 38th Presidents – Chew Jay Hong, Tan Hui Ying, Jin Xuan
Hello there and welcome to Students’ Council! As you can probably tell from the (slightly wonky) “38”, we are the 38th batch of Student Councillors. We stand as a 60-strong team, comprising different personalities and working styles, but all brought together by a common purpose of building a more inclusive and enjoyable Raffles experience for all, while remaining grounded and approachable to the very students we serve. By leveraging on our respective strengths, we are able to create a range of unique experiences for our schoolmates through a variety of events, such as the annual inter-house competition, Team Raffles Games (TRG), to National Day Celebrations and Mega Mugging Madness (MMM). Though the planning and execution of these events can take months, the joy and excitement our fellow Rafflesians experience make all our efforts worth it.
Each 38th has 2 primary roles, one as a department or house directorate member, and the other as a function member.
Through our 3 departments and 5 house directorates, we seek to fulfil a specific need within the school population by collaborating with all segments of the student body
The Communications Department (Commz’D) is the custodian of the Team Raffles Instagram page, which acts as a go-to for the student population in finding more about Council-organised events and the latest affairs as well. Aside from this, the department is a key part in ensuring that while we have our eyes to the stars, that our feet are on the ground as well, through the annual Feedback Drive and Focus Group Discussion, along with many smaller feedback channels after our various events as well.
The CCA Department (CCAD) is recognised as the embodiment of our school spirit. The regular faces at our Match Supports (MS), they are integral in building unity through events such as Spirit Week and TRG. As the name suggests, CCAD also acts as the bridge for CCAs with the larger school population, and engages in collaborations such as Raffles Got Talent in 2018.
Affectionately dubbed Welfairies, the Welfare Department primarily caters to the overall well-being of the student population, through events such as Homecoming to ease us back into the school year, along with the upcoming Friendship Appreciation Week. Beyond these, they are the primary caretakers of our Hodge Lodge, which is a comfortable common space for all Rafflesians to relax and interact after every school day.
Now on to the 5 houses – Moor-Tarbet (MT), Morrison-Richardson (MR), Hadley-Hullett (HH), Bayley-Waddle (BW) and Buckle-Buckley (BB)!
Besides their internal operations, our House Directorates go beyond just providing for their own house members, but through greater inter-house collaborations too! Collectively, they aim to orchestrate events that cater to a larger segment of the school population. Whilst recognising the diversity of the traditions of each house, inter-house events seek to instil greater intra-batch bonding and a common school identity, and the recently concluded BBig HHearts VIA initiative is a strong testament to that belief.
Aside from our usual departmental or directorate roles, councillors are also deeply involved in organising our annual large-scale events, which we call Functions. The 6 primary functions of our term include: National Day, Teachers’ Day, Grad Night, Open House, Orientation, and an internal Council Camp. Councillors are grouped regardless of department into the following 6 events, and spend up to 6 months for preparations.
The experience that functions can provide which our usual departmental work may not is the fast-paced timeline in which these functions adhere to, whereas departmental work is seen as a year-long commitment. A prominent example of this is through our largest function, Orientation. The herculean task of settling over a thousand juniors is definitely no mean feat, and with a dedicated functions team overseeing all details of the 4-day camp, such a function definitely tests a 38th’s ability to adapt, improvise and overcome challenges where the situation calls for it.
Aside from their usual commitments, 38ths have access to a platform known as Project Xs, in which any councillor can propose any initiative they are passionate about that contributes towards building a more inclusive and enjoyable school environment. Some initiatives that we have launched this year include Lect-Cheer Tables and Batch Night! The former aims to brighten students’ days during the exam period and the latter, to bring the batch together for a night of fun.
Having gone through the work that we do, we have to confess that behind these fun and games are a group of 60 perennially sleep-deprived 17-18 year-olds. Amidst the whirlwind of activities, we too are sometimes blinded by the heavy workload that Council brings rather than its purpose.
However, what motivates us to strive on is seeing our batchmates strive harder on the field with our cheering, hearing out their concerns during Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), and seeing their faces light up after having received our welfare packs. These really motivate all of us to drag ourselves to our weekly meetings, remind us of the purpose we started out with, and inspire us to come together to not just think of better ideas, but make them happen.
With that, this has been a short preview of what we do in Council – hope to see you this year, as a fellow 39th!