CCA Previews ’21: RECAS

By Yang Yiran (21S03D), Chairperson 

Hello from the Raffles Economics and Current Affairs Society! RECAS members are often asked “So, what do you do in CCA?”, probably because of our cryptic name which reveals little about the inner workings of our club. Contrary to what some may presume, we are by no means a “GP/Econs mugging club”! Instead, we aim to explore topics relevant to economics and current affairs beyond the syllabus and engage members in stimulating conversations which produce nuanced perspectives and enrich our worldviews.

So, what do we do?

Our weekly Wednesday sessions take the form of club meetings where our EXCO and members bring up a wide range of issues to share with the club: from foreign elections to vaccine advancements to global economic developments to how drug cartels work… you name it! 

Discussion groups are a common arrangement in our CCA; whether you’re an avid speaker or a dreamy ponderer, we have a place for you in these close-knit groups where you can voice your (radical or not, ideally well-founded!) opinions with absolutely no fear of judgment by anybody. 

The club also values our relaxed and congenial environment—bonding through frequent small talk and games fosters close connections which not only enable us to open up to each other during discussions but also form the steady basis for our club to provide a support network for members throughout their time in RECAS.

What can prospective members look forward to?

Apart from our regular weekly session, RECAS also conducts special sessions such as human libraries and in-house debates which equip members with deeper insights into specific themes.

We also plan club outings to venues including the Parliament House, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) building, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Singapore Maritime Gallery. These are good opportunities for members to gain first-hand experience of the works of organisations involved in the sphere of economics or current affairs. 

In addition, RECAS gets in touch with distinguished speakers who engage our members and the school community in expert dialogues and seminars. These sessions allow for in-depth appreciation of the local economics and current affairs landscape.

Our current members

Our members are intrigued by a variety of global affairs and contribute to a pool of diverse insights in the CCA. Check out what our members Cai Hui, Karthik and Charlotte have to say about the world today!

Cai Hui, a member of RECAS.

Cai Hui (21S07A): “I am concerned about the impact of big tech on global power dynamics; not only do technology and tech[nology] companies allow authorities to wield disproportionate power and bypass checks and balances, but they are themselves also self-interested actors, and I think that this interplay of public and private interest is interesting.”  

Karthik at the Củ Chi Tunnels in Vietnam. (photo taken pre-COVID)

Karthik (21S03B): “I am passionate about oppression by authoritarian regimes. Authoritarianism is on the rise with leaders like Viktor Orban (Hungary) or Sebastian Pinera (Chile). These leaders are… seizing power and exploiting the COVID-19 situation to gain immense power. Viktor Orban declared a state of emergency and rule by decree where he can sidestep parliament and suspend existing laws. The law will permanently amend two articles of the criminal code that will further limit freedom of speech. This is just one example of leaders [ruling with] an iron fist [in] their countr[ies] for personal gains.”

Charlotte in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Game of Thrones fans might notice a familiar architectural landmark on her left. (photo taken pre-COVID)

Charlotte (21S03L): “One global issue I am passionate about is child labour, which is especially prevalent in developing countries and in sectors such as carpet weaving, where the nimble fingers of children are favoured in the process of making intricate designs on carpets. These children tend to drop out of school prematurely to earn additional income to support their families and are trapped within the vicious cycle that is poverty. Their health and emotional wellbeing could also come under threat as they work long hours in “far less than ideal” conditions and do not get to enjoy their childhoods. Having realised the various negative impacts of child labour on these children, I am passionate about supporting anti-child labour movements by buying child labour free products and raising awareness to the people around me.”

Who should look to join us?

If you’re interested in current affairs or want a platform to sharpen your opinions and expand your outlook, RECAS is definitely the CCA that you’d find a home in! As a predominantly student-run club, RECAS takes discussion topics and activities suggested by every member into serious consideration. Choosing us means joining a family of friends with whom you can talk openly; you may also work with fellow members and the EXCO to reach out to the school and the wider community to involve them in discussing economics and current affairs. 

At RECAS, interest is the only prerequisite for entry. Join us to be part of a community of some “chill” people who always like a fun conversation!

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