By Anamika Ragu (23A01A), Johnathan Lim (23S03M), and Saara Katyal (23S05A)
The morning of 18 May 2022 marked the beginning of the very first physical Students’ Council Investiture the school had seen in two years. Councillors from both the 41st and 42nd batch reported bright and early to the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) at 7:30am to prepare for the investiture which began at 9am.
The entire PAC was abuzz with nerves and excitement, especially among the incoming leaders who would officially step up in just a few hours. “Investiture itself feels very surreal. Everyone definitely feels honoured, but there’s also some pressure to fill some really big shoes,” admitted Karine Hay, the 42nd Vice Captain of Hadley-Hullett.
Teo Zheng Kang (23A01A), the 42nd Vice President, echoed this sentiment, “I’m quite excited to kick off my Council journey proper […] but also quite nervous because it means the seniors are stepping down. We’ll have to quickly coordinate ourselves and start work.”
Wielding The Promethean Flame
The theme of Investiture this year was “4BLA2E” (ABLAZE). Besides being a pun on the symbolic Blazer Ceremony, the theme represents the Promethean flame our Councillors will carry proudly in their journey leading the school.
This year’s Guest of Honour (GOH) was Ms Lee Zi Xin, the Financial Secretary of the 32nd Students’ Council.
In her speech, she urged Councillors to look within themselves before influencing others around them, and reminded them to focus on the bigger picture and learn to take ownership of their successes and failures alike. She ended her speech asking, “With this vote of confidence today from the school, and the power vested in you by the Investiture, how will you lead?”
Her speech was followed by an insightful dialogue session with her, Principal of Raffles Institution, Mr Frederick Yeo, and Deputy Principal of Raffles Institution, Ms Ng Mei Sze.
In sharing about leadership, Mr Yeo emphasised on the importance of servant leadership and humility considering the transience of their term as student leaders, and warned against the dangers of treating the responsibility bestowed upon them as an opportunity to pursue personal glory.
Along the same lines, Ms Ng called for Councillors to prioritise genuinity and kindness in their interactions, while pushing themselves to reach greater heights.
Next, Wong Kin Feng (22S03L) and Wang Yining, Marianne (23A01C), the 41st and 42nd Students’ Council Presidents were invited to speak.
“To me, Council has always been about the people,” said Kin Feng, remarking on the strength in unity as the 65 members of the 41st batch worked together to serve the school. He called for the Councillors to be proactive and responsive leaders, asking, “Will we choose to watch setbacks happen passively, or will we use them to move forward every step of the way?”
In Marianne’s heartfelt speech, she reminisced on the extremely rapid journey from nominations to Investiture. Expressing her confidence in the 42nd batch, she also conveyed her immense gratitude for the 41st batch preceding her for all their support and contributions to the school thus far.
“I know those are what we will wish to bring to the school,” she said, donning a proud smile. “And I’m excited.”
To Honour Those Before, and build Rap-port
In an incredibly touching segment, the Farewell video from the 41st to 42nd Students’ Council was screened. The PAC erupted with laughter as the rap music video prepared by the 42nd batch played, and from the inside jokes from the 41st batch as they reminisced on the good times they had in Council.
Thus came the time for the incoming leaders to formally accept the Promethean torch. First came the Blazer Ceremony, in which the 41st batch removed their blazers and the 42nd donned their own. The uplifting music played truly added to the atmosphere, symbolising the official handover of responsibility.
Next, the 42nd Vice Presidents took centre-stage in leading their batch in reciting the Council Oath.
Finally, everyone in the PAC rose to sing the Institution Anthem, symbolising their commitment and loyalty that lies first and foremost with the school despite their differing roles and responsibilities during their term as Student Councillors.
As the Investiture drew to a close, everyone in the PAC burst into the Team Raffles cheer, with energy reflecting their enthusiasm to serve during their year in office. The Councillors then proceeded to the Hodge Lodge for photo-taking, marking the end of Council Investiture 2022.
Raffles Press wishes the 42nd Students’ Council all the best in their term ahead.