C4RPE DI3M: Council Investiture 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Pan Haotian (24A01B)

There was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air as a fresh batch of Councillors took their seats in the PAC on the morning of 24 May. In just a few hours, they would officially assume the positions of the outgoing 42nd Students’ Council, and carve out their own path in the year ahead. 

For the 43rd Students’ Council, the Investiture marked the beginning of their term, and a commencement of their duties. Whereas for their seniors, rather than signalling an end to their leadership, it was a continuation of the lifelong lessons they learnt and the indelible legacy they have left on the school, which was reflected in the eager faces of their successors. 

The theme this year was ‘C4RPE DI3M” (carpe diem), a Latin phrase that means “seize the day”. With a one-year term ahead of them, the theme implores Councillors to make the most of their term and chase their ambitions for school and house spirit. 

Dialogue with the Guest of Honour, Mr Gaius Ong, and the principal, Mr Frederick Yeo.

The ceremony was kicked off by a dialogue with the Guest of Honour, Mr Gaius Ong, the Secretary of the 33rd Students’ Council, as well as our principal, Mr Frederick Yeo. A series of questions were posed regarding their personal experiences with leadership. 

Neither of them shied away from being candid about the challenges they encountered along the way, sharing about the inevitable ups and downs of being a leader. Mr Ong’s advice was to constantly seek to embody three values as a leader: self-mastery, empowerment, and care. Those experiences of leadership from Council, he said, continue long after graduation, and impart lifelong lessons that can be applied elsewhere. 

Failure, he reasoned, was not itself the most formidable obstacle. Rather, it was the fear of failure that held one back. He reflected fondly upon his own time in Council—drawing on his own experience, his final word of advice to the Councillors was to embrace their new duties as Councillors, and in the process, embrace failure itself. 

“Council was really a good formative experience for us to learn how to fail.” 

Guest of Honour, Mr Gaius Ong

Following Mr Ong’s dialogue, Mr Yeo then spoke about his own challenges in leading the school. His sharing elucidated that challenges—and certainly failures—are inevitable. 

Next, Marianne Wang (23A01C), the 42nd Students’ Council President, came on stage to give her farewell speech. Her speech was peppered with anecdotes from her own time in Students’ Council, and she recounted numerous shared memories with her fellow Councillors. 

Over the course of the past year, the 42nd Students’ Council has forged an unbreakable bond that has formed the backbone of their work. Despite the challenges of managing the post-pandemic transition, they navigated unforeseen circumstances with aplomb. These highs and lows have undoubtedly made their time in Students’ Council unforgettable. 

“I love my batch” – Marianne Wang, 42nd Students’ Council President.

She ended her speech by offering several pieces of advice for the 43rd Students’ Council. In balancing school life and Students’ Council duties, she warns, the incoming batch will invariably fall into periods of doubt and uncertainty. There is, however, strength in numbers. Together, the Students’ Council is larger than the sum of its parts, and that unity will allow them to tackle seemingly insurmountable problems. 

“Remember that you’re part of something bigger than yourself, so look out for one another and work in unity.” 

Marianne Wang (23A01C), 42nd Students’ Council President

Following Marianne’s speech, certificates of appreciation were presented to the 42nd Students’ Council for their contributions to the school community. A video montage was screened, and the PAC oscillated between bouts of laughter and waves of nostalgia as photos of the outgoing batch were interspliced with a rap created by the 43rd Students’ Council.   

It was then time for the symbolic blazer handover ceremony, as well as the badge presentation, where the 42nd Students’ Council shed their blazers and badges while the 43rd donned theirs for the very first time. 

The 43nd Students’ Council during the blazer handover ceremony.

Wayne Phee (24S06M), the 43rd Students’ Council President, took the stage to deliver his address. In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to the tight-knit Rafflesian community for inspiring his run for Council President, but also recognised that it was not something to be taken for granted. Rather, it was something that required conscientious effort to build up—a task that now fell onto his batch’s shoulders. 

The mission of the new batch of Councillors is crystal clear: to maintain the school community through not only individual efforts but also collective action, and to carry the torch of the post-COVID transition. Though they certainly have big shoes to fill, there was an undercurrent of excitement amongst the 43rd Councillors. 

Wayne ended his speech by reassuring his fellow Councillors that mistakes would be made, but that they would work through them as one—a sentiment Marianne also echoed in her speech.  

Wayne Phee, 43rd Students’ Council President, giving his address.

“We are going to make mistakes, but let’s do it together, and let’s do it well.” 

Wayne Phee (24S06M), 43nd Students’ Council President

To conclude the Investiture, Clarissa Nguyen (24S07B) and Kenzie Li Zhi Xian (24S03D), the Vice Presidents of the 43rd Students’ Council, led the PAC to recite the Council Oath, thereby reaffirming their commitment to the school and to their fellow students. 

42nd Students’ Council taking their oath, led by Vice Presidents Clarissa Nguyen (24S07B) and Kenzie Li Zhi Xian (24S03D).

With that, Council Investiture 2023 drew to a close, and the Councillors flooded out of the PAC to take photos with each other and celebrate. 

To the 42nds, goodbye, and to the 43rds, good luck! 

Image credits to Raffles Photographic Society.

471930cookie-checkC4RPE DI3M: Council Investiture 2023


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