Quick Takes With the 12th CSC Candidates

Tembusu College students will soon be casting their votes for the members of the 12th College Students’ Committee (CSC).

The candidates contesting are: Liong Tze Hung, Ryan for the position of General Secretary; Or Hiu Kwan Catherine for the position of Finance Secretary; Liesha Mehta for the position of Communications Secretary; Lim Qi Hui for Welfare Secretary; Saylee Nilesh Patankar for Marketing Director; Timothy Lim for the position of Sports Director; and Eugene Chia Ann Yao for Enrichment Director

The position of Arts Director is currently vacant and a by-election will be held. In order for Tembusu students to get to know their candidates more intimately and personally, Treehouse has interviewed the students with a series of short questions. Their answers are presented below in order of their campaign roles, as seen above. 

Treehouse presents to the student body eight of the candidates running for CSC, minimally edited and in their own words as much as possible.

  1. Describe yourself in 3 words.

Ryan: Talkative, excited, nerdy!

Catherine: Animated, empathetic, adaptable.

Liesha: Empathetic, enthusiastic, perceptive.

Qi Hui: Proactive, bubbly and observant! 

Saylee: Really really small. 

Timothy: I cannot drive.

Eugene: Creative, Flexible, Spontaneous. Driven, bet you were not expecting 4 words, HA. I am spontaneous.

  1. Which fictional character do you identify the most with?

Ryan: Morty… Because I have the privilege of frequently being taken on wild adventures by my friends!

Catherine: Mystique from X-men. When I interact with others, I am able to match my energy to theirs, which I think is similar to shapeshifting.

Liesha: Remy from Ratatouille. He is a small little rat doing what he is passionate about.

Saylee: Rapunzel, because she feels a little trapped and is so fascinated with a world that she cannot (initially) reach. Also, Flynn Rider is pretty cute hehe! Need I say more haha.

Timothy: I would love to say I am spiderman but I am more like Paul Rudd’s Antman to be honest. 

Eugene: On my worst days? Zombie #2485284823. Jokes aside, I identify with Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. At the start of the series, Neville is Shy, Insecure and Very sensitive. These are traits that I am extremely familiar with and that I have spent much of my life trying to “overcome” and I am proud to say that in the course of doing so, I have instead learnt how to accept and work with these traits. On the upside, Neville is Courageous, Loyal and Caring. I treasure my relationships a lot and I treat my friends like my own family. #FAMILY. I am also courageous and daring, I make mistakes, I get bruised and maybe break some bones but in the end I think I have always been better for it.

  1. If you could have an endless supply of food, what would it be?

Ryan: If I could only pick one kind of food I would probably pick fried rice because it is quite decent for lunch and dinner and I will not get sick of it. 

Catherine: Pizza!

Liesha: Pasta! I already have it 3 out of 5 times a week, plus it is so versatile.

Qi Hui: It would definitely be bread! I love bread – all types of bread. I like my bread plain, with filling or with toppings. 

Saylee: PASTA!!! All my friends can tell you about how obsessed I am with it. I love pasta so much — I could literally eat it for every meal every single day!! Getting an endless supply of pasta would literally be a dream come true! 

Timothy: Should I choose the one food that I truly love but know will be surfeiting and therefore, sickening? Not to mention its harmful effects on the human body. Or should I choose a food item that I can eat and survive off for the rest of my life? If the former, then my answer is a cheeseburger. My answer to the latter would be oats because I can make all sorts of dishes with oats, like oat porridge… 

Eugene: CRISPY SPRING ROLLS. Crispy, savory skin. Soft, warm fillings. Slightly oily – Fat. Pastry skin – Carbohydrates. Spring onion, radish and carrots – Vegetables. Minced meat – Protein. This is a whole meal.

  1. If you were your favourite singer/ band/artiste’s manager, how would you promote them to your fellow Tembusians?

Ryan: Honestly if I were ‘Why Don’t We’s manager’… I could probably just tell my friends that I am their manager and they will go crazy.

Catherine: I would play their songs in the lobby for the whole day. To me, there is no better way of promoting than letting everyone listen to the songs themselves!

Liesha: The musical embodiment of the Northern Lights, COLDPLAY, is performing under the stars! Book your tickets before there is no grass left to stand on!!!

Qi Hui: My favourite band is BTS and I would promote them to Tembusians by making them watch their variety shows haha! They are not just talented singer-dancers, they are also really funny. I cannot stop laughing whenever I watch their variety shows — they are the best comedians ever. I love how unfiltered they are on shows and how they take care of one other so well!

Saylee: Keshi – “He makes really vibey music, and is so underrated. More people need to listen to him!!”

Timothy: I would say that she has matured as an artist. But to be honest her reputation precedes her, and she does not need any promotion. And yeah, that is because she is Taylor Swift. 

Eugene: I do not actually have a favorite Singer/ Band/ Artiste. However, I do have an amazing playlist of sad songs on Spotify. It is titled “Actual sad songs”. Ever want to be alone with your feelings; you are not sad per se but you want to be in a muted mood while thinking about things? “Actual sad songs” contain songs that are actually sad songs, both lyrically and musically. No joyful vibes to distract you from your thoughts. Actual sad songs.

  1. What motivated you to run for this position in the CSC?

Ryan: Because I can try to make a difference! Being the General Secretary would give me opportunities to make a difference in the administrative side of things, which I have some interesting ideas for.

Catherine: My desire to serve the college and my pleasant experiences in the marketing subcommittee in the past year.

Liesha: I am a creatively inclined person and the role of communications secretary seemed the most apt as it had a creative aspect along with its administrative responsibilities. 

Qi Hui: I always enjoy being part of committees because I really enjoy planning events and improving the quality of life for others. I feel that by joining the CSC as the Welfare Secretary, I will have greater capacity to improve the quality of events and make college life more vibrant. I want to introduce fun into our daily lives and have a strong support system that Tembusians can fall back on with our consistent welfare plans. 

Saylee: In Year 1, I was a member of the marketing subcommittee and I found it incredibly fulfilling. I feel like in the past, like in high school, despite what positions you hold, it is quite rare to see tangible impacts of the work you do. But in the marketing subcommittee, I could see Tembusians wearing new merchandise, or enjoying the tCard deals that the committee (shoutout to boss Zilun, Cat, Theja, Junjie, Rishi!!) had worked so hard for. I want to take this one step further, to make a greater positive impact on the lives of Tembusians!

Timothy: Short answer is I love sports and Tembusu. So what better way for me to contribute to the community than through the union of these two facets of my life by taking office as the sports director?

Eugene: To me, the enrichment Interest Groups (IGs) in Tembusu are what makes Tembusu, Tembusu. Enrichment IGs are platforms that provide students a place to grow their passions, learn, and meet like-minded people. I have personally benefited from the IGs here in Tembusu. With the experience I have garnered from running some, I hope to aid Tembusians in growing their passions and building their Tembusu experience.

  1. When was the last time you tried something new?

Ryan: Recently… I played We’re Not Really Strangers (shoutout to Love Tembusu! Go check them out) with my friends (you all know who you are).

Catherine: The last time I tried something new and exciting was a year ago, when I went to the Jewel Sky Nets. It was extremely scary…

Liesha:  Last semester, I started going for Volleyball sessions and I try to go regularly. Thank you Haikyu!

Qi Hui: Probably a few nights ago haha. I tried Beauty in the Pot with my floormates at 12am. I have never tried eating hotpot this late at night! I feel that I am trying something new everyday since I entered University. They are not really big things where I challenge myself or new skills but they’re just new experiences that I keep adding into my life. These new experiences have helped mould my university experience to be something nothing short of fun and laughter! 

Saylee: I guess running for CSC is trying something new – it is a huge step out of my comfort zone. Like what I mentioned in my election form, I tend to shy away from “putting myself out there”, so this is something new, daunting, yet exciting for me! Other than this, a month or so ago my best friend who is from Vietnam took our friend group to a traditional Vietnamese restaurant where I tried snails for the first time. It was mildly scary, did not taste great, but it was a fun experience nevertheless!

Timothy: I do not know actually…  I think running for office is something new that I have never done before.

Eugene: I strive to try something new every day, one way I do this is to try new food!! A few days back my friends and I walked to Yusof Ishak House (YIH) to try the food there, but it was closed. So we walked to The Tea Party but it was closed as well. We then walked to Hwang’s and it was closed too. We finally settled on Udon Don Bar, where I tried the Spicy Namban Chawan Chicken Don. In a way, you could say that I also tried walking to YIH from Tembusu for the first time too.

  1. If you could be in the Guiness book of world records, what record-breaking feat would you attempt?

Ryan: I want to attempt surfing the biggest wave ever, but I do not know how to surf… yet.

Catherine: If I had a lot of time, I would attempt the “Most Cinema Productions Attended of the Same Film” record and I would watch a Marvel movie 192 times.

Liesha: The greatest number of body waves in a minute. I think I am pretty good at that.

Qi Hui: Not too sure but maybe the number of things I can break… I am pretty unlucky (disclaimer: not clumsy!!) and my things just keep breaking no matter how I try to be careful. During lab sessions, I kept breaking my casts and models to the extent that the lab technicians know it is definitely me when they hear that someone broke their model. 

Saylee: Both my mom and best friend said “longest time one can sleep for…”  

Timothy: I would honestly attempt the longest shower ever taken in the whole of human history.  

Eugene: Number of IGs that I can attend in a week. Just kidding. A record-breaking feat would be the amount of water I can drink. Fun fact: I once weighed myself, force-fed myself lots of water to see how much water I could drink and store. Then, I reweighed myself, and my weight increased by 1.2kg. Afterwards I went to pee, and I lost 0.6kg.

  1. What would you do if you had all the money in the world?

Ryan: Probably just not give too much money to Jeff Bezos.

Catherine: I would get everything my family wants, donate to charities, after that, travel and shop with family and friends.

Liesha: Follow the path of Gwen Stefani. Just kidding, no. I would give a part of it to my parents, part of it to charity and hopefully still have enough left to buy front-row seats to every F1 Grand Prix.

Qi Hui: Donate half of it to support the green economy and the other half on cakes! Cakes make me happy whenever I am feeling down. I feel that cakes are the best solution to make someone happy so I like getting my friends cakes to eat too. 

Saylee: I would use it to travel! I absolutely love travelling. It is what I am most passionate about – I even have a travel inspired tattoo. Unfortunately, it is a rather expensive passion so I would love lots of money to travel all around the world! 

Timothy: I would retire and just vibe by the beachside.  

Eugene: Water and crispy spring rolls? Nope, but water, crispy spring rolls and education for all would be the way to go. Food, water and shelter fulfill the basic needs of all people but without empowerment and sustainable efforts, these will simply be stop-gap measures. I strongly believe in sustainability when approaching Community Involvement Programme (CIP) projects and I have seen projects become self-sustaining. The key to the success of these projects in my opinion would be the emphasis on quality education.

  1. What is the main reason you wake up in the morning?

Ryan: Because I have to go for classes… 

Catherine: I am hungry and I also have many things to do.

Liesha: Sheer panic. I wake up in panic to panic about all the things that cause me panic. 

Qi Hui: So that I will not be late for 8am lab sessions! Haha jokes aside, it is because I feel that generally waking up early brings about a more productive and positive day ahead!

Saylee: I do not wake up before 2pm unless I have lessons, so lessons…

Timothy: Usually, it is because I have to go to the bathroom.

Eugene: The morning light that peaks in from behind the blinds, or the crowing rooster at the Education Resource Centre (ERC). But if you were looking for an answer with deeper meaning, I have to say that I do not know yet. What I do know however is that I am privileged– I can afford education, food, water, a lot of water, crispy spring rolls and a roof over my head. What have I done to deserve all this? I think that for peers in my situation too, the answer would simply be “Nothing”. What I also know is that there are people out there that are possibly more capable, more hardworking, and smarter than I am, yet are not as blessed as I have been. I wake up for them– I do not know who they are, and I do not know for sure how I can help, but I wake up for them.

  1. What does getting elected mean to you?

Ryan:It would mean that I have an obligation to help run activities in Tembusu as smoothly as they have been, and it would be even better if I could help improve some of the ways activities are run.

Catherine: Getting elected means that I will be able to implement my plans for the college. It also means that I can learn and gain more experience during my tenure. 

Liesha: Getting elected, for me, means that the student body has rightfully chosen me to be their representative. It is a stamp of approval and the only way I can do justice to their votes is by listening and voicing out their concerns, and hence addressing it by making appropriate changes.

Qi Hui: Getting elected would mean that I will need to work even harder! Should I get elected as Welfare Secretary, I will have more commitments to juggle haha. On a more serious note,getting elected means that Tembusians trust in me to bring about a more vibrant college life. Thus, I need to stay focused and be dedicated to my vision that I promised, to not let down the people who have put their faith in me. Being elected would also be a challenge for myself as I place myself out of my comfort zone to try this new role. 

Saylee: I guess getting elected means great responsibility and accountability. The CSC represents the student body and I feel a sense of responsibility to do good for the Tembusu community as it has truly given me so much. Additionally, I see getting elected as a medium for growth and an opportunity for me to hone interpersonal skills, to learn to take calculated risks and be an able leader. 

Timothy: Getting elected means that the student body is willing to place trust in me to be a member of its Student Committee. Being responsible for the college experience of many others and being a reliable leader of this community that I treasure, is something that I truly aspire to achieve. Getting elected means taking my first steps in making the changes that I want to make. Having the support of the college will truly inspire and encourage me.

Eugene: It will mean that people appreciate and are onboard with the plans I have for Tembusu. Though I formed my plans after meaningful conversations with my peers and various stakeholders, they still do not represent the majority of the student body. Getting elected means that a majority of students here agree with what I hope to achieve for Tembusu.

Feature image by Elliott Stallion from Unsplash. Header image from file.

Treehouse would like to thank the candidates for lending us their time to answer our questions in the midst of their campaign period. External online voting for the 12th CSC will commence on 6 September, Monday, and close on 7 September, Tuesday. The election results will be determined by external confidence vote (70%), from students, and by internal vote (30%), from all candidates in the running. Election results will be released on 8 September, Wednesday. The by-election nomination period will commence immediately after the release of the results on 8 September Wednesday, and both internal and external voting will be conducted on 16 September, Thursday. Latest updates will be announced to the student body by the Elections Committee staffed by the 11th CSC.

About the Author:

Xin Ni is a Year 1 Psychology major, and is ALWAYS up for a mental wellness talk over a cuppa tea! If you ever encounter a stranger who greets you in the lift, chances are, that may be Xin Ni feeling like she is in her 51% extroverted state.