Writer: Reuben Lim
Editor: Janice Fan
As the countdown touched zero, candidates for the President and Vice-President of the 53rd JCRC presented their vision and mission for KE VII Hall in the next academic year. On one side, we have Goh Wee Lee and Gwendolyn, and on the other, Qing Song and Lee Chun Keat. This would be the platform for the candidates to reach out to the voters of KE VII while addressing their concerns and problems faced during the year 2008/2009.
This is the first time in KE VII history that a presidential debate has been held between two rival teams vying for the Presidency. This is also after an amendment has been made to the KE VII constitution to enable elections for the President and Vice-President positions in the second semester of the academic year instead of the first. After the election of the President and Vice-President of the 53rd JCRC on a joint ticket, they will then select their cabinets which will consist of the other Secretaries; reminiscent of the US Presidential system.
Kok Pun was the moderator for the inaugural Presidential Debate. He started the debate with both teams introducing themselves respectively, after which they stated their motivation for running for the positions.
Qing Song and Chun Keat’s campaign centred on the desire to help out CCAs during their tenure, through better promotion of cultural events and more efficient administration of the sports cluster. Chun Keat also expressed that he would support the President in lifting up the name of KE VII while providing constructive opposition to ensure that a check and balance system exists in the JCRC.
Past experience in the 51st JCRC and good rapport with SCRC and the hall residents is the backbone of Wee Lee and Gwen’s mission. Wee Lee also gave his vision for the hall which is “all rounded excellence through strong administration.” Gwen elaborated more on their team’s plans to achieve their mission and vision through an improved CCA Fair, forming bilateral relationships with faculty clubs and rotatory leadership rules.
Next, it was Question Time for the candidates as Kok Pun posed some prepared questions for the candidates to make their stand on. This lasted for about 20 minutes as both sides made their points on the issues.
After that, the floor was opened to the residents to ask whatever they wanted to know from the two teams. There were several staple questions, like:
What are your comments on the 52nd JCRC?
Why did you choose your current partner?
And also more unique ones like:
Is ROCKE still relevant?
How will KE VII position itself in view of the challenge posed by the upcoming University Town?
This debate lasted for the better part of an hour, and at 8p.m. the inaugural Presidential Debate winded up with the closing speeches from both teams.
Sound Bites from the Presidential Debate:
Qing Song, on motivation for running for the JCRC Presidency-“I first considered it during IHG, when the swimming team lost every match, and during Xinyao promotion when work was 24 hours and I needed support from the hall.”
Gwen, on diversity of candidates’ backgrounds-“Which faculty you are from doesn’t matter; it is the CCAs you join that shows whether there is diversity.”
Wee Lee, on continuing to serve hall even if unelected-“I will continue the effort for publicity of KE VII in Science faculty through Science Club and their Freshmen Orientation Project. I will share these ideas with the new president even if I am unelected.”
Chun Keat, on being on the same team as Qing Song-“His idea of increasing the publicity of KE VII really touched me, and I can work well as a team with him.”
Qing Song, on 52nd JCRC-“They did a good job; all secretaries were clear about their job scope. There were two improvements; increased cooperation between CCAs like KE Media and better communication between JCRC and the hall residents.”
Wee Lee, on relooking the constitution-“We will look at the constitution to see if there are any loopholes as the constitution is still new; this will help to make it better for the future.”
Gwen, when introducing herself-“After two years of being here, I remember KE VII as more than a secluded hall with crazy flights of steps.”
Chun Keat, in his closing speech-“I would like to thank every candidate for passion in service to the hall, and remind Keviians to choose the best person for the job, for no matter what we’re still Keviians.”