Category Archives: AMS

AMS Clubs & Speakeasy

Last year, I spent a lot of money joining 9 clubs and then dropping all of them by the end of the first term for one reason or another.

This year, to better save my money, I’ve been signing up for mailing lists with the intention of paying only for those clubs I end up going to regularly. (Though I’ve found out that Youth Outreach doesn’t require membership fees at all, which I think is cool.)

Such as the Thai club. While I have not yet paid my membership fee for that, I trust my Thai friend will chase me up on it.

Hearing that I joined the Thai club, I also got recruited by a Taiwanese club and the Vietnamese club, neither of which I have any heritage with whatsoever or have paid my fees for either. But the promise of food is very enticing.

(The Thai club is offering a one-off 10% per table discount at an authentic Thai restaurant, so take advantage of it!)

So far I have successfully managed to avoid joining any Chinese clubs, though I foresee myself giving in to peer pressure and joining for the sake of an umbrella, two folders and a possible discount on a ski trip. While there seem to be many times more exec positions than regular membership positions, I’m not interested in going after one, even if it would be good on my resumé. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll regret this attitude.

I’ll tell you what I have done, though.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking and working on my application for AMS Speakeasy, the peer counselling service. I had my interview yesterday and got the position today. Training is this weekend all weekend, and while I’m as tired as ever, I’m really happy and relieved to join the team. I’ve been wanting to get involved with this for a long while now.

I did a lot of soul-searching last term and discovered a number of things that have me targeting a lot more specifically now. Namely, I don’t know enough about anything to know what I want to be doing with my life; my experiences thus far are mostly confined to entertaining young children. My aim this year is to get a variety of new and different experiences — not just any random experience, but in things I care about.

What do I care about?

I care about English lit. I care about creative writing. I care about being able to help another person face-to-face.

So I’m working with that for now. The academics side takes care of itself, thanks to school. I mean to see what can be done about the writing/editing/publishing side of things with the English Students’ Society, which is the only one I know thus far that has any kind of English literary publication. And now I’m volunteering with Speakeasy.

I also joined a dance class at the REC, I’m applying for co-op, and a few other things I’m sure to talk about as well as time goes on. But the point is, I hope I’m doing okay even if I am not a club exec of any sort.

I’m open to trying completely new things in the hopes of stumbling across something I would never imagine adoring if I hadn’t given it a go.

Guess that’s where the Thai and Taiwanese clubs come in, eh?

Yay :) x2

I’ve just received an official email that I’m offered admission into Herstmonceux for May and June. Hurray!

And I received another email with the unofficial announcement that all four AMS referenda questions passed, which means we are going to pay more money to renew the SUB, the bylaws are passed, we’re supporting refugee students and we’re keeping the U-Pass.

Three cheers for us (that is, you).

Political apathy

For someone who is very unpolitical, even I have felt the impact of AMS elections: one person made a speech in a class, I heard a couple of introductory speeches while eating lunch in the SUB, and most tellingly, I’ve received a few invitations to join Facebook groups voting for their favourite representatives.

Turning them all down made me question, perhaps for the first time, why I am so politically apathetic in not only the AMS, but HK and Canadian politics as well.

Actually, I can answer the one about Canada. I know nothing about Canadian politics beyond who the current Prime Minister is, and that takes me five to ten seconds to recall at any given time. I can name the President and Premier of China much faster. Like Canadian politics, I think it would be a step worse for me to vote randomly for people I don’t know than to just not know and to abstain from AMS elections altogether. Not that where I am is particularly sensible either. I should really know how things work.

Wherefore this political apathy? None of my family is political. None of my friends at home were. In fact, no one I knew in HK was actually political. Is this because we are rooted in being an ex-British colony when we didn’t have the vote? (One of those niceties that no one ever mentions when people criticise China for not allowing democracy in HK: Britain didn’t either.

Is it because we don’t have universal suffrage right now? The current system is to vote for representatives for your district and/or profession/industry, and these representatives will vote for the Chief Executive (who governs the city, and who reportedly has a higher salary than the US President, which is just ludicrous). I’m not sure how voting for legislators (LEGCO) works but it’s similar I think. People have been going on marches for “democracy” (i.e. universal suffrage) for a few years now. Of course, another one of those things which media (at least the main English broadsheet I read) stopped reporting on after the fashion for calling for universal suffrage came into being is the fact that when surveyed, the vast majority of the population doesn’t actually know how the HK political system works. It all makes me skeptical of whether people know what they are really demanding for when they go on democracy marches. In fact, people seem to be doing protests all the time now and they’re more often than not insignificantly small.

People went on another march when I was in HK over the break. Why? Because the Chinese government — and get this — has agreed to allow universal suffrage for the 2017 Chief Executive elections. But no, some people (politicians who want to have a pro-democratic reputation, perhaps) want to have universal suffrage for the 2012 Legco elections, so they had a little protest. Even though most people still don’t know how the system works. I dunno, but I always thought that democracy only works nicely when those who are voting are educated and well-informed about the system…

Still, I was delighted and surprised when I heard the news. I don’t think I expected the mainland government to be so supportive of universal suffrage so soon, just ten years after the original handover. It also efficiently squelches the previous raging (mostly foreign, I noticed) criticism that China would never allow universal suffrage/democracy. Teehee. I seem to have this streak of disliking other countries telling mine what to do. (Hey, I just discovered where I hold allegiance to!) But then again, how much would America like it if China started saying how they’re wrong and this this this is how things should be done?