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Bes t Photogra p her

Ridge Awards Night

Rishika anchalia, operations team


02

abishek balasubramaniam

A

What do you do in your free time?

second year Mechanical E n g i n e e r i n g student, Abishek Balasubramaniam has many other interests, including dance and drama (along with photography of course!). He keeps a photoblog (which you can find at http:// thetimecapture.tumblr.com).

In my free time I go on photowalks, I write (blog), I watch movies and read books. I am also an amateur (read noob) guitar player.

Have you enjoyed working for THE RIDGE?

Why do you like to snap? Its hard to say...I got into photography quite suddenly. I was taking pictures with my digital camera and one day I took a photo that I REALLY liked! And after that I just kept clicking until my dad bought me a DSLR :p Its been 10 months since then and I havn’t looked back. I love photography because it is something that is both shooting and capturing. It is a mix of both showing people things as they are and things are you see them. It lets me express myself even when words fail me. I see myself in my pictures and because of that, I love photography.

How long have you been with THE RIDGE for? I have been with THE RIDGE for two years (I joined in my first year). I wasn’t very active during my first year but now that I am, I’m having loads of fun working with the ridge!

I’m having loads of fun taking pictures for THE RIDGE this year. It gives me an opportunity to cover diverse events/places and I enjoy it!

What do you hope to see in THE RIDGE?

I love the new format of THE RIDGE. I would like to see more photographers and pictures in THE RIDGE. Maybe a monthly photo contest open to all NUS!

Tidbits? Hmmm, well, I am also interested in dance and drama (used to do it during high school!). I also have a personal record of watching the entire ‘Friends’ TV series at a stretch in 9 consecutive days :p

Any interesting tidbits about yourselves? Tidbits? Hmmm, well, I am also interested in dance and drama (used to do it during high school!). I also have a personal record of watching the entire ‘Friends’ TV series at a stretch in 9 consecutive days :p


NEWS * PHOTOSTORY

WHEN OPPOSITION IS HEALTHY

T

wo candid minds

ing most of our feed-

most unbiased of peo-

although his nomination

and the prevalence

back void.

ple.

of Ang as his vice presi-

of incongruities make

dent in the event of his

a perfect recipe to

The veracity of the

It is clear then that

victory means that stu-

politicize a situation.

faculty clubs’ complaint

Ang’s presence in this

dent representation will

That much is clear from

may be contentious, yet

sphere has implications

be improved no matter

the ongoing presidential

representation for the

for NUSSU. His back-

what the outcome.

struggle between Ang

average student at the

ground as a faculty club

Yu Qian and Christopher upper levels must be far Cheong.

p r e s i d e n t m e a n s t h a t w e Whatever the result, we can

f r o m i d e a l for s u c h a n

can expect big changes

note with pride that with this,

opinion.

for student representa-

NUSSU has taken a step to-

tion in the upper ech-

wards reviving a failing democ-

The crux of the problem is that

Another cause of frus-

elons of NUSSU, should

racy.

we s t u d e n t s d o n o t g e t

tration is how most of

he win.

(see next page for more info).

to vote for our leaders

the NUSSU leaders hail

and it seems that the f a c -

from NUSSU Bizcom,

Cheong, a member of

ulty clubs who repre-

NUSSU’s marketing

the present administra-

s e n t o u r v i e w s fi n d t h e i r

wing. Criticism here

tion, has demonstrated

concerns sidelined by

focuses on the fact that

that he is willing to

NUSSU, thereby render-

salesmen are never the

defend their position,

“THE CLASH OF IDEAS IS THE SOUND OF FREEDOM” – Lady Bird Johnson

photographer/photograph photographer name/website.com

AUTHOR VINOTHINI SUBRAMANIAN + PHOTOGRAPH ABHISHEK BALASUBRAMANIAN

11


08

NEWS

YIH CENTRAL SQUARE GETS A MAKEOVER It was this feedback that spurred the Office of Estate of Development (OED) to “open the Central Square to commercial operators rather than the traditional canteen vendors,” said David Ang, the senior manager of Retail and Dining Services at the OED. He further explained that these operators would have more experience in providing a good quality of service than traditional canteen vendors have. The three-month closure was enacted to redesign the canteen so that it could reflect the commercial identity of the new operator. Also, existing systems like the airconditioning and exhaust systems had to be improved in light of the upcoming changes. One such change will be the removal of a backroom for cooking. Instead, vendors will cook food at the counters like in major food courts around Singapore.

C

AUTHOR MEERA NAIR + PHOTOGRAPHERS MATTHEW CHEE, FIONA LI

Staff members were also unhappy with the closure as the canteen is mostly frequented by them during the peak hours, with students choosing to eat at their own faculties. Furthermore, the OED found itself unable to meet its target of completing the canteen by the start of the new semester as negotiations between the operator and NUS over the design of the new canteen took longer than expected. There was also a delay in securing the funds for the new canteen. But it would be worth the wait as long as “the final product is what they are guaranteeing”, said Sinha, adding, “If all goes according to plan, it will be even more convenient for us.” According to Ang, that is what the OED aims to give the students, saying “We want to do our best for them.”

There will also be an airconditioned seating area which can be used as a study area during non-peak hours. This was implemented after observing the success of a similar feature introduced in the Arts canteen, The new Central Square will have ‘The Deck’. a seating capacity of over 500 and will contain stalls like Pepper The process of improving the Lunch and Toast@Work, on top Central Square was not all of staples like Japanese food and smooth sailing, however. To begin mixed rice. with, some students were left disgruntled by the closure of the canteen.

attempt to respond to the wants of students as reflected in the ‘Retail and Dining’ survey done earlier this year. The survey revealed that students were most concerned with the quality of the environment and food, seating “There are a few choices to eat near RVR but the Central Square was The changes were made in an capacity and prices. ome end September, YIH Central Square, which has been closed for renovations since 1 July 2010, will reopen, this time boasting a higher capacity, better ambience as well as tastier food.

the largest and most convenient. With the closure, we had to travel further and that took a lot of time,” said Priyansha Sinha, a second-year civil engineering student who lives in the Ridge View Residences (RVR).


Matthew Chee

05

I have had a blast working for THE RIDGE, its the best thing ever that happened to me in NUS...[I hope it] will become the most sought-after magazine in NUS...

A

s a Photographer who just joined THE RIDGE Matthew Chee has taken many photos for the magazine.

Why do you like to snap? It’s an enjoyment, excitement to share something that nobody has seen.

How long have you been with THE RIDGE for? Ever since the starting of this semester.

What do you do in your free time? Books, movies, play tennis, play an musical instrument, exercise, photography, visiting friends, internet browsing, cooking, trying new restaurants/bars, travel, etc. I believe you’re only bored if you’re lazy. What interests you? Go learn more about it & do it!

Have you enjoyed working for THE RIDGE? I have had a blast working for THE RIDGE, its the best thing ever that happened to me in NUS...

What do you hope to see in THE RIDGE? It will become the most sought-after magazine in NUS, come-on its a free magazine.

It’s an enjoyment, excitement to share something that nobody has seen...I believe you’re only bored if you’re lazy. What interests you? Go learn more about it & do it!

author author name + photograph photographer name/website.com


06

lee yvonne

Y

vonne has been a photographer with THE RIDGE for almost a semester. She believes photos are the way to capture moments, create stories, and revive memories. One comment about her photo by a ridgester [Yellow Ribbon, October Issue] that stood out was “[t]he picture captures the essence of the Yellow Ribbon Run with it’s inclusion of the heading, runners, and of course their yellow shoelaces. The picture composition is also nice.“

Why do you like to snap? It started when I identified the low capacity of my memory. And snapping, idealistically (to me), is about capturing moments, creating stories, and reviving memories. Now, that’s a bliss! =)

How long have you been with THE RIDGE for? Since the beginning of this semester.

What do you do in your free time? TED-ing, improving photography skills, browsing through websites.

Have you enjoyed working for THE RIDGE? I am doing what I love to do! More reasons to be enjoying.

What do you hope to see in THE RIDGE? Hhmmm..... perhaps hope to not see, weirdly stretched images..

Any interesting tidbits about yourselves? I travel alone, to meet angels.

It started when I identified the low capacity of my memory. And snapping, idealistically (to me), is about capturing moments, creating stories, and reviving memories. Now, that’s a bliss! =)


newS

09

EvEry Small StEp CountS Over 10,000 ex-Offenders are released frOm prisOn annually Only tO enter a new gaOl, a prisOn with invisible bars. they face mistrust, suspiciOn and discriminatiOn Outside and even the best rehabilitatiOn regime is useless if they are rejected at every turn by the cOmmunity.

“E

v eryone can play a part in helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society.” That was the message Veronica Tang, a final-year double major in geography and communications and new media, intended to convey as she took part in the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run on 5 September. The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run is the flagship fundraiser event for the Yellow Ribbon Project, a community initiative in Singapore aiming to create awareness of the need to give ex-offenders a second chance, generate their acceptance in the community and inspire community action to support their rehabilitation and

reintegration into society.

Yellow Ribbon Project, Tang claimed otherwise, saying that In a show of support for the “many do walk away from the ex-offenders, over 7,600 runners event with a better understanding participated in the Run, with the of the aims of the Yellow Ribbon route taking them through several Project.” historical sites, including the Johore Battery and Old Changi The run raised $110,000 for the Prison Wall. Yellow Ribbon Fund, which is devoted to developing and “Everyone should be given refining rehabilitation and a second chance to start life reintegration programmes for afresh. Reintegrating into society ex-offenders, as well as to sustain certainly isn’t going to be an easy support services for the families road, which makes it even more of the incarcerated. important for us to show our support to the ex-offenders who While the run is Tang’s first sincerely want to change,” said participation in a Yellow ribbon Tang. initiative, she added that she plans “to take part in more of While the run may appear at such activities in the future” and first glance an ineffective tool urged her peers to do so as well. in spreading awareness on the

“A first step could be by participating in Yellow Ribbon Project activities or by simply wearing the yellow ribbon as a show of support for giving exoffenders a second chance,” she said. “Every small part that an individual plays makes a difference when these efforts come together. This is what being part of a community is about.”

photographer/photograph photographer name/website.com

author SriharSha Bhat + photograph Lee Yvonne


14

NEWS

NUSSU COUNCIL ELECTS ND 32 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE T

he 32nd NUSSU Council met for the first time on Sept 17 to elect six out of the seven constitutional positions of 32nd Executive Committee into power. The elections took place during a landmark 12-hour session held in Lecture Theatre 26 at the Faculty of Science.

addressed the council with a message that highlighted the importance of these focuses. Ang Yu Qian, Cheong’s sole rival for the presidential position, was elected as NUSSU Vice President.

The former SDE Club President Christopher Cheong, former Vice was willing to take up the role. President of the 31st Executive “Sometimes in life we don’t get Committee was voted in as what we want, but that doesn’t NUSSU President. mean we should stop believing in our ideas,” he said. Cheong’s plans for the Union focus on 3 key areas - Union Cheong readily accepted Ang as Building, Student Life and his Vice President. He pointed Student Needs. out that Ang’s background in NUSSU’s constituent clubs would Before the election, Cheong

complement his own strengths. This was not the only instance that evening where committee veterans triumphed over new blood. Tan Heng Wee, the former Deputy Publication Secretary, won the majority of votes over Eugene Tan for the role of Publication Secretary. No other positions were contested. Jia Han was elected as Honorary General Secretary for a second term. Lau Wei Liang was voted in as Honorary Financial Secretary and Ang Kai Li as Student Welfare Secretary. No nominee was voted in as Honorary Assistant Secretary. Ng Yim Chew Klo’e, the candidate for Honorary Assistant Secretary, admitted during her address that she had lost her enthusiasm for the position after it became clear that Ang had lost the presidency. “To be truthful to the council, I do not have the passion anymore, but I give my word that I will do

AUTHOR LUKE VIJAY + PHOTOGRAPH LUKE VIJAY

it to the best of my abilities,” she said. Although some observers believed Ng’s statements were the result of her feeling unwell - she had come to the election despite being down with a fever - the council chose not to elect her into power. Instead, as no other candidates were nominated for the position, the election of Honorary Assistant Secretary will be brought up again at the next NUSSU Council meeting. Aside from this minor hiccup, council members and observers seemed generally pleased with the election, although many were left exhausted by its length. The contest for the presidency was also well received. “More competition generates more ideas. It keeps people on their toes. They can learn from one another,” said the Arts and Social Sciences Club President, Wee Shi Chen.


Luke Vijay

07

Nope. I’m like incredibly boring. INCREDIBLY BORING!

A

n aspiring journalist, Luke Vijay has been termed as “uberhardworking“ by the Chief Ed and has been a mainstay in the News & Creative (as a photographer) desks and was recently promoted as our Copyeditor! After all the work of our designers, writers, editors & the Chief Editor, he goes through all your articles before sending it off for print! Despite what he says, the Chief Editor thinks he’s a fascinating character. He has written Who Will Lead the Union, NUSSU Council Elections 32nd Executive Committee and has snapped many photos.

Why do you like to write/snap? I like to think of myself as a news journalist because I feel it’s incredibly important for people to have a reliable source of information. I love hunting down people and forcing quotes out of them. And following through on great leads. Knowing something newsworthy before anyone else and breaking the story is like the best feeling in journalism.

Also, I take photos because sometimes pictures are the only way we can describe events effectively.

How long have you been with THE RIDGE for? I’ve been with the Ridge for two issues.

What do you do in your free time? Watch cats fall over on youtube? I don’t know. I’m a deejay with radio pulze and I go for open mics pretty often.

Have you enjoyed working for THE RIDGE? Yeah it’s been fun. Especially forcing people to pose for photos.

What do you hope to see in THE RIDGE? Hard hitting investigative journalism!

Any interesting tidbits about yourselves? Nope. I’m like incredibly boring. INCREDIBLY BORING! (Note: Not true. For example, he always records the conversations of everyone he meets for his articles on his iPhone 4!)

I like to think of myself as a news journalist because I feel it’s incredibly important for people to have a reliable source of information. I love hunting down people and forcing quotes out of them. And following through on great leads. Knowing something newsworthy before anyone else and breaking the story is like the best feeling in journalism.

Best Photographer  

Best Photographer, THE RIDGE Awards Night 2010

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