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NEWS

VOL. 3, ISSUE 10

TUESDAY, 31 MARCH 2015

YALE-NUS, SINGAPORE

EDITOR’S NOTE Dear readers, After three-quarters of a semester and many sleepless nights, the Editorial Team has reached a unanimous decision. We hold the truth as sacred and uncompromisable, under all circumstances. It is hence with no small amount of pride that we reveal the all-seeing nature of our organization.

We have hidden cameras in all common lounges, snuck listening bugs into all private rooms, and planted spies in every organization and group in the College. To reflect our newly revised mission statement—We are watching—we will be reverting to the name: Panopt. It is our belief that Panopt accurately captures the essence of our organization where

we keep watch over all members of the community, turning every individual into a self-surveilling criminal. Remember this: Panopt is watching. Yours Truly, Ann Oyjat Editor-in-Chief

OVERNIGHT SEARCH RAID AT YALE-NUS story Yona Tan and May Tan | photo Paneer Dhauchari

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ver two dozen students’ rooms at Yale-NUS College were raided on Thursday, March 27, after campus security acted on anonymous tip-offs about a chewing gum smuggling ring within Residential College 4 (RC4). A twelve-hour search by authorities, however, only revealed large amounts of unused condoms and several cats in students’ rooms. According to security officer Kerosh Fun, the Campus Security Office had been receiving multiple anonymous letters throughout the semester claiming there was an underground chewing gum distribution ring within RC4. The letters also detailed how the underground ring had spread throughout University Town and parts of the National University of Singapore (NUS) main campus. “At first, we just passed [the letters] around the office as a joke, but then the [gum] wrappers started appearing,” Fun said. “We began to believe there was suspicious activity, and started holding gum stakeouts on campus,” he added. At 3:12 am and 41 seconds, while a fire alarm was activated, campus security took the opportunity to conduct simultaneous surprise raids on the rooms of 25 prime suspects. The suspects’ names were revealed in the latest of the anonymous letters. However, twelve hours of searching proved unfruitful. The search was assisted by the ferocious pet dogs of several faculty members, such as professors Drew Onsen and Jennifer Hansel. Hsi-men Ch’ing ’16, one of the students whose rooms were searched, claimed he had not come into contact with gum since leaving his home in Taiwan for the semester. Instead,

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38 unused condoms were found on his desk. When questioned by the search officers, he said, “I was planning on using them, okay? The opportunity ... it just hadn’t, it just hadn’t come up yet, okay?” Ch’ing was not the only one found with unused condoms. Of the 25 rooms, sixteen were found with over twenty unused condoms. According to Health Counselor Dr. Sarah Seuss, this discovery sheds new light on a longstanding concern of the Healthy Living Clinic,

Above: Katniss Evergreen ’19 was also found with more than 20 condoms on her bed.

which is working on sexual health policies that are “confidential at the moment”. Due to the large number of taken condoms, she had believed there was a very high number of sexually active students in the college. She now thinks there may be other reasons why students took the condoms, such as the fact that “the condoms were sponsored by Yale University and the packaging has their cute bulldog mascot”. A few rooms were also found with cats living alongside their occupants. According to guidelines by the Office of Housing, students are strictly prohibited from keeping animals, other than lions or bulldogs, within their dormitories. According to the leader of the search operation, Sergeant Robo Cop, one student’s room was almost filled completely with cats. Katniss Evergreen ’19, the student in question, invited Panopt reporters into her room to prove her innocence. “They said the floor was covered in cats and they couldn’t even walk in, but look! No cats at all,” she claimed. Loud meowing could be heard from her neighbors’ rooms. A senior, who wished to stay anonymous, claimed she had introduced the cats into RC4. “It started with one stray. I just couldn’t leave her, and so I took her in, fixed her up, and a classmate adopted her,” she said. “Then more starting showing up, and that was when I found my calling. I can graduate in peace now.” President Lericles Pewis ’81 said he was heartened that at least a number of YaleNUS students are involved in some form of community service. “We are in Asia for the world .... for cats too,” he said.


ARTS/SPORTS

REVIEW: DoS FORUM

FLOORBALL MADE ME LEFT-HANDED story Aved Chellapp photo Paneer Dhauchari

T Audiences were enraptured by stirring monologues in DoS Forum.

review Hadul Abmid | photo Volk Agayap

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bare stage, a string of monologues, and many interactive segments with the audience—is this the new theatre of Yale-NUS College? Long established in the college, the DoSpians have been known for their performances, which attempt to articulate a vision for the community, but Thursday night’s piece, DoS Forum, deserves praise on its own for pulling all the stops for an arresting night of drama. As befitting a cutting-edge liberal arts college, DoS Forum departed from many formalisms of the theatre, eschewing elaborate sets and costumes for extreme minimalism. A wooden floor and the use of house lights effectively blurred the lines between the real world and the performance itself. The performers, Kale Parsley, Dory Pau and Chuck Baileys delivered stirring monologues on notions of change while wearing khaki pants. “I’m sure they were symbolic in some way, I just know it,” said Bodoh Peh Kambing ’17. Other students were less enthusiastic about the radical departure from form. “It was a strange performance,” said Estra Gon ’17. “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!” Gon said. He felt that monologues were subpar, even if they were delivered beautifully. Budding theatre enthusiast, Pretend Shus Tul ’18 added, “I couldn’t hear Pau from the back of the performance space, but her monologue was full of feeling”. Kambing, a professional wayang specialist, felt that the collective effervescence as audience and performer shared the space was all that was needed. “The clapping at the end of every segment was genius. I’m sold on this new form of theatre and I’ll use it during my own wayang

performance,” he said. Baileys was arguably the best performer of the night. His baritone voice filled the space as he pontificated on the difficulties of improving “the Common Curriculum”. He brought full dramatic energy to the line “Would you be interested in reworking the liberal arts education from the ground up?” and left audiences enraptured by his compelling stage presence. Tul noted that Pau’s monologue may have benefitted from more intense workshopping, saying that “The language, I felt, could have benefitted from a more Shakespearean flavor. Give me rich descriptions of the size of our toilets, and our nine square meter rooms! Let me smell that musty concrete.” The show was not without its hiccups. During one of the interactive segments, where audience members were cajoled into asking questions, a student interrupted onstage action with his own tirade on safer sex practices, much to the chagrin of the audience present. “Leave it up to Yale-NUS students to interrupt everything,” Tul said. “He could have waited until the post-show dialogue to have his views heard!” he added. Tensions looked to have peaked at that moment, but diffused soon with Parsley’s improvisation incorporating the tirade. “That was a close save, who would have known what we might have talked about if Parsley didn’t stop him,” said Gon. “I had my reservations about DoS Forum putting Parsley, Pau and Baileys together, but it’s a perfect blend of East meets West!” said Kambing. And indeed, as everyone rushed to have the free food held hostage till the postshow dialogue was over, it was evident that the DoSpians had once again, gotten everyone on board with their abstract performance.

he Yale-NUS College floorball team has become left-handed after the bulk purchase of left-handed floorball sticks by Athletics Director Bill Cartwright. While the purchase was initially met with disbelief by players, it seems to have been a blessing in disguise. Team captain Omar Gosh ’18 first noticed this phenomenon at the team’s weekly training session on Thursday, March 19, days after Mr. Cartwright had purchased the sticks. When training began at 8:30 pm he was shocked to discover that the entire team was solely using their left hands during the game. The surprises did not stop there. Even more extraordinary was Gosh’s realization that the entire team was now using their left hands for everyday tasks as well. He said, “not only were they playing floorball with their left hands, but they were high fiving, texting and shaking hands with their left hands as well, without any prior agreement.” Gosh added that he had never expected this sort of result from the purchase of the sticks and had actually been irritated with Mr. Cartwright for what Gosh viewed as “a monumental blunder.” While this may have come as a surprise to Gosh and his teammates, Mr. Cartwright maintains it was always his intention. “Having the ability to play with the alternative hand gives Yale-NUS players the edge. It makes them unpredictable and capable of switching up the play much easier than before”, he said. Mr. Cartwright added that the switch in dominant hands was inevitable and was surprised that it had taken so long to occur. Many members of the team agreed with Mr. Cartwright’s sentiments. One of the players, Sarah Tonin ’17 said that her ball control had notably improved. “It now feels like the floorball stick is an extension of my arm. It’s a miracle,” she said. But other members expressed irritation at the hand switch, saying that they were no longer able to use their right hand. Member Sue Denim ’18 said that while she was happy with the improvement to her floorball technique, she was “now incapable of using [her] right hand” and that “writing with [her] left is causing [her] to smudge [her] words”. Mr. Cartwright said that the switch in hand dominance should not have made using their right hands any more difficult than it already was. He said he did not understand why becoming proficient at using the left hand had not resulted in ambidexterity, a sentiment that

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SPORTS/FEATURE Gosh agreed with. The team captain added that while many of Mr. Cartwright’s decisions were questionable, such as the decision to not purchase floorballs for three months, they had a tendency to “work out in the end.” Only last week, Mr. Cartwright had presented Gosh with brand new team shirts, without waiting for a request from Gosh or the correct measurements. “I was presented with an invoice for a number of shirts and asked if I could figure out what was going on, despite not having being told to do the sizing first,” he said. Yet upon further inspection, Gosh discovered that the shirts fit the team perfectly. The floorball team is not the only athletics team that has benefited from Mr. Cartwright’s unconventional, and perhaps unintentional, genius. After training with golf balls that Mr. Cartwright claims were “a strategic and deliberate purchase”, the soccer team’s goal-scoring precision and frequency has increased markedly, said captain Hugh Mungus ’17. This training strategy is said to have helped the team go on to win 17-2 in their last match of the Inter Faculty-CollegeSchool-University-Polytechnic-InstitutionEntity Games (IDGAF), against the Natural Universality of Singapore’s Liberal Arts Faculty. Mr. Cartwright said that he never doubted the players’ ability to adapt to the difficult situations presented to them. “Being conventional is too overrated,” he said. “Students come to YaleNUS to be challenged.”

Above: The team’s performance is said to have improved since the switch.

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SUCCESSFUL SUCCESSIONS Vacant rooms were a rarity in recent weeks, as rooms were booked for student groups’ elections.

story Avast Vermin | photo Paneer Dhauchari

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ll entities move and nothing remains still,” said the prominent Greek philosopher Pericles in a seminar room somewhere. With its second year coming to an end, Yale-NUS College is changing too. In various student organizations, many sophomores are now ready to step down from power. However, unexpected problems have cropped up with some elections. Some groups faced time management issues. The Debate Society’s elections lasted for 24 hours, far longer than planned. True to their principles of robust and fair discussion, the outgoing executive committee had candidates argue each other out for the position. Outgoing Training Director Argo Montative ’18 said, “The only way to appoint a good new executive committee is to test their abilities in the real context of competition and pressure.” The new executive committee consisted of candidates who managed to stay awake for 24 hours. A similar situation ensued at the European Society elections-cum-formal-dinner. In her opening speech, outgoing president Gin Smirnoff ’17 declared, “Today is a historic day for the development of the European Society. Today we are solidifying the foundations of our big common family. Today more than ever we are united in diversity.” Her speech went on in the same vein for another thirty minutes before the vice-president interrupted to deliver his second opening speech. At the end of a long night, apart from the new executive committee, the European society reached a mutual consensus on who would fund the dinner. All members bar one voted Germany. Members were not always cooperative and demonstrated a tendency to showcase their national identities. The member from Spain arrived with significant delay at the meeting, having woken up late from his 3-hour siesta.

Some moments later, the Italian representative was spotted sawing the air in his attempts to explain the intransitive value of pasta and pizza. With so many student groups holding elections in the same period, a space crunch emerged for suitable venues. Due to a misunderstanding with the Dean of Students (DoS) Office, Republican Youths Interested in Animals and People (RYIAP) failed to book a venue for its elections. As one of the largest groups at Yale-NUS, with more than a hundred members passionate about cute animals and attractive people, finding a new location in time was impossible. Minutes before the scheduled elections, the outgoing executive committee made the snap decision to hold it in the stairwell of Residential College 4. “It was one of the best decisions I had made,” said RYIAP president Tan Mi Yao ’17. “The acoustics of the stairwell were perfect for speeches,” he said. A dramatic outcome emerged from the elections for the new captain of the Soccer team. Members were gathered in the Lol Tug Con Multi-Purpose Hall for the elections when men from the American Football Team stormed in. They were part of an premeditated coup by the American Football Team to take over the Soccer club. “The schedule said ‘Football Elections’, and that’s why we turned up,” explained Moore Protean ’18. At the time of publication, 81.7% of student organizations had completed their elections for the next academic year. The remaining 18.3% however, were unable to find successors due to the limited number of students and the seemingly unlimited number of organizations in the College. Jin Jia Lat ’17 told Panopt that he was scouting out incoming freshmen in a desperate bid to find a leader for his organization. He said, “I’m going for a semester abroad in August. What’s going to happen to my club then?”


OPINION

YEAR IN REVIEW: BEST DECISION EVER! column Ezekiel Berdral | photo used with permission from Yale-NUS Admissions

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t’s been almost a year at Yale-NUS College and I can honestly say that moving here was one of the best decisions I ever made. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but after the school flew me to Singapore for free and students showed me around Holland Village, Sentosa Cove and Marina Bay Sands, I knew I had found one of the best places on earth. Living in such a super exotic country in Southeast Asia, you’d be surprised that almost everyone knows English. Sometimes the old people try to speak Chinese to me, but I just have to be like, “Um, what? I’m not Chinese,” and they’ll switch over. It’s a great compromise— while I’m able to eat exotic foods like Indian curry, Thai curry, and Japanese curry every day, I don’t have to struggle through communicating with locals 24/7. Living in University Town (UTown) at Yale-NUS is also wonderful. It’s like a little piece from an American college campus has been inserted into a super quaint area of West Singapore. Sometimes when I get homesick, I avoid leaving campus and just go to the food court in the Stephen Riady Centre to hang out with the ang moh exchange students. If you go to the infinity pool on the floor above, you’ll only see pink-faced ang mohs trying to get a tan. It’s almost like being in America again! But when I want to venture out of my comfort zone, I take a shuttle bus to the Kent Ridge Campus of the National University of Singapore. Missing out on an American school’s social scene was a really big concern of mine when I made the move here but it’s been so worth it. Because my classes are easy, I’m able to club maybe one or two times a week. Clubs almost never charge cover and are always giving out free drinks so you don’t have to deal with trying to pitch for a keg with stingy college mates. Even better is the drinking age—it’s eighteen! Not only do I not have to pay for drinks in Singapore, I don’t have to worry about getting charged with underage drinking! Now, I know that all sounds like fun and games, but I do participate in an important part of the school’s extracurricular activities. In high school I used to work for a Equal Rights organization, but because I’m an international

See? We’re so diverse and unthreatening!

student I can’t protest in Singapore, lest I get deported. While this was initially an issue for me, I realized that the restrictions on speech and protesting lifted the burden off my shoulders to keep in touch with world news and issues. I am now able to dedicate my time to my Underwater Basketweaving club. Having grown up in a big city in the United States, my parents were always wary about letting me out into the world all alone. When they learned about Singapore’s crime (or lack thereof) statistics, they immediately said I could come. Once, while I was taking the MRT trains to go to Orchard, my now go-to hangout spot, someone actually bothered to advise me to zip up my purse so I won’t get robbed! I am able to walk around freely in any neighborhood at any time of the day. I sometimes feel as if I don’t even need to exercise common sense

LETTER TO THE EDITORS

while living here because people have such strong moral compasses and are so thoughtful. Friends back home ask, “don’t you live in that Chinese dictatorship country-city thing?” but what they don’t understand is that I am truly free in this Little Red Dot. Freedom is the ability to walk around safely at any time of day, freedom is the ability to not worry about avoiding bad neighborhoods, drugs, and vicious gunmen who run the streets of other countries. Freedom is being free from having to think. Life is about having fun and being happy, and I’m so grateful I can do both while being liberated from the worries of everyday life. I can have my little piece of America in UTown, but still get pieces of China and India in Chinatown and Little India, all wrapped up in this beautiful country called Singapore.

Send your letter to the editors (maximum word count 150) to general@theoctant.org by 5 pm on Friday for the chance to have it published here next week.

CHECK OUT MORE AT: theoctant.org | facebook.com/yncoctant | @yncoctant

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Volume III Issue 10

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Volume III Issue 10

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