For several years now this tradition of Orientation groups going to nearby shopping malls to eat dinner and play games has been drawing flak from residents and mall goers in the area, who consider the excitable kids a public nuisance.
This year, however, the public was shocked by the outstanding behavior of the students. Waffle Press reporters spoke to various individuals involved in or affected by Orientation to understand the situation.
One notable orientation conduct analyst, highly decorated internet forum moderator and self-proclaimed debate champion of the STOMP website comments section, Mr Ai See Yew, has been taking days off work to watch school students engage in post orientation activities for the last 5 years. This year however, he was astounded by the outstanding conduct of the students.
According to Mr. Ai, students were picking up litter, giving up their seats to those who needed it most, and raising money for charity while singing “Kumbaya”; the only activities incapable of incurring the wrath of the general public.
Instead of adding to the usual noise pollution, OGLs appeared to use their knowledge of superposition to counteract ambient noise, creating a quiet environment in which even nearby highway traffic was virtually inaudible. A pun made by an OGL about their commitment to “constructive interference” was too cringe-worthy to be published.
We spoke to a J1 student Oh Jee Ling – who had been with the institution in secondary school as well – about how his orientation group was doing in terms of bonding and camaraderie, and what motivated his OG to get involved in work beneficial to the community. “The girls, all damn enthu” he said to Waffle Press reporters, further adding that keeping busy helped avoid the dreadful awkward silences when conversation topics are in short supply.
This new behaviour has forced observers and residents to find newer, more creative things to complain about.
Some were visibly outraged at having been deprived a chance to write complaint letters claiming that this clear disruption of the symbiotic relationship between students and generally displeased citizens was a failure of the school.
Many alleged that the orientation theme was originally meant to be “FIRE” (in line with school values) but the additional ‘O’ was introduced to retain the tradition of using foreign words which have no significant advantage over their English counterparts. This is of course, a direct consequence of council motto “Pretentious Maximus”.
A group of disgruntled hikers also wrote in to the publication. According to the letter, the traditional “sun dance”, performed to a song presumably about a Spanish villain from Sonic the Hedgehog, wreaks havoc on weather predictions and has ruined expeditions to the lightly forested area just off the Pan-Island Expressway.
Not to be confused with D. J. Trump’s latest hit single
Several individuals presented even greater innovation in their laments to Waffle Press reporters, telling us that having seen the word “FIORE” had deprived them of leisure time. One individual told reporters on the scene, “I think it’s pronounced fee-your-ay and ahhuat437 on HardwareZone thinks it’s pronounced fee-yore. Now I need to go online argue with him.”
His friend added “Go online also confirm got some joker who thinks its pronounced fai-your or don’t-know-what, need to argue with them also. Liddat my whole Saturday gone!”
Historical records from the Archives and Museum tell of the age-old tradition, believed to have begun in the late 1800s, of Orientation groups going to shopping malls near the campus to have dinner together, play games and build camaraderie as an OG.
Given the absence of specific recorded details lost to time, we can reasonably speculate that the public nuisance aforementioned was a result of these students engaging in public drinking, arson, assault, shooting lasers from their eyes, and other forms of “rowdy behavior that is very unbecoming of students from this institution”.
The school administration has repeatedly been made aware of these problems, and has reassured the public that it is taking several steps to disown the problem altogether. These include removing any mention of the school from Orientation t-shirts, and barring OGs from conducting any activities on campus.
When interviewed, they cited the Singapore penal code’s rule on Assemblies and Processions – “a permit is required for any assembly or procession of 5 or more persons in any public road, public place or place of public resort”. It is probably safe to presume, then, the school has never held an assembly of 5 or more persons ever since the writing of that particular statute in 2005.