- I do not care what you think.
- I am obviously someone who is involved in camps, and I of course admit my bias here. Supporting camps does not mean supporting the purported transgressions that have taken place.
- Everything henceforth is fictitious.
It took me a while to decide what to write, or even to write this at all. With all the reports and allegations thrown around, I see it fit, as a closing chapter to my life (or lack thereof) as a student leader, to perhaps provide some insight to the inner workings of the school. Some confidential information will be redacted of course, and you may assume that all the information I am typing here is incorrect and purely speculative (for the purposes of right against self-incrimination or something like that).
I also took a lot of time to try and put everything into a structured, easy to understand form.
So first up;
I was, as you know, the top official of a student-led organisation in a certain facility of social sciences, humanities and arts within the Merlion University of School (MUS). When I first heard of the news on a certain social media page (something like MUSMutters or MUSMumbles I cannot remember) and subsequently reported on a certain tabloid (something like The Pew Naper) and websites (something like Maternal Defecations) I took action.
I initiated an internal investigation within my committee, as well as within the facility, to determine if said allegations are true. Of course, being involved in the camps, I knew that some words were indeed uttered and shouted in a group, but my main concern was more of lewd actions that groups might have been made to perform individually.
The School (Facility)
I sent a brief proposal on how to carry this out, seeking permission from the Large Hadron Collider, who promptly took action (and credit) and informed its supervisor, the Talk Talk Cock, who lives in an ivory castle called the Office of Nobody Cares.
The LHC used its scientific authority to command me to send it the list of names of personnel, which was then forwarded to the ivory castle.
The investigations went on- personnel were called up, a survey was done, and it was established at this point that the words uttered were indeed uttered by a group of people of varying ages. Despite my insistence that we keep the survey anonymous (as promised to the personnel), the LHC used its scientific authority once again to say that as long as we do not divulge it to the public, it was fine. I disagreed and came up with a convoluted system where the identifying criterion would be known to me and the actual names were known to them, but neither of us could attribute the results to any individual.
The ivory castle (Office of Nobody Cares) was unsatisfied, and called for a formal investigation.
The School (Ivory)
I was called up a few times with a few other student leaders to meet the high ups in the ivory tower. Talk Talk Cock was there, along with some of its lackeys- most notably a small, hairless ape that could speak fascinatingly impeccable English. There, I was treated like a criminal, and admittedly I was.
The hairless talking ape gawked and was visually mortified when the allegations (evidence taken from MUSMutters/MUSMumbles) were read out.
“I don’t understand how these things happen, we have rules!”
“We have online modules to teach you what to do and what not to do!”
My initial admiration of the ape’s impeccable English was greatly marred by its peccable logical faculties.
It was Talk Talk Cock’s turn to chip in.
“Even if they were not directly under the committee’s charge, you as a student leader should be responsible!”
To which I quipped,
“Who leads the student leaders then?”
The meeting ended.
A separate meeting was later convened, this time with the highest (one of two) divine king of the land, The Provoked. It was at that subsequent meeting that I learned that the camps that had not been conducted due to the abrupt un-foreskin (unforeseen) circumcision were to claim their refunds through the Office of Nobody Cares, and this sum of money was to be eventually split between the two “offensive” camps’ student clubs.
This meant that the massive total of refunds and sunk costs accrued was to be paid for by my club and the school student unity club, because, I quote,
“Your camps were the ones that got us into this in the first place.”
I fell silent, gobsmacked at the serendipity that was unfolding before my eyes.
Serendipity, here, means an amalgamation of “serene” and “stupidity”- it is the kind of stupidity that makes everyone fall silent, perhaps in terse admiration for the words uttered, or for the speaker to realise how stupid he or she is. Either way, it was an awkward, hanging type of calm for a few minutes.
After which, I expressed my vehement objection to the proposed act of stupidity, for obvious reasons.
The personnel called up were subject to harsh questioning (human rights!) by the administrators in the ivory castle, despite the knowledge that the alleged acts were performed only by a “select few”. Anyone who was even the least bit defensive was subject to even harsher, extended questioning. Questioning, in this case, simply meant having more allegations thrown at them, despite evidence already presented to the contrary.
On that note, the “evidence” used by the ivory castle-ists, mostly came from MUSMutters/Mumbles, which, as we all know, is the most definitive source of information in the land.
In this land, everyone is a criminal until proven innocent.
To my knowledge, the proceedings are still underway.
A Final Word
At this point I would like to say I am truly sorry, for all the things that have (actually) transpired. The Director and I have set out to conduct the camp in a way that would minimise such incidents from happening, yet regretfully it still happened. I was in a position, of course, to stop it. But I did not.
It is my error, my lack of judgement, and indeed it could have my place to put an end to the undesirable elements. But I did not.
I can make the same excuses everyone does- not everyone is under the “control” of the Organizing Committee, some cheers might have been misconstrued as “sexual”, and that “we have been doing this for years”. But I do see the fallacious nature of these defenses.
I could have prevented all this; all these.
But I did not, and I apologise.
I hope the buck stops at me, at my term, in my year.
We are in a position now to create positive change- change I was only willing to take baby steps toward, in trying to preserve “tradition”. Not a tradition of “rape”, “sexism” or the like, but of “camp”. This is something I still regret now.
And to the Office of Nobody Cares, perhaps it is time for you to change as well.
Change is not trying to impose rules that make no sense, and without justification.
Change is not trying to find video clips of campers being happy and saying, “look, our camps are 99% like that; this is what we want to show the public”.
Change is not blaming the people you lead, and that it is all on them and “you have rules”.
To this day, I still support whatever my committee has done- supporting them does not mean supporting their negligence, or supporting the unsavouring things that have happened during camp. I support their efforts and conviction, whilst acknowledging that we could have done better.
We could have done better.