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Freedom Fighter Foo

We did it. We resumed a zone-free campus two weeks ago. The underlying credit is given to you, Kent Ridge Hall.

The idea to start a petition for the removal of zoning measures first came to me during dinner with PreSingdent in the dining hall, where he was sharing the prospects of Semester 2’s arrangements with zoning still in place. Next, the formal announcement was broadcast, and we would not be moving back to our organic block in Semester 2. This sparked it all into action; some FYFs considered withdrawing from our hall during a conversation within the D Block Dahans.

The petition was created, with the second signature coming from our D Block Head Jerome, and fellow D blockers promptly joined in. Spurred on by the traction of the signatures, I extended further to other block members gradually, and then to other halls and fellow undergraduates of NUS.

With signatures over 800 within 3 days, I decided to write in to the President of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye, to share the collective sentiments of fellow undergraduates. I made sure to present the opinions not just from a hall perspective, as the school considers the community at large, rather than a smaller community.

Within hours, he got back to me and arranged the epoch-defining meeting. To ensure the effectiveness of the dialogue, meticulous preparation had to be done. Countless surveys were being collected on the lifting of zoning measures and the rationale behind it; the substantial inconvenience afflicting both students living on campus and those who do not (such as food options, transport, school facilities). We also prepared concrete suggestions and improvements for the upcoming semester 2. I am deeply thankful that PreSingdent was very supportive throughout the whole petition and movement, helping to gather all the Presidents of Halls and RCs to join in the conversation.

As we stepped foot into University Hall, Lee Kong Chian Wing, we were surprised to see the panel of NUS management awaiting us, given that we were only expecting solely President Tan to engage us. Intense discussions and fiery debates ensue, for the betterment of the school and the precious experiences of our fellow juniors. Juniors, your experiences have not been the same as what we went through as we are living in extraordinary times; thus we will do our utmost to fight for you.

Concluding the debate, President Tan Eng Chye shared his concerns and sentiments from an epidemiological policy view from the Ministers and explained the rationale. Given that zoning has now been lifted, regardless whether if it was the effect of the petition, for hope of more measures to be relaxed and for safety concerns, we hope that everyone will continue to keep up with the safe management measures through temperature taking, wearing your masks and maintain within a group of 5 as per government directives. Enjoy your holidays!

- HoodieFoodieFoo

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