Monday, August 18, 2008

Homecoming to the "Last Fortress"

The new UiTM
I am proud to be a product of UiTM. I graduated from two programmes of the institution, a Diploma in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Corporate Administration (Hons)(Company Secretary). The Diploma collected in the early eighties while the Bachelor secured just about eight years ago.

Though it has been quite a while since leaving the campus, my ties with the institution never fades as I am still very much involved in the various programmes held at the institution in various capacities, the last as a guest speaker at the faculty's graduation night.

UiTM is special to me. That was the place where I first learned to be truly independent at a very young age of barely 17, i.e. right after SPM. First time detached from the parents, it was at UiTM where we developed our true personality, ability and potential, very much on our own.

New friends were bonded and most of them are still intact in contact. I had a beautiful time there, it was an life adventure that I would never easily forget.

Being so special, I was naturally excited when I got an e-mail from the faculty (which was followed by a phone call by none other than the Dean herself who happens to be my former classmate) inviting me over to join in the fun of a homecoming event specially organised for the alumni of the institution.

One of the Banner and Billboard placed and erected around the campus
So off I went, bringing along my eldest with me, to the Homecoming event last weekend. Instead of being welcomed by banner like "Welcome back dear Alumni", we were rudely greeted by giant billboards and banners like the one here, reminding the world that the land that you have just step in is the last fortress of the Malays, the Malay sanctuary under siege, etc etc. (Actually, there were banners on the Homecoming event hanging at the lamp posts, but the black bannners were more prominent.)

I was actually very embarrassed with all those billboards and banners as I don't see the rationale of putting them up in the first place. Just what is the point barking to tell the whole world that "institutional racism" is your official ideology. A "university" that would only admit students from just a particular race and no other. What ideology do you call that if it is not simply "institutional racism"?

I am so sorry for the VC for turning himself from a respectable academician into a politician who seems to be unperturbed manipulating the young minds to make noises out of practically nothing. Out of a mere suggestion that could not even be implemented if the policy makers currently in power insist on maintaining such policy.

Fun and merry making
Well, I don't wish to be a politician myself, so I don't think it is wise for me to write more on the issue. Let's just talk about the Homecoming event itself.

The Homecoming event is actually a three day event where former students can just report back to the colleges to rekindle their nostalgic memories of their Alma mater.

At the faculty level, most faculties concentrated on just the last day with various programmes lined up. At the Administrative Sciences and Policy Studies Faculty, the Sunday starts with an aerobic session, telematches, various competitions, alumni talk, multimedia presentation, lucky draws and most importantly "luncheon".

It was fun indeed to be there.

Serious talk

But it was not just fun, we had serious session too. Mostly for the benefit of the current students, experiences of the various alumni were shared. Four of us spoke, 2 by alumni who chose to be serve UiTM as its lecturers, 1 by another alumnus now serving in the government sector (diplomatic service actually) and 1 (yours truly) being an alumnus who chose to be a practicing Company Secretary(nothing to shout about actually!).

All of us had the same basic education but we are certainly not the same now as we had chose the various different routes in getting at where we are now.

My assessment of the Homecoming event? Well, I just hope there would be more of it in the coming years and I just hope that more alumni members would pop up to make the event more meaningful, more wholesome and more nostalgic.

Thank you UiTM. Looking forward to be there again soon.

Jasni AJ

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