Friday, June 25, 2010

I'd Stay in the Middle

This week... the first week of the second semester... what was thought to be a full-scale attack on my mountains of notes and homework... turned out to be a regular task of cleaning my camera, transferring photos, and trying to survive in the small opening between two major clubs which have been rivals ever since before World War I.

Yes, I am talking about the infamous and glamour Interact Club, and the honourable-than-thou Leo Club.

I'd like to point out that both clubs are great, and I really like both of 'em. Tho I am leaning a bit towards the Leo Club. Sorry, Interactors.

Throughout the entire week I've been performing last-minute miracles with undone reports for the Editorial Board, and capturing pictures of Annual General Meetings of both Interact and Leo. Yesterday I kept jumping from the Interact AGM to the Leo AGM (one AGM was in 4 Adil, while the other was in 3 Jejarum).
Put a fat guy in front of countless flights of stairs, and you get a miracle if the fat guy survives when he's done with them.

Despite all that running and puffing and almost ripping my underpants when I tripped at the canteen stairs, I'm glad I'm involved with these clubs (tho unofficially) because I get to delve into these clubs' histories, and their senior and more experienced world-class parent organisations, the Rotary International and the Lions Club International.

Though I am perplexed with their goals and causes. To me, they're almost the same. Aren't both of these clubs formed ages ago to help the community? Yes, different perspectives and mottos, but their agenda and methods are similar. Presidents, Sectaries, and even their International Understanding days (some Leo Clubs prefer it to be called International Relations to avoid confusion) which always are held to contribute to charity!

Yet there exists a rift between these clubs. Try mentioning the Leo Club in an Interact meeting (at least in SMK SAS) and the members will boo.

And since I am the neutral party here (being a photographer for both clubs' past events) I have to be honest. There are some flaws which don't usually mind the members of each club. Some will notice, but they'll shrug it off sooner or later.

Needless to say, the Interact Club flourishes with members. Their membership database, compared to the Leo Club, is admittedly impressive and usually beats memberships in all other clubs (scouts, dance club, chess club, etc.) . Their events and charity concerts always attract large crowds, Interactors, Leos, and even those who wish to be none (like moi). But when it comes to goals and causes, it is the Interact Club's greatest weakness. External significances such as the glamor, popular friends, parties and concerts and statuses are the real magnets for newcomers to join the Interact Club. There was once a time where the Interact Club was indeed fun and noble, but as the century chips away, the members enjoy more of the fun instead on focusing on the honour that was once bound to the club.

Am I lying? Sorry, folks. Take a look at Sri Aman's Interact IU. The performances were indeed for a noble cause; human trafficking. But due to the organisers' heavy mention on women and children being sold as sex slaves, aided by some uncontrollable hormones of several in the audience, the event itself was a shame to Interacts all around the world. Not to forget, the after party which all the attendees agreed was 'the highlight of Sri Aman's IU' instead of the message that was trying to be conveyed. Heavy drinking and such continued in the after party.

Just bear with me; I am trying to be fair here.

Enter the Leo Club, its symbol is the mighty lion, which shows courage and valor. Leo itself stands for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. The reason I favour the Leos a tiny bit more than the Interacts is because that though the club has a smaller membership, and lesser independent events (most Leo events are joint projects with other schools' Leo Clubs), the Leo Club hasn't lost sight of its original focus, to provide the youthful with chances to improve the world. They have stayed true to the Lions Club International motto, 'We Serve'. Yet, there is one small flaw that puts the Leo Club in the same disdain position as the Interacts.

In the Leo Club of SMK SAS, racial integrity is almost at lost. Most of its members are of only one race, and a small portion of another race. The last race which describes 1Malaysia is not present, therefor breaking the illusion of racial harmony of the Leo Club. Other Leo Clubs have the same problem as well and like one of my Leo friends said, ''At the forum, mostly all the Leos from other schools were Chinese.''

These two clubs are actually excellent proteges of the major organisations. But if they can fix those small little problems, they can excel and move forward with more confidence attracting more members for their causes.

Personally, I think it'd be better if the Interacts and Leos merged their clubs together. Sure, there would be a riot and such, but if everyone just gave it a chance, there might be a possibility that they can succeed.

Interacts and Leos; you've been helping people a lot. How about a change, and you help yourselves out this time around?

Thanks for visiting, folks.

(This is a response to Hui Jan's post of Sri Aman's IU, Breaking the Silence)

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