Because complaining is just so much easier.

‘Tis the season to be whiny. And since everyone’s jumped on the bandwagon to lash out at school, I thought I’d join in on the fun too. Of course, the views expressed in this post are purely subjective and probably biased. And not so much scientifically researched, considering I don’t sip tea with President Hunter or have OSL Directors on my speed-dial. But then again, I think most of the other complaints I’ve read so far on the wonderful lash-out portal that is Facebook probably aren’t all that supported by thorough research either. But who cares really? Complaining and whining about things are so much easier than researching about facts. Because what if you fail to find research to back your complaints? Then what? No, just lash out while you can, that is what I say.

So no offense to any, really. To each his/her own.

1. Carpark fees in SMU

I don’t drive to school. I don’t have a driving license and don’t plan on getting one. Taking the bus and the train may be a hassle, but at least I don’t have to worry about where to park my car or ERP rates, or parking fees. With that said, I understand that driving is immensely convenient. And well, raising fees at the SMU carpark is sure to cause some drama. I have no right to comment on this issue since, well, I’m not affected. But fight for student rights and the welfare of those less privileged to afford raised carpark fees, sure. Makes you wonder though, if you’re able to afford fuel, ERP rates, car taxes, and even parking in a carpark in town (SMU carpark, nonetheless), what’s the big hoohaa? If the raised $0.60 is that big a deal, don’t drive? You could cut down your carbon footprint at the same time too.

2. Renting of GSRs and SRs to external parties

Yes, SMU is getting horribly overcrowded. This small little campus in town just wasn’t built to house the crazy increments in student population year after year. To make things worse, SMU whores out its spaces to external parties, profiteering from the rent and neglecting its student population. Don’t forget the tempting smell of catered food for these external events that’s so near, yet so far. Don’t we all wish we could log on to OASIS and always find that GSR/SR/CR that we’re in eager need of? That we won’t have to scour through the entire system just to find a small little slot that we could squeeze out for our very important project meetings?

See, we all wish we could always get that space we need. Territorial issues have always brought on so much conflict since the dawn of time (war, anyone?). Yet, that’s the perils of being a small little university in the midst of town. We’re so convenient that everyone wants a piece of us. Literally. To put it bluntly, SMU has to whore out its spaces to external parties. It’s just too much money to upkeep a campus that’s in the midst of town. The running cost of our facilities are just too high. Revenue from renting out spaces to external parties is probably one of the reasons why our school fees aren’t being hiked to crazy amounts. Stop renting out spaces to external parties so students can have the space they need? Sure. School fee hike, anyone?

An interesting thought, ever wondered if space could be freed up if extremely obsessive students (a.k.a. muggers) didn’t hog GSRs, CRs and SRs for their own usage? That GSRs, CRs and SRs, are used strictly for the purposes of project meetings, presentation rehearsals and nothing else? If said extremely obsessive students could kindly stay at home to mug their lives away, or go to the library if home is too “distracting”, or study along the corridors in school, or the thousand over benches that SMU has added all over the place just for you, the extremely obsessive student, would the space problem be less of an issue? Hmm…

3. KOUFU not giving student discounts

If you compare the prices of KOUFU to other foodcourts around the area, you can’t not realize that their prices are already lower than other food courts in town. Part of the reason why they don’t have a discount in place for SMU students is because their prices are already priced at a lower rate than other places. Are you really pissed because you don’t get a 20% discount in KOUFU like we used to in Kopitiam? There’s Kopitiam across the street. They have student discount cards for us. There, you get your desired 20% discount. Or is it because deep down inside, you really just wish that SMU had canteens just like NUS or NTU does, where you can get food for $2? If that’s the case, you can whine and complain till the cows come home and nothing is going to change. Having that 20% discount in KOUFU isn’t going to make you happy. Because really, all you want is a canteen. Which you probably won’t get in the middle of town.

4. The Competitive Spirit in SMU

Ah. My personal favorite. I’ve talked to so many and heard/overheard thousands of laments about how SMU sucks because it’s so damn competitive. That they got conned into coming here with the promises of being “different” and “fun” and “edgy”. Yes, poor us. We’re victims to the school climate. We can’t do anything about it because that’s just the way it is. Overbidding for courses, speaking nonsense in class just to score that A in class participation, being extremely obsessive when it comes to studying, camping out in the library from the start of week 3 just to make sure you stay ahead of the race. Yes, we are victims to these circumstances, because we really can’t help it. We can’t choose to turn a blind eye to this rat race, do what we want to make our university life fulfilling and maintain a decent grade at the same time. That’s crazy talk. To succeed in SMU means to become library furniture, airtime hogs, and extremely obsessive students who know nothing else but to study till the library plays “Closing Time”.

Yes, sometimes, we have every right to blame the system for putting us in such predicaments. Most other times, we just love to whine and complain and attribute it to someone/something else. When really, all we have to look at is ourselves. Because really, SMU didn’t use to be this way. Not till who knows when.

In the words of Jason the Great whom I love, “I wouldn’t mind if the whiners left to other unis, more space for real smu ppl.”


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