Changemakers: Taking Small Steps To Make A Big Difference

No one changes the world by sticking to the status quo. Whether it’s a single social media post or an exchange you have with your friends, never underestimate the ripple effect that these seemingly small yet thoughtful acts can have.

In this two-part series, we share stories of four SIM students and special interest clubs who are driving positive changes in their communities.

2 Oct 2020

5 mins read

By Diyanah Syafiqah

No one changes the world by sticking to the status quo. Whether it's a single social media post or an exchange you have with your friends, never underestimate the ripple effect that these seemingly small yet thoughtful acts can have.

In this two-part series, we share stories of four SIM students and special interest clubs who are driving positive changes in their communities.

 
#Creating A Sustainable Future

Passionate about environmental issues, Haziqah Syarafana, President of Eco-SIM, seeks to raise awareness about issues like climate change and inspire sustainability habits within the student population. The recycling of e-waste bins in SIM's campus is just one of the Club's initiatives towards a greener future.

What do you enjoy about being a part of Eco-SIM?
It gives me a first dip into the sustainability scene and has ignited my passion within this field to consider it as a career choice. Not only does it serve as a platform to hone my leadership skills, but it is also where I'm able to form meaningful partnerships with various organisations and companies that are passionate about the cause.


Working with Moby the Book Whale, an e-commerce selling pre-loved books, and SIM Sociology Club to set up our annual Sustainability Fair!

Tell us about a notable initiative undertaken by the Club.
We kickstarted the first ever Thrift Shop at our annual Sustainability Fair in 2019! With a deeper understanding of the harmful effects of fast fashion and clothes donated by the student body, the team started the Thrift Shop to educate and do our part to disrupt the fast fashion cycle.

Having raised close to $300 for the World Wildlife Fund Singapore, we were really encouraged by the outpouring of support received! More notably, we saw a number of students who were keen to learn about the cause and pick up tips to make a lifestyle change.


Participating in Singapore's first Climate Rally at Hong Lim Park in 2019

How has being in this club shaped you?
With Eco-SIM, I was able to transform my interest into tangible actions and initiatives which I hope will spur others to make a change. Additionally, managing a team that differs in experiences, opinions and styles has helped me pick up communication and leadership skills which are beneficial for my future endeavours.

What are your goals in the long run?
We hope that with more outreach events, SIM can move towards a low carbon or net zero carbon emission campus. I believe in leading through action by carrying my own bottle, lunchbox and a foldable bag everywhere I go. This habit has encouraged my friends to adopt them as well. My hope is that by making these habits a norm, it will show others that it is easy to make the change.

I also do freelance writing on global sustainability initiatives to educate the larger society and am looking to find internship in this area. Eventually, I aspire to work in wildlife conservation or in the field of sustainability.

#Instilling A Sense Of Wonder For The World
 

As an avid reader, Alexander Sun, would come across names like Marx, Plato and Aristotle being alluded to in books but never in details. Curious, he walked into one of SIM Philosophy Club's discussions which have since left a profound effect on the way he views the world. Now, as the Vice-President of the Club, he hopes to bring that life-altering experience to more students.

What do you enjoy about being a part of the Philosophy Club?
Being able to discuss about almost anything and everything under the sun through a philosophical lens! Our sessions are mostly lectures where we discuss a wide range of topics like world religions, feminism, discrimination and inequality. The freedom to pursue and discuss our interests at length is an experience which I value and relish in. The sessions also made me realise how much I enjoy teaching others and I plan to pursue a career in academia in the future.

Tell us about a notable initiative undertaken by the Club.

A glimpse into the Club's activities

The Club hosts a series of lectures with guest professors from the various universities in SIM. Having a professor to clear up misconceptions and draw links between the topic at hand and other schools of philosophy helps to fill the gaps beyond our general understanding.

At a joint session with SIM Sociology Club, we invited Professors Jorge Arditi and Jason Phan from SIM-University at Buffalo to discuss Philosophy and Sociology concepts. What made it memorable was the robust discussion among our attendees which not only included SIM students but lecturers from other universities too!

I think these sessions help attendees walk away with a greater appreciation and wonder for the world. Philosophy interrogates what we often take for granted. Once that veil is lifted, I believe that most of us would look at society or life differently from the way we did before.


Sometimes the Club meet on the weekends outside of school to have smaller, more in-depth discussions

How has being in this Club shaped you?
I've always been an extrovert but being a part of the Club has made me more willing to engage people in conversation, especially if their concerns align with a debate or topic that I'm familiar with. It has also made me more confident and assured in who I am and what I stand for.

What are your goals in the long run?
I'd like for our future club sessions to discuss more dense or complex topics outside of public discourse.

On a more personal level, I would like to maintain my passion for knowledge by pursuing a postgraduate degree in this area and remain informed by reading consistently. I want to encourage others to devote their time to talking about difficult things because I believe that this is the first step in developing critical thinking - by challenging one's long-held ideas about the world.

Stirred by their stories? Explore the special interests clubs in SIM to get started on your path of change.