Create a rich college life for you

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“Scary”. “Intimidating”. Even downright “terrifying”. These are words that some people use to describe their first time in college in blogs and forums.

And some of these new entrants might also be too shy to ask for advice, recalls Melissa Anne Chai (蔡秀慧), student council president at UOW Malaysia KDU.

But there’s a tradition on campus that seniors and newbies enjoy: Freshies Night.

Chai said the Student Council successfully wrapped up its recent Freshies Night in early August, describing it as a “joy to organize” after a long hiatus caused by the pandemic and the movement control order.

“It’s like a welcome party. We come together. There are all kinds of performances.

“The juniors befriend the seniors,” she said.

It’s even better during Campus Breakouts.

These take place three times a year (around the start of each semester) and it’s a time for campus clubs and societies to hold booths, show off the cool things they do, and invite newcomers to join them.

There are dozens of clubs and societies in the UOW Malaysia KDU that revolve around various sports, hobbies and interests.

They try to attract newcomers who share their passions and encourage them to join and participate.

Then there’s a “movement” on campus that students affectionately refer to as “Smolkids.”

“We recruit seniors who really want to get involved in orientation support and to play an active role in adapting newcomers to university life.

“Those in the Smolkids group are ready to help newbies learn how to register for subjects, use the library, or anything else on campus that they’re unfamiliar with,” Chai explained.

Chai is a second-year law student at UOW Malaysia KDU in Selangor.

“I have seen many student council members who were quiet and shy at first and are now outspoken, assertive and very involved in our student community.

“It makes me so happy to see my friends adjusting to college life,” she said.

Sharifah Azura, deputy director of the UOW Malaysia KDU Student and Alumni Center, said helping new students adapt effectively to university life is a serious undertaking on campus.

“There are usually no classes the first week here.

“For their orientation, we organize many information sessions and campus tours.

“They learn all about college social services, shuttles, housing, medical services, how to borrow books. Lots of things.

“It is vital for them to fully familiarize themselves with our campus before beginning their university life,” she said.

Mitchell Liong (梁梓鍕), senior director of the campus’ Student and Alumni Center, pointed out that academic achievement isn’t the only denominator of high-quality college life.

“The value of a university as an alma mater lies in how the campus shapes our character – our emotional, mental, and even spiritual facets.

“We pay great attention to these facets through our youth empowerment plan,” he said.

It’s a five-pronged plan, but recently Liong said the focus is on one called “Fitspiration,” a portmanteau of “Fit” and “Inspiration.”

“In Malaysia, 51% of our population is overweight or obese. This leads to a long list of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, gout and many more.

“We don’t want our students to fall into this trap, so we inject large doses of physical activities into university life at UOW Malaysia KDU,” he said.

In the case of UOW Malaysia KDU’s newest campus in Batu Kawan, Penang, there are two gymnasiums, an Olympic-size swimming pool as well as tennis, badminton and squash courts with a sports court to boot.

Similar facilities are found at all UOW Malaysia KDU campuses nationwide.

Liong pointed out that nutrition talks and even weight loss challenges are held regularly, the latest being a sports psychology conference in June, given by the Selangor Football Association.

The other four focus areas of the university’s youth empowerment plan are called Career Exploration, Culture (embracing a myriad of cultural ideologies to promote diversity and inclusion), Hatch Up (promoting creativity and entrepreneurship) and Sustainability.

For a more comprehensive perspective on how UOW Malaysia KDU enriches the university life of students, call 03-5565 0538 (Selangor Campus) or 04-238 6368 (Penang Campus).


This content is provided by UOW Malaysia KDU.

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