In its effort to reach out and establish connections with the community, Monash University Malaysia held its first ever “Open Day” of the year, inviting members of the public to join in and embrace the Monash experience, an experience like no other if I may say so. Held on the 18th of March 2017 with the theme “Discover Monash”, it was well received by everyone who had taken the initiative to be a part of the Monash experience for this one day. Kicking off at 11p.m., the day started with the parade of nations, a parade that portrayed the cultural diversity that has always been an integral part of the Monash ecosystem here in Malaysia. Different activities were organised by the university’s administrators and academic staff as well as the Monash University Student Association and this included exhibitions and tours that were held by different schools, all of which were aided by different showpieces and materials that reflected on the speciality each department had to offer.
Among some of the exhibits included the demonstration and the display of a humanoid robot and the Chem E-car project demonstration by the students from the School of Engineering and a CPR demonstration by the students from the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences. There were also different games to entice participants and guests who dropped by the different booths that were set-up. The School of Science organised a mini Genome Assembly competition and got participants to match countries to the different genetically-modified crops that they plant. The School of Business also had their own session of fun and games at the car porch – the Biz IQ Challenge which basically had a variety of different stations – “Flip Cup, Cola!”, “Guess That Trademark” and “Pandora’s Box of Mysterious Things” among others, and these presented the students and guests with the opportunity to challenge their own knowledge on the business world. This quiz was a joint venture with the Monash Entrepreneurship Club.
As guests continued to throng different areas around campus, checking out the facilities and spaces that Monash provides for its students, they were entertained with an array of different performances by the various clubs and societies that were present on campus. The Monash Chamber Orchestra was the first to perform and their performance was a display of the incredible talent that was ingrained in their members. The Monash Taekwondo Club then performed a series of mind-blowing stunts that awed the audience and passers-by who were clicking away on their cameras. There was also a display of spectacular Muay Thai skills by the members of the Monash Muay Thai Club before the Monash Dance Fusion Club’s belly dancers took centre stage to allure the audience with their swaying moves and seductive dance routine.
In a different part of the campus, there was also a set-up of the International Pavillion, offering fellow members of the public as well as students a taste of the international lifestyle. With representatives from different countries such as Germany, Estonia, Finland, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan and South Africa, a huge variety of different activities were organised for all the guests to join in. These included a short teaching session of Chinese calligraphy by the representatives from China and getting people to learn Ikebana and to try on a yukata, both of which make up the cultural identity of Japan. The Monash University Student Association also took the liberty to take students and guests around on a campus tour, where they had different booths that presented them with a number of different games and they were tasked to complete the challenges at each of this booth to win prizes.
Like any other “open house” and I say “house” because Monash grows to become your home, a place you would want to constantly be in and possibly move into because when your class starts at 8 a.m., the last thing you would want is to be hassling through traffic on the LDP to get to campus on time so yes, students do try to literally make this their home but we have the security guards to make sure that they doesn’t happen because despite the intense love and commitment the students have for the university, there’s always a need to detach from the one thing you love the most every now and then so that you tend to appreciate it better.
Anyway, as I was saying earlier, like any other “open house”, what’s there not to like about the food, especially with a serving of different international delicacies to further enhance the global experience among the guests. With succulent, delicious Australian sausages served with bread and mouth-watering Sri Lankan specialities, how do you actually resist a fourth serving? (Because three servings is completely normal by my standards)
All in all, it was definitely a day filled with fun experiences as is it not often that we get to take pride in showing off our university to the public (in a good way), the very same place that has allowed us to grow and explore different opportunities, a place that’s allowed each and every one of us to think beyond our capabilities and to reach for the stars so it was definitely fulfilling to be able to represent the one place that we hold very close to our hearts. We hope that everyone that came over enjoyed what the university had to offer and hopefully, they will be inspired to join this amazing university at some point!
Words by Calvin Fernandez
Photos by Andrew Peter Lim, Tiffany See, Christopher Oh, Lysandra Koon, Desmond Chin, Sashinka Pandithakoralage & Khosyi Musyaffa Muhammad