Leviathan House Captain Interview 💙

Clement Chui’s Second Go as Leviathan’s Captain

Clement Chui, a third-year Global Studies student, is no stranger to the role of captain in Leviathan. After fulfilling his duties as captain in 2021, he stepped down, only to be re-elected this year again due to some internal affairs issues (i.e. tea and drama). To touch on the surface, the previous captain was not exactly up to par, so the committee unanimously decided he should step down. 

With that, Clement came back as the captain of the house. Now, this was no easy task – they were almost about to finish the selection period, and he realized they had lost almost a month’s worth of time finding players and recruiting.

Thankfully, amidst all the chaos, he had a lot of help. Each sport had a volunteer to be the team captain, and they started discussing their predicament and communicating about players and recruitment. It was undeniably challenging for him, dealing with the extremely heavy workload – juggling this duty and his assignments – but he told the committee, “Don’t feel like this is overwhelming, let’s think positive, and let’s do it as efficiently as possible.” 

The whole house came together and built up their communal identity, and they really did Strive to Thrive in this Monash Cup.

Q: Last year, you got the position of captain when the Monash Cup was being virtually conducted. What has it been like dealing with everything now that it’s offline? What feels different?

In terms of being easier to manage, online was definitely better, since there were only 4 to 5 sports last year, and it’s also easier to manage e-sports. 

But if you talk about which one’s better, it’s definitely offline because the amount of interaction you get from offline sports like basketball and volleyball is unmatched, plus you get to see new faces and meet new people every day. Especially after the pandemic, this is what we really needed to get back on track, to socialize instead of just staying at home and playing games.

Q: What is your favorite part or event of this season?

As a captain, I play three sports – frisbee, captain ball, and volleyball. And honestly speaking, I did not really attend much of the competition because I always put myself in the substitute position, but my favorite sport would definitely be volleyball. I played one or two games as a substitute player and the amount of enthusiasm and care among the houses is really great to see. 

As soon as you make a point everyone starts shouting “Score! Score!”. It feels like when you take a moment, you go “Wow, so this is how far we have come after the pandemic. Who would’ve thought we could be out here without a mask, you know?”. When Leviathan loses in a sport, it’s heartbreaking because you want to win for the house and for yourself, but even then I’m sure everyone always has fun because they play with their hearts out.

Q: Can you give a brief overview of what the scoring system is like, for those of us that don’t have a good idea about it?

So rough overview, we have 20 sports and how it works is all of the sports are put into a round-robin system, which basically means everyone has to face each other no matter how many times you win or lose. One group category, for example, has all 4 houses inside them so all houses have to fight each other, regardless if you win first or second or lose all. 

During round-robin, it’s more or less to play for seating into quarter and semifinals. How you gain points is you win one match, you get 10 points, something like that. The more rounds you win, the more points you get. 30 is the maximum number you can get. Imagine you keep winning all the way to the finals and you get champion or you get the first seat, you get an extra 30 points.

Q: What kind of leadership style do you implement on your team?

Oh, it’s definitely the type where you remain as positive as you can, one, and two, willing to understand other people’s points of view which I think is very important. Three is being understanding. If you’re understanding you get an insight into other people’s points of view, which is good because that makes communication much easier. 

So, even when you realize your own house made a mistake, you can communicate with them and ask them why they did what they did instead of putting blame on them and saying they’re not qualified to be in Leviathan. Because if you do that, people will think you’re misusing your position as captain and abusing that power. So it’s best to communicate and understand their position and where they’re coming from. Being compassionate, basically.

Q: How do you motivate your team members when things aren’t going as planned or when something goes wrong?

When something goes wrong, I will always call for a meeting, where I’ll straight up be like “Person A, you know what you did, and I won’t explicitly blame you for what you did, but please let me know what happened during that time and what’s the cause of this issue that happened.” When something problematic happens, it’s always the house committee we have to go to to discuss the issue. 

But, for example, if something happens in futsal – I won’t go to the committee but directly go and talk to the players. Confronting them is definitely the way I go about it, but without getting angry; you evaluate the situation and then you make a decision.

In Leviathan, I think what is really good is whenever our team loses we’ll say, good job no worries, there’s always next time! Instead, let’s think of this as a really good moment we all shared together, and let’s cheer for Leviathan. You know, comforting words. 

We have this funny way of motivating people. If you get champion, we’ll say “Boss belanja makan,” which means the boss will treat you guys to dinner. If you win then you’re getting the treat. Food is definitely the best motivator [laughs]. And everyone makes big demands for expensive food and the leader will be like “You guys are crazy!”. It will lift everyone’s spirit up for the moment, and they’ll think – at least I didn’t lose this in vain, I felt really happy playing this.

Q: Lastly, describe the current Monash Cup in three words.

I would say really fun, and it’s hectic. And the last one I would say memorable.

Because in every event – and I don’t mean to throw shade again – there’s always a lot of tea and drama and it’s really hectic, lots of drama between houses as well as with other houses – but that’s just part of the process! But at the end of the day, everyone’s having fun and creating memories. So for me, it’s fun but hectic, but a really memorable and good experience overall.

We wrapped up the interview with a few last words from Clement. He urges and encourages first and second-year students to take part in the Monash Cup events and to make the best of their time in Monash. There’s also a nostalgia factor to the Monash Cup, how it is akin to sports days back in high school. Also, Clement added, alongside making friends you might also meet your future wife or husband at these events… sounds like he has watched way too many k-dramas, but the ambitiousness is much appreciated nonetheless.

Interviewed by Sreana Habiba

Photographed by Luanne Choong

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