May 25, 2024

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UTM International Promoting “Unity in Diversity”: International Student Society (ISS) Management Camp 2020/2021

MERSING – The International Student Society (ISS) Management Camp 2020/2021 was organised by the Student Experience Unit, UTM International from 8th – 10th April 2021 at Teluk Gorek Chalet & Camp Site, Mersing. About 52 UTM participants including facilitators joined this camp, which comprising 4 UTM International staff from UTM Johor Bahru, 2 UTM International staff from UTM Kuala Lumpur,42 students from top 4 committee ISS Country Chapter and 2 local students from Global Buddies as well as 2 staff from the UTM Security Division.

The ISS Management Camp was mainly organised only for ISS Top 4 Committee members (President, Vice President, General Secretary and Treasurer) and was joined by two Global Buddies representatives. Apart from ISS Central committees, ISS Country Chapters that participated were Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The objective of this 3-day and 2-night program was to keep the management and administration system of UTM International and ISS Country Chapter updated, in line with the goals and vision of the university. Next, it was also aimed to motivate the ISS in improving the quality of services and workmanship, to provide a platform where the exchanging ideas among UTM International staff, Global Buddies and ISS Country Chapter could be done to strengthen the international student development management system with the locals.

Furthermore, this program was also aimed to create understanding and strengthening the relationship between UTM International staff, ISS Country Chapter and local students specifically with Student Representative Council by applying elements of cooperation and trust in carrying out their respective responsibilities. Lastly, another objective of this program was to produce and present programs and activities that will be carried out in 2021 according to the ISS Country Chapter and ISS Central.

The program began with the briefing of tentative program and the SOP that should be followed.  After the dinner the welcoming speech was given by the Associate Director of Global Education and Experience (GEE) of UTM International, Prof.Madya Dr. Mohd Ariffin bin Abu Hassan. Next, the Opening Ceremony speech was delivered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs), YBrs Prof. Dr. Shamsul bin Sahibuddin and followed by the distribution of ISS official jackets ,T-shirts and appointment letter.

The activities conducted in the program were the Ice-breaking, presentation on each ISS Country Chapters’ yearly events plan, Jungle Trekking, Jungle Cooking, BBQ Night, Telematch and Beach sports.

The participants were distributed among several groups and by participating in these activities, one could instil the leadership qualities and improve the teamwork amongst and within the country chapters as well as ISS Central. Not only must there be an awareness on the common goal of a group but it helps in sharing and agreeing with the other team members. In the activities like Jungle Trekking and Jungle Cooking, some survival skills were shared by the facilitators. Those survival skills were important to all presidents and the other higher ISS committees as it can help them to understand that every team members is different and unique but with the same goal nothing is impossible. As quoted by Kamal Harris, “Our unity is our strength, and our diversity is our power. We reject the myth of “us” vs. “them”. We are in this together”.

Lastly, the program ended with closing speech by the Associate Director of UTM International Kuala Lumpur, Prof. Madya Dr. Norhayati binti Abdullah and some lucky draw as well as prize-giving ceremony to the best group.

As quoted by Kofi Annan, the first African to be UN Secretary-General and the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2001, “We may have different religions, different coloured skin, but we all belong to one human race.” This camp hoped to create an awareness on the strength of unity in cultural diversity among UTM community.

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