As school enters into its third week at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the organisation fair continues on. Since the first day of school, hundreds of students have been rallying in the atrium to support their respective society (what we call clubs at UT). The students chant constantly, wave society banners, and have lavishly designed booths. To say that these students are dedicated would be considered an understatement.
For the local students here, it is just another school custom. For exchange students, it is a bizarre clash of club dedication, creativity, and chanting. The organisation fair goes on for three weeks (it is currently on its last week) and its purpose is misunderstood by even some of the local students. Nobody seems to know the exact reason why every year why the societies do this. Here is what I have gathered from talking with numerous local students:
The people running the booths are the “nominated” leadership team. The three week marathon is to show members that the new leadership team is dedicated to the society, as each member generally has to skip the first three weeks of school in order to participate. The organisation fair also functions as a leadership team building exercise.
The numerous societies’ leadership teams spend the winter break preparing their society’s booth and advertising strategy. The amount of dedication these students have to the society is prevalent in how elaborate the booths are. During the organisation fair, the leadership team dresses up and hand out flyers, have demonstrations, and give away items to prospective new members. The chanting is supposed to motivate the rest of the members. All of the societies chant at the same time, which makes the atrium almost unbearable to walk through.
Overall I can see the passion and dedication the people have for their respective societies. The air is full of excitement as students come from all over campus to participate. There are also a few cops at the fair as well, for I heard that last year a fight broke out between two different society members.