Written by Koe Jia-ju

When was the last time you heard “please” and “thank you” from someone making an order at a restaurant? Or when someone had given up a seat on a public transport to an elderly? Can you recall how often you see people pushing past the door instead of holding it open for everyone else? In this fast-paced era it seems as though what were once called basic courtesies of daily lives are now sorely lacking in the current society. Fret not, Courtesy Week which was organized by IMU Student Ambassadors (SA), was held from 8th to 19th August to raise awareness and aimed to instill courtesy as a part of everyone’s daily lives. Throughout the two weeks, several events to practice proper courtesy were carried out for everyone to practice namely elevator etiquette, escalator etiquette, language barrier as well as appreciation day. Not only that, The Most Congenial IMU People online voting competition allowed students to vote for the Most Congenial Staff, Lecturer and Vendor.

The Closing ceremony for IMU SA Courtesy Week 2016 took place in the driveway on the 19th of August and kicked off with entertaining dance performances and hilarious jokes by the emcees. Joanne Lee, the chairperson of this project, delivered her speech where she graciously thanked everyone who made Courtesy Week a success. This was then followed by a speech by the Deputy Vice President of IMU (International and Engagement), Dr. Mei Ling Young. Clearly reluctant to close such a purposeful event, she urged everyone to keep those practices going even though she was officially supposed to end the event.

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After a fun and interactive Kahoot quiz, it was finally time to award the winners of the voting competition. The winners include Dr. Louis Liew Yun Khoon from Life Sciences and Dr. Chin Swee Yee from Pharmacy for the Most Congenial Lecturers, Mr. Sara and Ms. May Kuan from SSH for the Most Congenial Staff and lastly, the Malay Muslim Stall (Pandan Serai) for the Most Congenial Vendor.

Stemming from her daily frustration of having to ask people to make way when using the escalator, Joanne was inspired to come up with an event that would remind others the importance of being courteous. “We felt that courtesy is a basic value everyone should have, but is often neglected due to busyness.” She explained how they had set various themes on different days to raise awareness on certain courteous behaviours. The response was very pleasing. “On the 1st and 2nd day we did elevator and escalator etiquette which everyone practised accordingly so yay! On the 3rd day, we did flash mobs on breaking down language barrier, where we focused on speaking English so that those who rely on English to interact would not feel excluded as there are times when we tend to forget that we have friends whose first language is English. The 4th day was highlighted on showing appreciation and greeting one another. Often times, we forget to acknowledge the contribution of guards and cleaners. So the Student Ambassadors gifted them with handmade cards, just to say thank you.”

So, is common courtesy a thing of the past? Definitely not, in the community of IMU. As a saying goes, life is short but there is always time for courtesy.

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