Humans of Eunoia x Leadership: Within and Without

In our latest Humans of Eunoia article, Lum Wan Tong, President of the 3rd Student Council, will share some insights about her leadership journey.

Written by: Li Xin Rong (19-I4) and Lee En Tong (19-U2)

Designed by: Lee En Tong (19-U2)


You’ve seen our student leaders filling the shoes of their predecessors earlier last term but we bet that you don’t know their entire journey and their individual passions!

As the second installment of Humans of Eunoia, the theme for Term 3 is leadership which goes hand in hand with Deep Dive Day 3. We hope to feature student leaders from the 4 distinct directorates and delve into their leadership journeys, their experiences with leadership and some memorable revelations along the way.

Here’s a brief overview of EJC’s current leadership structure:

ejc leadership overview 2019

This week, we will be featuring Lum Wan Tong  (19-U1), the President of the 3rd Student Council. Here’s what she has to say!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Wan Tong from 19-U1, I’m in the arts stream and I take History, Econs, Literature, H1 Math and KI. I have three younger siblings 🙂

Describe your leadership journey in EJC in one word or phrase.

Very cliche, but, growth. When I went to EJC, I didn’t know a lot of people, only those from SCGS since I was from the SC Integrated Programme (IP). Also, in secondary school, I wasn’t a prefect. I took on other leadership roles so joining Council was something I always wanted to do. 

It’s about getting to know new people and taking up the challenge of running for President. It led me to grow and learn a lot about myself, as well as how to work with others and how to drive a vision across. So far, my leadership journey has been a lot about growth and learning from the mistakes I made.

How is your leadership experience in JC different from secondary school?

In secondary school, I was the head of my CCA, so it was on a smaller scale. It was just managing the club, looking at how we could progress as a CCA and maintaining the welfare of everyone. Whereas in JC, Council itself is quite big (47 of us), so learning to work with different groups of people was more important than before. 

Additionally, beyond Council, I also had to learn to work with the CCA leaders and make sure that everyone is included. Sometimes it’s impossible for Council to do all the work, so it’s important to learn to delegate work to others.

What is one memorable experience you’ve had in your leadership journey thus far?

Student Investiture, because it was the first event we had to do. The first rehearsal went quite smoothly, but the second rehearsal had quite a lot of hiccups such as not having enough time to set up the chairs so it was very messy. It was the day before Investiture itself, so I remember feeling quite nervous and stressed on the actual day. People were rather uncoordinated, and people were trying to leave as well. 

Fortunately, on the day itself, nothing majorly bad happened and the teachers were quite happy with us. This was a memorable event for the start of my leadership journey.

Despite being Council President for a short time, could you tell us a challenge you faced as a leader in EJ?

As a leader, I don’t think I’ve faced many big challenges working with people. The people I’ve worked with (the councillors) have made it enjoyable. On a more personal level, however, it was a lot about managing my own expectations and learning how to assume this role. When I first eased into this role, it was as if everybody suddenly knew my name, so it was about dealing with this new position I was placed in.

Even now, people associate me as Council President. I have to be aware of not changing my actions too much because of this but to remain as myself. However, whatever I do would seem representative of a larger body.

Since people have come to associate you with being the Council President, has there come a time when people have treated you differently?

Inevitably, in some ways. Most of the time, my friends and classmates address me as ‘Pres’ and not really by my name anymore. It’s not something I really mind as long as it’s not the only thing they can associate with my identity. Apart from being President, there are still many things that I’m interested in.

So, what else are you interested in?

I guess I’m someone who’s very interested in history and culture and I really enjoy reading,  SingLit (Singaporean Literature) in particular as it is very interesting. My favourite authors are Amanda Lee Koe and Sharlene Teo. I like going out in nature, I don’t know, I sound really boring as a person. Hiking, spending quality time with my family and friends. I also like baking even though I mess up sometimes as I find it really fun and therapeutic. I like going to museums and festivals like the Night Festival.

They say that ‘Anyone can be a leader”. What do you think is the most important mindset/trait that people should have when they lead others? 

Everyone has the potential to step up as a leader. It’s something that requires a lot of courage because everyone starts out the same so it’s really about finding the courage, being self-aware to step up and do something that you really believe in. I believe that conviction and courage is what helps you to grow as a leader. However, we can all start by leading ourselves first. It’s just whether we can find that drive in us to really get it done. 

Is there anything else that you would like to say? 

I think one thing that we can all work on together, as an entire student body, is to be more forthcoming especially since we haven’t been in this school for that long so our school identity is still not as strong. For example, when we call for people to participate in events, they are not really inclined to volunteer and step up. This could also be because they feel that “Oh, I am in no position to do so or people might judge me”, but I think it’s time for us to discard that mentality and to step up regardless of whether we have a leadership position or not. I think we really need that courage in us, even in small everyday things. With orientation coming up, we will definitely need people to step up and fill all these different roles. Regardless of whether you have the experience, something I would really like to see is to have different people coming together. You don’t have to be the most extroverted or loud person, as long as you have the passion, that’s what really matters.


Voyagers: Third Student Leader’s Investiture

23 May was an exciting day for many Eunoians. Find out why that is so and check out an exclusive interview with Lum Wan Tong, President of the 3rd Student Council.

Written by: Aloysius Tng (19-U4), Beverly Tan (19-E3) and Lee Keng Yan (19-U1)

Designed by: Athena Lim (19-A4)

May 24 was undoubtedly one of the most significant days of 2019 for Eunoia Junior College, as seniors and juniors came together to finally carry out the long-awaited handover ceremony and introduce our fledgling young student leaders to the school. It was an eventful day filled with many beautiful performances by our students and the highlight of the day, the handover ceremony where our J2 seniors stepped down to prepare for their upcoming ‘A’ levels and the J1’s stepped up to fill their roles. Other than Eunoians, students from other schools were also here to witness this moment and some of our alumni came back as well.

The first performance of the day was a stunning performance by our very own EJ Rock Band, a newly formed student interest group, in the Atria. Covering many popular songs such as “Cake by the Ocean” and “All Star”, the young band drew a large crowd with its energy and sound. Their crown jewel that day was arguably their arranged rock cover of the school song, which deserved all the applause it drew. The students were then ushered into the hall where the official ceremony began with a bang – String Chamber, another student-initiated interest group, performed an overture from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Some of the instruments featured were the violin, viola and cello.

Our principal Mrs Wong shared a few words, reminding our future leaders to live with integrity and to be truthful to themselves and others when serving selflessly for the school. Rebekah Seow also shared her experience as the 2nd Student Council President, recounting the good, the bad and the ‘perfect’ times she experienced merely a few years back. She also expressed a lot of hope for the school and its future while advising the future leaders to remember the perfect moments they will undoubtedly experience in their journey of leadership.

What followed was the main event, the handover ceremony. The house committee was the first to take their place on stage, coming in loud with the new house songs and house cheer. Next was the class directorate, comprising of the chairperson and vice-chairperson of each class. 19-I1’s Chairperson, Wan Xin, gave a short talk on the chairperson’s role, and that while it may seem minute, is still a valuable and crucial cog in the wheels. This was followed by the new head and vice-head of each CCA exchanging heartfelt farewells with the outgoing heads and were presented with items symbolic of their CCA; Band’s fire extinguisher remains a mystery. Council was saved for last, its incoming members taking the stage, dressed smartly in the school blazers, to officially take over their duties and receive the clips from their seniors. Wan Tong took over the reins from Rebekah as President, while Zachary and Guan Fong also succeeded Chong Yu and Sanchana as Deputy Presidents. All the councillors then recited the school pledge and the student council pledge as one, reaffirming their dedication to serving the school. Wan Tong, now officially the incumbent President, then made a short speech, sharing her hopes and aspirations for the school while emphasizing that everyone must work together to make Eunoia history and hoping to gain the encouragement and support of everyone.

The speech was followed with yet another performance, this time by Street Dance. They certainly pulled no punches, busting out their best moves yet to the now-familiar beats of “I want it I got it”; their vibrancy and life shone brightly in their physically demanding yet coordinated movements, showcasing their athleticism to the fullest. Evidently, their energy was infectious, because the newly invested student leaders spontaneously began the batch dance right after, this year’s being “Shut Up and Dance”. The sight of all the houses, all the CCA’s, united by a common song and dance was undeniably heartening.

There was no other way to end off this moment in school history without singing the school song. As the school stood as one, for a glimmering moment in the afternoon sun, the book of destiny opened a new chapter. This gleam remained as each house began their house cheers, followed by the Team EJ cheer. The day ended with Eunoian voices soaring, raised in unison.

To shed more light on the way ahead, we interviewed the newly elected Student Council President, Lum Wan Tong, regarding the Investiture after the ceremony.

Since April, the Student Council had already started planning the Investiture and the Student Council presidential candidates were in charge of conceptualising. It involved a lot of collaboration among fellow councillors, CCA leaders and class chairs.

To Wan Tong, “the investiture is the most meaningful way for us to formally start her (our) leadership journey”. It was also the first event she and her Vice Presidents planned together. Besides the Investiture being significant to her as her first event as the Student Council President, the event enabled her to understand the working dynamics of her committee.

Perhaps some of you have seen unfamiliar faces donning blazers during the Investiture. Those were student councillors from other schools who attended the Investiture. As hosts, the 3SC student councillors interacted with the delegations from other schools and chatted with them about council duties. Coincidentally, Wan Tong met her primary schoolmate at the Investiture. “I think it’s really nice and important for all of us to visit each other and to establish connections, and also learn from each other. When you go to different events by different schools, you can always see how you can improve, and also how other schools execute their ideas,” Wan Tong shares, with a smile.

“We also drew upon our secondary school experiences in the Investiture, and thinking about how we can build upon it and make it bigger,” she continues. “So it was really just a collaboration of different ideas we got from different places.”

To end the interview, we asked Wan Tong what her greatest takeaway from the Investiture was. To Wan Tong, her greatest takeaway, and the part she enjoyed the most was the batch dance. “I think that really is what Eunoia’s spirit should embody – the vibrancy and energy that we really want to bring across in everything that we do. I really hope that that is something that will carry on for the rest of our term, and also that we will leave with our juniors for the coming years,” she concluded.

The Origin* would like to congratulate all newly elected student leaders and wishes Wan Tong, Zachary and Guan Fong the best of luck for their terms as President and Deputy Presidents of 3SC.