A Game for Hall Points
It seems that the problem of land scarcity has found its way into the universities in Singapore. The construction of new residential halls does not match the more rapid increase in student population, many of them needing a place to stay on campus. To solve the problem, universities, typically NTU and NUS, have come up with the hall point system where students bid for a place in a hall according to the amount of hall points they have. And the hall points are tied to one’s CCA commitment. Suddenly, CCA takes on a new meaning unfound in pre-university institutions. It is not just a place to pursue interest and passion. It goes all the way down the Maslow pyramid of needs from the section of “the need for achievement” all the way down to the bottom: the basic need of a shelter.
By no means Digital Senior is suggesting that you run the risk of sleeping on the street. If you are a local student, living on campus is more for the convenience and fun of a residential life. If you are an international student, there is a mature market of off-campus accommodations that you can search online. But since living on campus gives you some unique benefits, it may be worth it to try to get a place in a hall. As the competition for hall points gets stronger, Digital Senior is here to give you some tips on how to more efficiently secure the points you need.
Not all clubs are ‘equal’
If you don’t know yet, clubs in a university are classified according to tiers. The classification is based on certain metrics, such as the size of the club. The tier is a critical factor that you need to check first, as the same kind of position, say a Vice-president, is awarded with different hall points for clubs in different tiers. Everything else being equal, you should join a club at a higher tier to maximize the points that you get in the end. And of course, different commitment level within the same club is also awarded with different points. A President gets very different amount of points from a member of a club. Therefore you should also aim for higher leadership position, as most of the points are given based on one’s leadership position in a club. If the tier of your club is not high enough, or your position in a club is not high enough, you may get a nominal amount of hall points that are far from sufficient for you to stand a realistic chance of getting a room. One point to note is that your hall points are not cumulative. Your final hall points are given by the single activity that gives you the highest points. Focus on quality, not quantity.
While joining a club and moving on to higher leadership position may be the track most people will take, there are opportunities lying elsewhere. One of them is to join special committees. Many events held in university are not organized by one particular club. They may be organized based on the initiative of some individuals or alliance of a few clubs. Prior to organizing such events, the organizers will usually hold recruitment drive open to all students. One special thing about such committees is that your commitment level on average will not be as high as a club member. You may be busy during the period the event is being organized, but you don’t have to work hard throughout the year to earn hall points. For those who don’t have much time to devote to CCA and yet want to have hall points, don’t miss the opportunities. But such opportunities are easy to miss. Recruitment for such event committees is mostly done via emails, campus posters or even words of mouth. They may not have a booth during CCA fair where you can leave your contact. So read your school emails regularly, don’t dismiss a poster by the lift and ask around for opportunities among your friends.
Lastly, since freshmen are guaranteed a place in a hall, you can also leverage on your network in your hall. You can join hall committee that is responsible for running activities on a hall level. Besides having fun with your hall mates, you can also showcase your leadership capability to your seniors who will recommend you to stay in the original hall. If you have proven yourself to be an asset to others, who would want you to leave? Moreover, if you don’t wish to join your hall committee, you can still choose to participate in hall or inter-hall games. If you can bring home the trophy for your hall, you stand a good chance of being recommended to stay in the hall next year. In a word, just show others that you are unique and irreplaceable.
At the end of the day, hall points may just be one of the many considerations for you to decide on a CCA to join. Some students are fully enjoying themselves in a club that does not give them hall points. If you realize the club you want to join the most is the one that doesn’t give you enough hall points, you can consider joining an additional club that gives you sufficient points. Finding a balance is the key.