Rallying the community in social responsibility: The #ResilientSG pledge takes off
As Singapore enters the stabilisation phase in its journey to becoming a COVID-resilient nation, NUS students have risen to the challenge to rally their communities to action and renew their resolve to do their part and emerge stronger from the pandemic.
One major initiative, kick-started by the student leaders from the Halls of Residence and Residential Colleges, was the #ResilientNUS pledge – a call to concrete action by the University’s staff and students to safeguard public health. Signatories pledge to take steps such as monitoring their own health, being responsible in their social interactions, rejecting misinformation, and complying with safe management measures.
That initiative has in fact ignited interest beyond the University, growing into a national movement with many other local universities adopting it as the #ResilientSG pledge.
“Of course some of my friends have asked me what even is the point of this pledge,” shared Kent Ridge Hall’s Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) President, Sing Hui.
“While its effectiveness depends on the practical translation and implementation by NUS as a whole, we hope the pledge and frameworks serve to provide a structure and direction for students and staff to follow,” added the Faculty of Engineering undergraduate.
“We hope such a movement can encourage more social responsibility amongst our community.”
Led by the Halls and Residential Colleges
As a means to galvanise their communities and reaffirm their commitment to practising social responsibility in the ongoing fight against the pandemic, some Hall and Residential College (RC) student leaders proposed COVID-19 pledges for their respective communities. Among these were Kent Ridge Hall, Raffles Hall, the University Scholars Programme’s Cinnamon College, and the College of Alice and Peter Tan.
As the ground-up initiative, by students and for students, swiftly gained traction in the various communities, its leaders recognised the potential for expanding the scale of the pledge. Collaborating with the National University of Singapore Students’ Union (NUSSU) leadership, outgoing NUSSU President Wee Su-ann and incoming NUSSU President Lee Yat Bun, student leaders distilled and refined the pledges of the various Halls and Residences into one.
As Sing Hui explained, “We aren’t able to help with the pandemic in big ways like policymakers or frontline workers. But from our end as students, what we can do is to emphasise social responsibility and acknowledge the small ways in which students can do their part to fight the pandemic.”
And thus the #ResilientNUS pledge was born, and staff and students from within the entire NUS community began pledging their commitment to remain vigilant and do their part to safeguard the health and wellbeing of themselves and their communities.
Movement spreads nationwide with the #ResilientSG pledge
Recognising the virtue of the pledge in uniting communities and encouraging a sense of stakeholdership and social responsibility, Minister for Health Mr Ong Ye Kung expressed his support for the ground-up initiative when he met with student leaders during the two-day Halls of NUS (HoNUS) Retreat 2021 Later, four other autonomous universities—Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) — came on board as well, adapting the pledge for their own communities and giving rise to the evolved #ResilientSG pledge:
Statement of Commitment
As Singapore transits into COVID-19 resilience, we commit to the #ResilientSG Pledge to safeguard the health and safety of everyone in the community.
We pledge to do our part so that, together we can emerge a stronger nation, each one of us with the opportunities for a fulfilling life.
Su-ann said, “It’s great to see everyone coming on board to want to do more to protect the community! It is a good starting point to get everyone to recognise that the part they can play in keeping the community safe.”
Emphasising the need for individual responsibility transitioning into an endemic phase, Yat Bun added, “The pledges serve as a reminder for students of NUS and Singaporeans to be vigilant of their health and to be compliant with regulations. Individuals will have to internalise and effectuate what they pledged to ensure a safer environment for everyone to live in and enjoy.”
“I hope that we can all look out for one another's health and mental well-being, and that everyone will stand united in the fight against COVID-19. We need to realise that the only way we can get through this is together. Only when we all play our part in keeping NUS safe, can we then move forward in our fight against COVID-19.”