Why Dorothy?

First of all, to all the first-time visitors, you will find this post (and many others before this) being very random and usually not in any way related to one another. Furthermore.. stories behind the individual post are not usually mentioned.

Well, in this case, I can tell you.. I put 1+ tablespoon of instant coffee in my mug. HYPED! XD~

 I don’t think I mentioned anything about moving to Sydney last year, going back to Jakarta in June and studying in London from last month.. but anyway, hey fellows, I’m in London!

Last night I was supposed to attend a meeting to help a friend, Dorothy, who is running as a candidate for the president of (Indonesian Student Association) PPI London 2014/15. I wasn’t feeling very well, so I didn’t show up. My dear man, who got somehow dragged into the campaign because of me, also ditched the meeting to accompany me (sorry guys :p) and out of curiosity he asked:

“Why do you want to help Dorothy?”

At first it seemed to me like the answer would be obvious.. I mean, why wouldn’t I..?? But he asked, so maybe it’s not that obvious.. and it’s explicable, because I’ve only known her for a couple of weeks. I know Nicholas, the other candidate, merely 1-2 hour(s) earlier.. haha.  So why would I sacrifice my time and put such effort in helping her?

My one-line reason would be the generic “I truly believe she can bring the necessary changes and significant improvements.”

If you’re still reading, allow me to elaborate:

Like any organization*, PPI London is not flawless. Understandably, there are many many lacks, defects and loopholes that you can point out, and the candidates could then put this on their mission statements. But why Dorothy? To understand my point of view, you must first look at both of the candidates’ CV. Having met both candidates in person, I personally think that Dorothy is better in terms of communication and diplomacy skills, and is more knowledgeable of the issues present in PPI London. 

How could she..? Nicholas is part of the 2013/14 team; he should know better, right?

Yes, he is indeed a committee. But the fact that there are ‘negative legacies’ that have not been ‘fixed’ or even made better indicates that they are not aware of the issues. Again, this is understandable, given their (comparably) lack of exposure to how other student associations are run. Or maybe he, personally, didn’t have the power since he was just a member. Even so, I did not find the issues worthy of highlighting present in his mission statements and programs, but is there in Dorothy’s. Thus, I would argue that Dorothy is better in critically assessing the situation. The giant example:

The demography changed.

While previously London had always been dominated by undergrads, this year the to-be masters and doctors are way way more thanks to scholarship bodies, and it’s very likely to at least balance the numbers. Postgrads were outnumbered; they are normally not involved in PPI London, either because they are ignorant or they are ignored.. or maybe both. I heard that the organisation has not been paying attention to that, though. They don’t even have the database of who their ‘family members’ are. So it isn’t a wonder that they don’t even realize it.

Why does it matter? Well, master student only have 1 year to fully experience London. Naturally, we run at a different pace with the undergrads who have 3-4 years. Simply said, we expect a lot of things to happen. We are more demanding. :p

Some people might become defensive and see it as a war between the postgrads and undergrads, but that’s not true. In fact, with more efficiently organized and jam-packed agenda, EVERYONE has the chance to hop in or opt out when they feel like it. You have more options.

And dude.. i know some of you look at us postgrads like serious grandpas who don’t know how to have fun. Trust me, we are spending enough time with lectures, articles, books and journals; when we’re out there, WE WANT TO MINGLE AND HAVE FUN TOO. and damn it we’re not that old. (or we would deny it anyway)

So why Dorothy?

1. Dorothy approached me. Not directly, at first, but that just proves that she and her team is willing to listen and thus..

2. Dorothy understands the issues better,

3. Dorothy has more experience and thus knows how to solve them.

However, having said this, I didn’t mean to say that Nicholas do not possess the ability to do this. I believe he does have the potential; he’s a good guy with good will and he’s friendly too. And yes, Dorothy already has an excellent CV with flying colours.. we should probably give Nicholas a chance in building his. But given that PPI London has been a mess for quite some time (this is my opinion, you may not agree, but sorry not sorry :p), it’s about time to change. Let Dorothy set the bar at the proper height.

Disclaimer: In case you didn’t notice, I’m writing this in my own blog, representing no one else’s but my own view. I may have missed a few points as it took longer than i imagined to write this and my caffeine has gone down the stream. This writing is indeed subjective. But of course, feel free to disagree and convince me 🙂

* Yes, face it guys, PPI London is an organization and you cannot run it like.. ah well.. you know.

2 thoughts on “Why Dorothy?

  1. Hi, thank you for being thoughtful enough to write a post about the PPI London elections. Here are just a few thoughts of mine that I gathered in response to your post that I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

    Firstly, I don’t think that you are giving enough credit to PPI London 2013/2014. I fully agree that no organisation is perfect, and both candidates should address the ways in which they aim to build and improve on the work and achievements of previous teams.

    But then again, mission statements are just mission statements. Let’s not forget the real question here: How does each candidate plan to MEET their mission? I think that is a question we all need to address, and I feel like many voters were too blinded by Dorothy’s “mission statement” that was unfortunately backed by very little substance. What about budget constraints? What about whether there would be a feasible audience? What about time constraints? Resource constraints? I felt like Nicholas did a better job of thinking over the means through which his plans would have been visibly executed.

    Secondly, “domination” by undergraduates? By addressing this in such a way, I feel like you are creating a conflict that does not (and should not) exist. Yes, it cannot be denied that a majority of last year’s PPI team were undergraduate students, but to think of it as somewhat of an intentional “domination” is an unhelpful mindset to have. PPI does not create divisions between different groups of students, whether they are undergraduate, graduate or PhD students or even non-scholarship or scholarship students. I do not feel the need to segregate these groups in such a way that evokes tension between them. It is unnecessary, and completely against the aims and purposes of PPI. From what I have seen, the PPI London team 2013/2014 made various efforts to create a sense of unity among all students in London, and none of these events were exclusive in any way. If anything, I am more inclined to believe that Dorothy’s plans for PPI London this year are more likely to promote disunion between Indonesian students. I am afraid a culture will be created whereby students become even more segregated, and hence PPI London would fail to address its original purpose.

    Furthermore, I feel like by basing your decisions on the CVs of the respective candidates, you are dangerously missing out on the larger picture. I think there are certainly other, more important, factors that should have been considered here. The PPI president should be someone with relevant experience, someone who knows London well and someone who can meet the needs of everyone. It seems like too many prejudices were brought to the elections, as many assumed Dorothy to be the better candidate simply due to her age.

    Overall, I am disappointed at how these elections turned out and it was not the result that I had hoped for. I felt like people based their voting decisions on the wrong reasons. I feel like many of the voters on Dorothy’s side were too narrow-minded in their views and their principles. I feel like people did not bring with them the correct attitude and an open mind, which is exactly what is required if we all want the best for the future of PPI London. What was supposed to be a friendly election turned out to be extremely unpleasant and distasteful forum. If this is a first taste of what is to come, I am afraid I do not have very high hopes for the incoming team.

    At the very least, I hope that the positive ambiance of PPI can be restored so that all Indonesian students in London will be given equal opportunities and not be deterred from being a part of PPI and supporting their causes. So please, less of the politics.


    • Hi A, i’m sorry that it turned out to be an unpleasant experience to you. I truly hope you could contribute in PPI London to help prevent the worse things that you have in mind. 🙂

      And thank you so much for your time and effort in putting up such an elaborate comment; I really appreciate it. Before attempting to clear out the misunderstanding about my post, I would stress again that this post is based on my POV, which may be wrong to others, but is true to my believe and limited knowledge as a newcomer.
      1. I’m pointing out the fact that PPI London has flaws; it may have been there for 1-3 years, or even from the very beginning. I’m not saying it’s the fault of 13/14 committee, never did. I’m saying that I detect these flaws and one of the candidate has the same view.
      2. I was referring to the population; not the officials. The who is who in the cabinet doesn’t really matter to me; I’m looking at the how and what things are being done. Again, I am merely highlighting one of the issue which was not highlighted by the other candidate.

      Furthermore.. as a newcomer who barely know both candidates, I think CV is a pretty objective tool of comparison; what else would you suggest? And no, it’s not her age, it’s her proven achievements and experience in various organizationsssssss, which I think are totally relevant when it comes to leading a student association like PPI London. Having known other organization equipped her with the necessary knowledge to benchmark and lead PPI London to betterment. Indeed, he has the better local knowledge and details on how things are done and he has a well established network. But we’re talking about management of the whole organization.. and this brings me to my final point:

      I was writing under the assumption that Nicholas would still be a committee in PPI London even if he lose. I assumed they both will work hand in hand EITHER WAY. I still up to this point believe that PPI London will be filled with mostly undergraduates (and I encourage it to be done this way, because undergraduates stays here longer and thus are the ones who knits the family tightly together year to year)

      Had i known Nicholas’ defeat would result in his (and/or his whole peers’) abandonment on PPI London, i would probably vote for him. I just didn’t think that they’ll be this silly. Hopefully I was right.



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