Everyone deserves Ricci Hall

June 25, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Of course you’ve heard of Ricci Hall – we’re kind of famous for being a nest of young men who are not only ridiculously good at sports, but are also capable of an array of other surprising talents too…right? Oh. Do I sound pompous? Good, then I have your attention. Read on.

As my contribution to this month’s hKUDOS series on university residences, I’m going to use Ricci as an example to explore five hand-picked issues associated with HKU halls. In response to the recent trend of hallbashing, I put forth what I think are the key virtues of hall life that make it worthwhile and rewarding. I will even go as far as to make them my reasons why I think that every single member of our global society deserves a living environment like the one I’ve found at Ricci Hall.

The Reasons:

1. Tolerance and equality

Hall bashers have aired the opinion that they felt excluded or attacked by other pack-forming hallmates during their experience. This one is especially common coming from students who are international, non-local or exchange students.

To speak for the halls in general, most residents not wishing to immerse themselves in hall culture are left alone. At most halls it is totally possible to blend into the background and avoid the full rigor of hall life, should one choose to do so.

At Ricci Hall, we learn tolerance by example, and take pride in achieving all our hall goals whilst fully respecting every individual. Contrary to popular misconception, all local and international students at my hall not only tolerate the fact that we have an array of stark and subtle differences, but we actually enjoy the challenge of forging transcultural friendships in the hall despite our differences and individual aspirations. All know how to exercise capacity for tolerance and understanding, which is something that should only be expected from intelligent university students. It should sound painfully obvious, and it’s unfortunate that some of you didn’t receive that respect at the hall you chose, although you should reflect upon whether the hall is really at fault for your incompatibility. Remember, I’m voicing this opinion as an non-jupas student myself.

2. The right to coexist and flourish

Each hall is unique and caters to a unique immersive lifestyle. One must understand this implication and examine their reasons for signing up for their hall of choice, instead of making uninformed choices and then subsequently being surprised to find their individual hall experience unpleasant. That is an invalid justification for denouncing the hall concept itself.

A hall at HKU is -no surprise- not some sort of no-strings-attached college housing that the University owes to provide you with. If you were expecting such from the halls, I think you are wrong.

Definitely, lack of student housing at HKU is an issue. But couldn’t students take that up with the university? As capable and empowered university students, we should know how to, right? This might be a better direction in lieu of suggesting that halls should be razed to make way for housing models fitting your personal ideals. There are more reasons for more living in a hall than just housing convenience. As part of a well-rounded university experience, one would do well not to disregard the perspectives of hall dwellers, but instead seek to understand and appreciate the standpoint as one of equal validity and worth as your own.

“It is the hallmark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” -Aristotle

I think we halls have a right to exist and pursue our goals, as long as we do so responsibly.

At Ricci Hall, we achieve all of our hall goals without aggressive insistence that all hall members conform, but there is a wordless mutual agreement that we have come together for a common intent. Past the common intent, we are allowed room to do as we please without the ‘policing’ or forced bonding I hear about which is allegedly rampant at HKU halls.

3. Hall Teachings (Hall教)

My mentioning of said ‘policing’ leads on to my third point. According to unwritten HKU hall tradition, a hall is responsible for instilling a code of conduct/etiquette referring to how hall members should treat themselves and members of ‘rival’ halls, as well as how to represent themselves to the outside world.

Let’s just say that the lack of integrity displayed by some egocritical HKU students (and even by some halls) is one small example of the general lack of basic values in this world. I personally believe that we should live in a world where baseline respect and tolerance for all diversity is emphasized like it is within hall teachings.

Infighting amongst HKU students, whether it be between halls, within halls or between hall lovers and hall bashers, is NOT taught or encouraged whatsoever by most halls. It instead arises mostly from the misguidedness of certain individuals. Unfortunately this infighting has seemingly become a focal point in the lives of some HKU’ers in the same way that disharmony between the nations is manufactured in the world. I question this status quo in favor of co-operation and collective intention. Asia’s once-top university’s halls are capable of doing more than just spending all its time bickering, and ‘because it is a waste of time’ is exactly why a lot of the real university talent steer well clear of hall drama and keep silent on the issue.

Good on all the halls out there that consciously instill good values on their residents. If with little other significant function, it has at least reduced the number of University students who don’t conduct themselves too well.

4. Company

Living at Ricci hall means that you will never walk alone. We are never left out on the fringes of our mini society except for when we choose to be (that loops back to the tolerance and respect issue). There is always someone else there to help, guide, support and share when needed, and that is an amazing perk of living in a hall that is often written off by outsiders as childish or weak. I argue that such people are weak in that they can only care for themselves. There is nothing weak about a hall that has achieved unity.

5. Privilege

Above all, living at any hall (or any university housing, or for that matter being able to attend university at all!) should be a very meaningful privilege to which some students are blinded. I won’t even go into detail about this one. Just take a step back and think about it and be deeply fearful if you as a university student cannot recognize the immense privilege which you are blessed with.

Thank you for reading my five reasons why everyone deserves to live like we do at Ricci. Hope you like my take on hall life!