Found this entry in my Penzu account, written during a trying time for the members of my beloved college org. I was already an alumna by this time, but I couldn’t help the outpouring of emotions. Note: I had to delete some of the lines containing particulars from the application process.
Not gonna lie, the KEM application process was grueling, stressful, and at times excruciating. But when I got to the other side of it, I ended up not only with the right to call myself a KEMer (and with that name came a lot of positive synonyms), but also with more confidence in myself and loads of new experiences. It was like I can deal with almost anything thrown my way (insert dealwithit.gif).
Even now, I carry what I got from the application process: the ability to think on my feet, to stand up for what I think is right even if everyone is saying the opposite, to push myself to explore my limits, to be a leader, to know my strengths and talents but know when to be humble about it, to take responsibilty for my own actions, to learn to work as a team… the list goes on.
Looking back, I do not harken to the “humiliation” of the app process. Instead, I feel a measure of pride and a certain fondness for the memcommers who at that time made my life hell. And I am, more than anything, grateful for the organization that gave me a better, happier university experience. I can’t even begin to explain what being in KEM meant to me and I can’t imagine myself not being part of it all.
Going back to calling myself a KEMer– one of the things that it means is that there is a certain amount of pride in the exclusivity of an org that takes only the best (or is this a thing of the past?). I can declare that I did not just put my name on a sign up sheet to become a KEMer. I had to prove my worth. Consider real life, people, you always have to prove your worth.
I am not blind to the flaws in the application process. But to attack its very core, one that is not just dear to us because of sentimentality, but what we got from it… it’s just insane. Bringing up legalities– OH MY GOD, have you taken a gander at the application process of about 70% of the orgs in UP?– feels like just an afterthought, a rationalization of some unfounded bitterness. A justification of why they had to go bitching about it.
Perhaps the execution of the application process has changed, or the meaning behind every task is lost since I was an applicant. All I remember is, everything had a point. Nothing was done out of spite, out of a desire for entertainment… Everything had a reason, and it all became clear in the end, if you listened and understood.
If we, indeed, get more applicants IF we change the system, then what? Would these new KEMers know what the name truly means? Will they be able to love the org as much as those who sweated for it loves it? Will they be able to withstand KEM month and Eng’g week, untested as they are in terms of pressure and skill? What would getting in the org mean to them? Perhaps it means the same as it does to these five noise-making members– a line on their resume.
I will not trade my experience for anything. I wish I could express what I feel more eloquently, in words that would move the least die-hard KEMer. I guess I’ll leave that to the more convincing and less emotional among us.
-October 5, 2010