Why school-based Mac User Groups are a terrible idea

This is a tale of something good going horribly bad when it falls into the wrong hands.

I was probably the first person who really injected life into the establishment known as MacNUS, despite not being the founder. Lots of events, lots of ideas for improvement, lots of pushing the establishment and improving the status quo for Mac users in NUS. My EXC0 members, whom I have termed “The Original Team MacNUS” were superb, and despite me putting in nonsensical requests for their attention at times, they delivered and we were successful in turning MacNUS into the best tertiary Mac User Group in Singapore.

Time passed and I had to move on, retiring as President of the group when I graduated and passed the baton on to a dear friend and fellow EXCO member. Another member of the Original Team MacNUS was supposed to succeed him, but that member has to give up on the position because of school work.

Here’s where the problem came in. Unfortunately, a A Rank person(my dear friend) chose a B Rank person as his successor. Then the B Rank person got C and D Rank people to be his EXCO members. And it all went into a downhill spiral from then on.

For example, the current EXCO. Of whom some of them are working at the current NUS Matriculation Fair Mac sales booth, due to Apple SG pushing for their participation.

The following information is taken from extremely reliable sources.

For almost all the major events, including the recent/ongoing Mac sales at the NUS Matriculation Fair 2009, the EXCO did not do any work at all. They made the reseller come up with the ideas for the events, make them do all the work, and all the EXCO really did was to put their logo on everything the reseller has planned and produced and claim all the credit for themselves.

Can any other Mac User Group be more shameless than this?

The reseller themselves do not want to work with this group of people but they were apparently forced into cooperating with MacNUS by the very people who supply them with everything they sell – the same department in Apple SG whom I have wrote an email to a week or so ago (whom, if you can read the article two posts down, has not replied at all).

What kind of Mac User Group EXCO demand money from the resellers they work with for giving seminars to their users? I will understand if a third party/external vendor was involved, but there wasn’t one.

There is no decent dedication and drive from them at all. One wonders if they have any other motives for being in the EXCO other than the so-called “fame” it brings them.

Two of my Original Team MacNUS and myself were so disgusted that it totally dampened our spirits for the remainder of the fair. Of course, as usual, I was the most vocal and decided to quit after the first day of the fair. Another decided just not to turn up. And the last one, unfortunately, needed money and so had to stay through everything.

A friend and ex-customer asked, “why dun u tell them off? u have the right to. i feel that u built this club for a purpose, no? so if that purpose is not fulfilled, i feel that despite u nt being a member of nux, u still have the right to say it”. But no, I don’t really want to complicate matters. In that university, rank/position is everything and I have learnt that so long you no longer pay tuition fees, the university is never your friend.

Needless to say, I was totally disappointed and saddened by the whole state of things. Yes, sales of Macs might be at a all-time high in NUS, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the Mac User Group in that university.

Then I realized.

This is an ongoing problem with all clubs/societies in all universities and schools – the need to change management every year causes extreme instability in the functioning of the clubs and societies themselves. MacNUS is exactly such a victim.

It seems like the only way to solve this problem is to create a inter-tertiary Mac User Group – one where the management does not change every year, one where your school does not matter, and one where serious Mac users will be able to enjoy being part of.

And so begins the process of brainstorming and creation of such an entity.

P.S. Everything in the article reflects only my official stance and NOT the official stance of any other entity, institution or company.

P.S. and P.S. In case you are wondering, everyone knows that the best tertiary Mac User Group in the land now is SMU’s.

About MacRyu.com

MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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