Sheares Hall does not have a list of values that we can simply present to you. In a way, it is not inaccurate to say that we are quite fuzzy about the values that we stand for. This is not surprising, because there are so many different values that make for a good family – care and concern, mutual respect and encouragement, open channels of communication, and so on – and to put it succinctly but accurately, Sheares Hall is the family hall of residence at NUS.
Just to share with you three examples of Sheares Hall being the family hall and displaying all the necessary values that go with it: The first example is our Dunearn Road Hostels/Sheares Hall Alumni Bursary Fund, which was started in 2009 by a couple of alumni with the purpose of enabling financially-challenged students to still be able to stay in the hall. Sheares Hall thus became the first hall at NUS to disburse its own scholarships and bursaries to residents. Just as importantly, the Fund remains active (with the two alumni still working tirelessly to raise more funds) and reflects a deep spirit of generativity and generosity, where the elder generation provides for and paves the way for the next generation.
The second example seems more mundane, but it is sometimes the mundane things that show what a good family is all about. Our alumni are incredibly generous, and so our residents are often pleasantly surprised by various gifts (e.g., nice t-shirts, delicious bread buns, nourishing drinks) that are given to them at various events. An atmosphere of “thinking of the best for others” pervades the hall; for instance, we even have an exam-focused period where extra tender loving care is shown to residents in various forms (e.g., supper vouchers, exam welfare packs).
The third has to do with our “Block Aunties” – our Operations Associates who maintain the cleanliness of the block, but more importantly, provide a constant familiar face around the block all day. Almost all of our Block Aunties have been with the hall for more than 20 years, so you can imagine the vital role they play providing a sense of family to each block’s residents. Yes, they will nag at you if you dirty the corridors but they will also take good care of you and make you feel at home in the block.
Sheares Hall takes great pride in being the family hall. And we will to go to great lengths to ensure that anyone and everyone who stays with us will have a fantastic experience while with us and will leave us with a set of wonderful memories of having had a family beyond their own.