Established in 2007, Starring bears the proud title of the longest running local community service project in SMU. It also boasts itself as the most inclusive initiative as its beneficiaries includes both the elderly and children alike. Starring is split into 3 events: StarringCamp (where freshmen begin their starry csp journey), StarringGivesBack (where participants go for beneficiary visits), and StarringCarwash (where participants wash cars for the public to raise funds).
Starring kicks off with the Starring orientation camp to allow its freshmen to form bonds while being educated on the different needs of the various beneficiaries’ residents. This year, the camp followed a Marvel superhero theme, with the 4 clans named Avengers, Fantastic 4, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men—participants were treated to 3 days of fun-filled activities, such as Fright Night, Amazing Race and Manhunt.
During the camp finale, the freshmen were entertained by performances from the facilitators and freshmen. Many a shirt came flying off, and onlookers were treated to titillating performances of guys acting cutesy, prancing around on stage and showing off their innate feminine sex appeal. After a long night of spirited performances, the “Best Freshie Performance” and “Best Faci Performance” awards were nabbed by Fantastic 4 and Guardians respectively, while X-men went on to win “Best Clan Cheer.” Ultimately, it was Fantastic 4 who emerged victorious as overall champions, winning both the coveted title of “Best Clan” as well as free tickets to Zouk.
As a member of the logistics team, I found it extremely gratifying to hear some freshies say that Starring Camp was the “best camp (they’ve) attended so far” – triumphing over even the faculty camps. A truly remarkable feat, considering that a significant portion of the organising committee had caught the flu midway but plowed on regardless.
This year, starring had 5 days of beneficiary visits with each freshman having 3-4 three-hour shifts. The freshmen conducted themselves well through this demanding task, with a few of them stepping up to lead morning exercises and distribute food to ensure a smoother flow of events. It was heartwarming to see participants making plans to return next time, as they felt that the connection they established with the residents would be squandered if left undeveloped – it’s moments like these which show beyond a shadow of doubt that Starring has indeed made its mark on residents and freshmen alike.
As per traditon, Starring’s signature carwash was held at Holland Village, with all proceeds going to My Buona Vista Place. The freshmen went about the work with gusto, tirelessly washing cars for two whole days. SMU’s Broadcast & Entertainment club added to the jubilant mood with their enthusiastic emceeing and relaying of well-intentioned messages along with song requests.
Starring holds a mystery finale event to commemorate each year. The 2016 finale event involved writing wishes on tethered helium balloons containing colourful lights and then releasing them, reminiscent of the Kongming festival. Unfortunately, this year’s event was plagued by bad weather, literally raining on Starring’s parade. Nonetheless, the organising committee carried on unruffled, shifting the location from outdoors to the sports hall in Buona Vista Community Club. The finale ended on a happy note with the freshies cheering as their balloons went up in the air.
Starring’s activities are held yearly between July to August. If you want to discover your inner sparkle, you can check out Starring’swebsite, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.