In an era when idealism is considered obsolete, a person who stands tall against all odds is seen as a freak or weird. But, Vania Williany, an English Department student of Class 2010, has chosen the untreaded path, braving herself against the mainstream. She was outspoken when asked about the recent condition of Prodi Sastra Inggris USD. Some of her comments were off-the-record since they were too blunt and too direct. Excerpt:
Question (Q): You are well-known as a critical student. Your opinion?
Vania (V): (Laughing) Well, perhaps that’s because I always want to learn, discover new things. Perhaps those make me seen as a critical student.
Q: You ask a lot. Don’t your friends sometimes think that you’re such an annoying person?
V: (Heartily laughing) I really like to ask because I really want to know something deeper. I don’t know if people see me as an annoying person.
Q: What’s your view about the students who “just want to have fun”?
V: Well, who am I to judge? (Laughing)
Q: OK, let me rephrase. What’s your view about what a university student should do?
V: Well, as a university student, we should train ourselves to think critically. Universities should be a place where diverse ideas and opinion meet and then there is a discussion forum where we can exchange ideas academically. Universities should not just be a place to have fun. It is time for us to be a bit serious.
Vania expressed her concern that universities nowadays lack of its basic value. Universities seem to forget its key role as an academic forum where people meet and discuss topics of academic values. Universities nowadays has become a place to prepare their students enter the industrial world. It becomes a factory of workforce which serves the market. The key task of the universities has long been forgotten.
Q: So, you are disappointed with the academic environment in the Department particularly?
V: In a way, yes. However, recently the Department has improved its commitment to grow the academic environment, by hosting an international seminar, sending the students to present their papers in seminars.
Q: How do you see the literary and linguistic teaching in the Department?
V: In my opinion, the teaching of both disciplines only touches the surface. Honestly, in my experience, the students do not master anything about literary and linguistic theories. For example, we do not keep up with the contemporary theories.
Q: Do you agree with the jargon “USD is a humanistic campus”?
V: In terms of its tuition fee, no! (Laughing) Seriously, the teaching of 3C (competence, conscience, compassion) is not enough if it is only a lip service. I found that some subjects are forced to apply 3C, which eventually it became ridiculous.
Q: Why did you attend Sanata Dharma University in the first place?
V: Well, Sanata Dharma University is well-known for its English teaching, both in PBI and Sastra Inggris. And I love literature, too. So I joined in.
Q: Does it meet your expectation?
V: I think, in a way, the Department has been able to cater me to a certain door leading to another door of life. Yes, I know the limitation of the Department so that not all expectations are met.
Q: how did you feel when you got the Award?
V: Surprised, at first. Then I felt motivated to achieve higher.
Q: Your hobby?
V: Reading and sleeping (Laughing)
Q: Your favorite subject?
V: Introduction to Literary Criticism.
Q: What can you live without?
V: (Thinking hard) Mmmm… family.
Q: Your favorite colour?
V: Sky blue.
Q: How do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
V: Mmmm.. Pursuing my master degree, I guess. I intend to find a job first after I graduate.
Q: Your wildest dream?
V: Marrying someone who has a perspective, like Pramoedya Ananta Toer… hahhahahha..
Against all odds