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Official magazine of the Biological Sciences Society
National University of Singapore
The Mudskipper, Nov 89
How It All Began
(A Brief History of the BSS)

In the year 1966, when most of the third-year guys were squalling babies groping around with blank expressions on their faces (some of them still are), the Zoology Society was set up by a group of zoology students. You see, in those days, Zoology and Botany were separate subjects from the very first year. A/P Chou Loke Ming was then what I am now, namely, a third-year student.

There was, then, the Science Society that catered to the needs of the students. But these students felt that their needs as zoologists were not fulfilled. Hence they set up this unregistered, informal society and started the newsletter, The Mudskipper, which has since evolved into the magazine you are now reading. It was more of an interest group and an internal affair.

In 1968, problems began with their attempts to register the society. There was a reluctance on the part of the Science Society to recognise this society as they felt it would undermine their stronghold on the faculty. They refused to relinquish power. In the forefront this power struggle was Chou L.M, the First President of what was now a combined front of the Zoology and the Botany students, the Biological Sciences Society.

Meanwhile, the students of other disciplines wore -not idle. From their ranks rose the Chemistry Society and the Physics and Mathematics Society. BSS was not alone.

The negotiations were a messy affair. EOGM after EOGM followed. The Science Society's committee members were continually raking up technicalities in efforts to delay these meetings. But the combined front of the three pro-term societies was just too much for the Executive Committee of the Science Society. Reflecting a loss of confidence, they resigned en bloc, leaving only the Hon Gen Sec in position to conduct their next AGM.

In 1973, the society was finally registered as an official, independent body, functioning within the University of Singapore. As for the subjects, in order to provide a broader-based education in biology, the two subjects of Botany and Zoology were fused into the joint course of Biology. A division without had been created but the division within had fallen

Note: All information contained in this article was from a conversation with A/P Chou Loke Ming.
© N Sivasothi, 2001