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Thread: VA - the faceless people and the thankless jobs

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    VietAbroader
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    Default VA - the faceless people and the thankless jobs

    Dear VA Community,

    I am writing this post not in the role of the admin of this forum, or the Co-President of this organization. I will stand by what I write here, but I am not representing either entity. I am writing from the perspective of someone who has been working with VA since early 2009 in various roles, and has witnessed first-hand the work that countless members of VA have put into running this organization - the things that people who casually surf this forum might not know or notice, but nevertheless, are real and make a difference of many of our lives here.

    It has come to my attention that some members have reacted very negatively to our team of mods and admins. I understand that you might not agree with our decisions, but calling people "who the **** you are" and labeling them "irresponsible" shouldn't be part of your vocabulary when you talk to the folks who have voluntarily sacrificed their time and effort to contribute to this forum. In response to those inconsiderate comments, I would like to ask: Who are you, and what have you done to this forum such that you give yourself the right to use insulting language to the people who have done more than you? What do you mean by "responsible"?

    If you might recall, our forum a few months ago was a literal mess. There was no mod or admin team in place. People have abused their right to free speech to say hurtful things to others, or simply have posted spam, irrelevant content on the forum, rendering it useless to others who have serious intention of searching for information. Many people complained, but when I held the recruitment campaign for the mod and admin team, suddenly the complainers disappeared from sight. I was not surprised: After all, few people want to actually do the dirty work of cleaning up the forum, it costs to work, but it's free to complain.

    Some stepped forward to claim this job. I cannot thank them enough for clearing up the spams, reorganizing the forum into a more logical structure, moving topics to relevant sites, and working on adding more content to this forum. For your information, VAPedia team and VA forum team have worked in compiling a comprehensive, updated FAQ list for newbies, including questions and relevant topics to look up information so that they will not spam the forum. Other projects that VA forum team has done include the weekly talk show with college students, and the Writing contest over New Year. We are planning for another contest which will come soon, and compiling the list of schools with scholarships that not many people are aware of.

    When VAPedia and VA forum have changed for the better, did anyone post a thank you note or contact the teams to thank them for their effort? As far as I know, such responses are few, or non-existent. Well, that's fine. I understand that when the fruits of labor are enjoyed by many, people feel entitled to it. Of course VA forum has to be good. Of course VApedia has to be useful.

    But then when we are making difficult reasons in grey areas, such as when to close a thread, when to moderate a post and how, some members are not at least hesitant in calling names and commenting negatively. I don't think we make right decisions all the times. In fact, I am aware that my action might limit freedom for some, but I did it because I considered the impact of me not getting involved as more harmful than if I chose to intervene.

    Take the thread of Class 2015 for example (yes, I was the one behind the decision to close the thread): I was considering the fact that the thread was spinning off from its original agenda, and while the conversation was still relatively civilized, there is some tension there that might lead to some unnecessary arguments. I apologize that I did not consider the people on the waitlist, but there is no need to resort to calling the mod team "irresponsible." It is not that we are not willing to resolve conflicts that may arise (if we are not, why did we take up our positions in the first place?).

    To put things in the right perspective, I am not upset by all this name-calling and negativity. I have worked with VA long enough to know that if I place my motivation and self-esteem on external sources like some random members of the VA community, I will not last in this position through an admission cycle. I am writing not to whine, but to remind some folks out there that VA has not always been there. You are not entitled to VA's existence. VA is the work of many people, and we need people who are dedicated to VA to continue sustaining it. If you cannot bring yourself to be grateful, the least you can do is to be considerate and constructive in your feedback. If you can't do anything for VA, at least don't discourage others from doing so.

    To end this, I just want to say: We are the faceless people who do the thankless behind-the-scene jobs, but we too, are human beings. And as human beings, we don't just work for the sake of working. We want to do meaningful work to benefit the people who deserve it. Will you, VA community, be that compelling reason to keep the teams go on?

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  3. #2
    {JUST} [DNN] dnn158's Avatar
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    I'm .................... cryingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.

    Just wanna say that we - VACE team and VApedia team are trying our best to improve VA4rum and VA Community much better and better and better.., for the future, for ever, ever

    Thanks everyone.
    People know what to do but few do what they know

  4. #3
    Quinnipiac University 13'
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    @ Chị Chi: bài viết rất powerful và cảm động. Đúng là từ ngày VA có ban điều hành trở lại thì forum trông trật tự, ngăn nắp hẳn ra. Các thành viên cũng phần nào cảm thấy thoải mái để đóng góp bài vở hơn, mà không sợ bị ném đá sarcastically như trước; bản thân em cũng năng vào forum thường xuyên hơn xưa. Tuy sự can dự của admins mods ít nhiều ảnh hưởng tới freedom of speech của các một số bạn, nhưng đúng là cộng đồng nào cũng cần có luật lệ của nó để tránh những conflict không cần thiết, làm tổn thương lẫn nhau.

    Phương rất appreciate nỗ lực của các bạn trong ban điều hành. You guys are doing such a great job. Tuy việc quản lí một forum Phương nghĩ cũng tốn không ít thời gian, nhưng personally Phương chưa thấy ai than thở bao giờ cả. Mọi người cố gắng lên, keep it up nhé ! Chúc VA forum cũng như VA Community của chúng ta có thể xóa tan đi những điều tiếng cũ, ngày càng lớn mạnh hơn, thu hút được nhiều thành viên tâm huyết tích cực hơn, và quan trọng nhất là có thể fulfill được our mission Empowering Vietnamese Youth !

    Cheers !
    Quinnipiac University 2013 - www.quinnipiac.edu
    Public Relations major, International Business minor


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    Administrator thminh's Avatar
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    This is a moving and powerful speech precisely at the time we need it most. It's hard to add something because Chi has already put it so well.
    Even though the post said that this is Chi's personal comment, it actually carries and represents the spirit of VA and of different VA teams. Therefore I'm moving the thread from the "About us" box - where Chi humbly placed it - to the Announcement box so that it can appear on our front page, where it can receive some attention from our community as it deserves.

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    Another disclaimer: Working for VA is actually a lot of fun and satisfying (as many VA members will be willing to testify), so don't be scared away by this. As Minh and I will be leaving our positions after this summer, please consider stepping up to keep VA going. VA will be an empty shell, or even cease to exist without the 70 members involved in running it and its various projects.

    Recruitment for VA Executive team will start in August, so please check back then for more details.

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    VietAbroader hitebor's Avatar
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    Em cảm động lắm XD Cứ toàn "học lẹ lẹ hoặc thôi cứ để đấy mà work với VA cho nó "sướng" " Nhiều khi ngồi tính mới ngẫn tò te mình chẳng có lúc nào học cả, kiểm tra cũng cứ thế qua và năm học cứ thế mà hết, còn lại đáng nhớ nhất là những tháng ngày sống một cuộc sống của một con người có ích thật sự, có niềm tin, có đam mê, có hoài bão và có bạn bè cùng chung ước mơ ấy... Con người ta chẳng học được gì nhiều nếu cứ mở sách và nói vẹt, chỉ có trải nghiệm mới làm nên mình là ai và biết mình muốn gì.

    Cảm ơn VA với 2 năm - 1 chặng đường em đã, đang và sẽ tiếp tục gắn bó

    Chúc mọi người cứ giữ lửa và chuyền đuốc ấm cho nhau mãi nhé!
    Anh Nguyen
    Associate of Member Relations, VA Executive 2012
    truonganh.nguyen@vietabroader.org

    LinkedIn Professional Profile: Truong Anh Nguyen

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    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
    Albert Einstein

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    When I just read the title, I think about how thankless I am to VA. Rarely would I come over this website after I passed the visa process.
    Believe it or not, VA has changed my life. If it hadn't been for this forum, I would be a domestic student in HCMC. I mean I would be alright. I would graduate next year and work for Unilever or HSBC... I would get married; I would smile and be happy like my friends do, singing karaoke on weekends, hanging around the familiar street vendors... But I would not be as great. By "great", I mean to compare how much I had to get through if I decided to follow the path that VAers had gone by, with those if I decided to do the otherwise. My life wouldn't be that challenging yet my life wouldn't be that interesting. I've come to learn a lot, both in academic and in real-life experiences. The admission process made me more mature, independent and knowledgeable. Yet I would trade anything for the tears that I cried when my mom and dad objected my plan to take a gap year. At that time, there were so many obstacles. Nevertheless I would do anything I could to make my US dream come true. Those tears meant so much to me. I wiped them away and tried to find a way out. The very first step I did become an incentive for me. I reconciled the opposing obstacles, solved the coming problems and set my self ready for any challenges that would come next. How many parts the application broke down were how many challenges that were awaiting. Step by step, slowly, I overcame all. Hard as I tried, I got rejected by so many schools. But I was not going to give up. I applied to more schools for some security. Looking back, I thought it was a miracle. But it was not. It's something very firm, real and resilient. It's my faith in me. It's my trust in VA. It's the súbstantial amount of effort that has been devoted to make the forum updated and organized. I did spend a whole week doing nothing but reading all of the posts. It was not enough, I admit. I went to VA forum days and nights. But it was not enough, either. I spent some white nights leaving the green window opens, waiting for the admission results. There were all kinds of my feelings happening here. Anger, anxiety, hopefulness, sadness and in the end, happiness.
    There are only one like-time while I don't know how much I want to thank VA and VA persons. As said, I have been so thankless. The faith,the hope and the torch have been passed to me. I would like to pass on that torch someday.
    Last edited by toiyeuvietnam; 04-10-2011 at 07:11 PM.

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    VietAbroader minhhoang_vo's Avatar
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    yupe, I think I knew the one who used those four-letter-words to our admins. He should read this thread
    Thank you for a helpful post !
    Dreams are ahead.

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