Could role models stop university hazing?

Stories about recent university hazings have been all over the Thai media for quite a while, creating an impression that Thailand’s universities are nothing more than playgrounds for sadistic jerks.

To counter-balance this impression, I would like to share with you a story about my uni, Chiang Mai University. From the time I spent here, it seems that Thai university life is comprised of two separate worlds; that of the undergraduate majority, and a smaller group of grad students, post-docs, researchers and professors. Unlike in the US, there is very little interaction between the two groups here. Perhaps if the two worlds were more open to each other, undergraduate students could have role models, inspiration and clear goals. Perhaps much effort would be spent to reach these goals, making it necessary to abandon childish and cruel practices which have nothing to do with the spirit of higher education.

An example of such inspirative role models was featured in The Nation, in the article quoted below:

A doctor from Chiang Mai University has developed the country’s first stereotatic instrument to help suregeons perform brain operations on tissue that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Associate Prof Dr. Sithiporn Bunyanit said it had taken him and his team 10 years to perfect the aluminium device, which he had named the “Surada Stereotatic instrument” after his wife, to highlight the product’s Thai origins.
The instrument helps suregeons operate on small areas of the brain with greater accuracy. It leaves smaller incision marks, reducing the risk of damage to brain tissue and the nervous system.

“Patients can talk to the surgeon during the operation. Thay also need less time to recover after surgery and the procedure costs less,” Sithiporn said. Similar foreign versions of the tool cost of Bt 7 million ot import, but Sithiporn’s instrument sells for only Bt1 million and is of the same quality. The country has about 20 stereotatic instruments used in state hospitals in big provinces.

Maharat Chiang Mai Hospital and Prasart Chiang Mai Hospital have already used the Surada Stereotatic device to operate on 200 patients.
Sithiporn said he would present his invention to the Health Ministy to push for production of the instrument so that other hospitals across the country can be equipped it. – THE NATION


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