From Activities to Traditions
As well as emphasizing the importance of learning, teaching and academic activities, Chulalongkorn University gives importance to and supports a variety of activities that will develop its students’ potential and promote their capabilities through offering them the chance to take part in extracurricular activities and, thus, fully express themselves. This also promotes good relationships among students and a healthy relationship between students and the Faculties and the University. Many activities continue as traditions to the present day. Two famous traditions are the Chula-Thammasat Football Tournament and the Welcome Freshmen Day.
The Chula-Thammasat Football Tournament
The traditional Chula-Thammasat Football Tournament originates from a group of students of both universities, who were alumni of Suan Kulab Wittayalai School. After graduating from school, they furthered their studies at university level at the two existing universities at that time, Chulalongkorn and Thammasat Universities. However, they still felt attached to one another so they discussed the possibility of organizing sporting activities to strengthen their relationship and promote unity between the students of the two universities in the same way as the traditional Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England. They chose to organize a football match because they particularly liked football. So, the first football match between the two universities took place on December 4th, 1934 at the Pramane Grounds. The match has endured as a traditional tournament until today. The two universities take turn in hosting the event. The entrance fees from the first match were presented to the Association for the Eradication of Tuberculosis, which was a deadly disease in Thailand at the time. It has been the tradition since then that the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to charity.
Though the tradition is that the tournament will be organized annually, sometimes certain situations have made it inappropriate for the tournament to take place; for example, the political situation, war or floods, have in some years caused the tournament to be cancelled.
The Welcome Freshmen Tradition
The Welcome Freshmen Activities that are organized early at the beginning of the academic year are aimed at giving the chance to freshmen to become acquainted with students in other years so that they may learn to adjust to university life as well as become instilled with social responsibility. The activities are designed to make the freshmen feel tied to the University and to create a good relationship among freshmen of different Faculties and between freshmen and students of other years. Also, the voluntary activities instil a public spirit in the freshmen and make them think about the public good.