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On the morning of March 5, the 2022 Winter Vacation Social Investigation Summary Meeting was held in Room B102 of Xinya College. A total of six teams reflected on their experiences conducting social investigations during the holiday. Each team was unique, having travelled to Sichuan, Hebei, and Yunnan among other places, and presented a wide variety of themes and forms; all of them undertook practical endeavors and gained much for their efforts, broadening their horizons along the way. Xinya College student counsellors Yu Ting, Zhan Yuan, and Chen Weihao were present to comment on and summarize the activities of each team.

I. The "Lives of the People: Vitality of China" Social Investigation Team

In January 2022, Zhong Tianyu from Xinya College and Wang Ziqing from Zhili College formed the "Lives of the People: Vitality of China" social investigation team. Under the guidance of teacher Zhang Weite from Xinya College, the team travelled to Deyang, Sichuan to conduct a week of field research on the street stall economy. The team was able to delve deep into the heart of society in a relatively short period of time, engaging themselves in every interaction, exploring every loaded detail, and finding meaning in moments of silence and ambiguity. Starting from the topic of mobile vendors, the students told stories of following city police as they went about enforcing the law and travelling with mobile vendors to participate in the whole process of making sales. The students shared insight on a variety of topics, from people’s habits when buying and selling to customer-specific menus, the communication of pressure, and the interests of multiple parties. In every interaction, the team strove for effective communication, sought acceptance, and practiced empathy, allowing different people to dispel their concerns and paint an honest picture of reality as they perceived it.

II. Siemens Electronic Works Chengdu (SEWC) Research Team

From January 17th to 21st, 2022, members of the team conducted research on the Siemens digital factory in Chengdu through a combination of online and offline methods. Adopting the theme "New Power in China", members visited the SEQW factory and learned how it digitizes the entire value chain in terms of product, production, performance, and more. On behalf of the entire team, Ye Tianzhu presented some reflections on the investigation. Through field research, the team was able to explore how SEWC implements digitalization across the value chain and customizes products to meet consumer needs during production. The students also conducted interviews with managers, gaining from individual case studies a deeper understanding of the Made in China 2025 strategic guidelines and how to strengthen Chinese industrial enterprises.

III. The "Eight Extremes" Investigation Team

With the theme of exploring the cultural heritage of martial arts in the new era through the case of Baji Quan (“Eight Extremes Boxing”), the team carried out their investigation in Cangzhou, Hebei, and were able to complete their research through a combination of online and offline methods in the face of an unexpected epidemic. Through on-site visits and interviews, the team inquired into martial arts education and related industries in Cangzhou and Tianjin, and ultimately came to understand that the practice of martial arts is not about physical combat, but about strengthening the body and cultivating one’s inner landscape. They mentioned that despite strong support from the state, the future of martial arts in China is uncertain, with many styles on the verge of extinction; what’s more, today’s youth still lack true understanding of martial arts. During the defense session, instructors suggested that the team further explore the problems at the root of martial arts education of children and young people, or else try to link the prospects of martial arts to material conditions and other problems in order to make the research more in-depth.

IV. Impressions of Yunnan – Liberal Arts and General Education in Yunnan Social Investigation Team

The team hoped to practice sketching as a continuation of Tsinghua's arts education beyond the curriculum, in the process discovering themselves and exploring new possibilities. To this end, the team travelled around Yunnan, encouraging exploration and freedom of technique and content. The members of the team had different levels of experience with art and came from a variety of majors. Their results were not only sketches, but also creative designs and online exhibitions. When asked about the insights they gained and their reflections on their investigation, the students said that the unofficial off-campus environment allowed them to set aside their sense of purposefe and embrace the unknown. Two instructors suggested that this investigation topic could be combined with the existing Hardworking Spirit Education curriculum and passed on, or perhaps developed into a tradition for Xinya's art education.

V. Sailing in the Breeze - Research Team on the Operation Mechanisms of the Supervisory Committee

This team consisted of six students from different faculties who were interested in the modernization of the national governance system and the changes in its operation before and after the establishment of the Supervisory Commission. Through interviews and visits to the exhibition hall, the students gained an in-depth understanding of the organizational structure of the Committee and the present state of the “Fighting Corruption and Building a Clean Government” initiative, and learned what it means to "punish the former to prevent the latter". The investigation yielded a detailed report, and also prompted the team to contemplate their future career paths. During the defense session, the students said that the change in organizational structure was not just a change of brand, but a real improvement in the efficiency of supervision and investigation, and a clear demonstration of the CPC’s determination to fight corruption and promote integrity.

VI. 2022 Love Your Alma Mater - High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (RDFZ) Team

The 2022 RDFZ "Love Your Alma Mater" investigation team was composed of 55 Tsinghua students. In collaboration with several other universities, the team assumed the motto of "serving students, repaying one’s alma mater, exercising oneself, and showcasing Tsinghua", hosting university recruitment lectures, introductions to majors, and talks on tips and tricks for studying. Students shared their learning experiences with underclassmen and helped them plan for their futures in a focused manner, supporting them in their future academic careers.

Summary of the Social Investigations

After the teams finished their presentations, student counsellor Yu Ting gave an overall summary of the winter vacation social investigations. He pointed out that each team’s investigation included both academic field research and practical interviews, covering various fields such as culture, politics, and industrial production, adhering to the spirit of Xinya. Furthermore, Yu noted that the insights one gains from social investigation are very different from knowledge learned in print. He conveyed the hope that students continue to reflect even after the end of their field work and that some projects are passed on and become tradition for future teams.

Rrevious:ZHENG Zhi:The Happiness of Learning

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