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Another Name for Us, Re: NEW ALL

Do you know about the Student Council? Its name is Re: NEW ALL. It sends our voices to the school and does things for our rights on our behalf. Many people know of its existence but don't know what it is doing. I had a talk with the new student council vice president, Ha Sojeong.

Q. Please introduce yourself briefly and the positions you have held.

A. My name is Ha Sojeong and I am in the class of ‘14 in the department of Korean Language and Literature. I was the departmental student representative when I was a freshman and department head in my junior year. I am retaking my junior year. In my second junior year in college, I was the vice president of the college of liberal arts with the co-chair of the adult rights committee. Also, this year, I am the student council vice president.

Q. What does the student council do?

A. The student council is an independent organization that protects the rights of Hongik University students. The student council is composed of the representatives of each department and college student council members. It is the main leading group among other student representative groups, voicing the opinions of the students in general. We are not only doing what we do, we are always working with other student representatives and students. Therefore, we work under the name of "Student Council," but I want you to know that we'll never succeed without Hongik University students’ help.

Q. What are the planning procedures for the project being carried out by the Student Council?

A. We can never independently start any movement or business. It is always the way to begin when a discussion is held within the Central Steering Committee with the college presidents and is approved to proceed. Even in this general election case, the Central Steering Committee has already raised the issue. Not all projects and campaigns are short-term plans. Some are one-year ones. There are still many plans left.

Q. What are your thoughts on the rest of the promises?

A. Since I became the student council vice president, the time has gone so fast. I thought there was still a lot of time left in the first semester, but not really. With the general election being held in November, there are only about six to seven months left. The pledges are divided into three main categories: Union, Opinion Leader and Cultural Planners. Also, there are several specific pledges under these three main categories. But the specific pledges are modifiable, in the course of executing the main pledges.

Q. What are the specific examples of closing the distance between Student Council officials and students pledges?

A. Firstly, we hosted '*saenaegi baeumteo' after the entrance ceremony. Actually, the project was first made by us. In some ways, freshmen have few chances to meet the student council. Therefore, we worked on the project as a first gesture to become more familiar with them. Also, we went around to all the orientations of the colleges. Every year, the student council has stopped by there, but it was just to welcome the freshmen. However, this time, we gave lectures about the struggle for the education rights. In my case, I educated on human rights. Do you know we have been managing a booth in front of Yeongwonhan Miso? We held a photo exhibition and a general election and handed out a New Semester Package for Freshmen. Also, in March, we handed out the New Semester Newspaper on the streets, and didn’t just put it on restroom stall doors. It was because we thought the method would be more familiar to fellow students.

Q. When it has been the hardest time and the most rewarding time in your work?

A. I have about 40 people working on the Student Council. Things work out well for the public, but we can have some troubles inside the Student Council, caused by differences of opinions. But there are also some cases that we council members have no trouble working together, while our policies often are not effective to the public. I have worked with other people for about five years, but it’s still challenging to have relationships with other people.

The achievement is not that big of a deal, but I think this is a good time to say that someone complimented the Student Council. And when I get some chocolates or coffee from anonymous students, I’m very impressed by their kind attention and support. Also, the press usually asks questions at the student representative conference, and after the student council president replies, the questions and answers session is over. However, one time recently, I was proud that the representatives of the students expressed their opinions and felt responsible for each other.

Q. Before ending the interview, please tell me a final thing you would like to say.

A. We are students too, and I would like people to know that there are 20 to 40 people behind the name General Students’ Association. Some of the feedback from students’ replies on Facebook includes malicious expression, which are mixed with personal attacks. The reason why these malicious expressions are easily observable is that other students are likely to think they are blaming the group, not the individual person who actually gets hurt. However, I’m also distressed because I can see that the friends who organized the *libelous content or events had struggled, and I know how much effort they had put in planning those. I think we should also give feedback to replies and try to change negative opinions. Nevertheless, people would like to know that we are students.

>Pledge

  1. Opinion Leader

    - Securing financial ownership of students

    - Improvement in the system for ensuring student rights.

    - The improvement of human rights.

    - Improvement in the educational system.

    2. Union

    - Expanding the opportunities for community members in schools.

    - Securing community members’ rights in school.

    - Welfare improvement

    - Closing the distance between Student Council officials and students.

    3. A Culture Planner

    - A student event (Daedongje)

    - Cultural planning

    - Giving information about majors and careers

  1. *saenaegi baeumteo – A program that informs new recruits about the things to do in college.
  2. *libelous – Containing or constituting a libel

Chung Minkyung  7carrot@naver.com

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