Tuesday, Nov. 26, the HUFS Central Election Commission held a public hearing for the candidates of the 54th Seoul Campus General Student Council (GSC) election campaign. With only one team of candidates running for office this year, the spotlight was on presidential candidate Kim Na-hyun (Division of French ‘15) and vice candidate Kim Min-yeong (Language and Trade ‘18).
At the hearing, HUFSans questioned the candidates regarding their campaign pledges, ranging from that of the selection of the HUFS President, to a variety on education, culture, lifestyle, general student rights and solidarity.
The official slogan and campaign name is: “A dawning change of HUFS, From the Dawn.” Shortened to “From the Dawn,” the name represents a start to action, where darkness is driven out by the light of dawn.
The main objective of “From the Dawn”
One of the most important goals of the candidates is securing the students’ place in the HUFS President selection process. The presidential candidate commented, “This issue has long been discussed, and this moment unconditionally needs to be the time for action. In 2021, the next HUFS President will be decided. 2020 will be pivotal to establishing any kind of cornerstone for the student vote.”
Concerns over the weight of the student vote falling short of that of the professor vote were voiced. The candidate said, “While we will call for an equal vote, it is nonetheless crucial that students gain voting power in the first place.”
The French major added, “If the university administration and professors are unwilling to cooperate, I am completely unreserved in entering into a hunger strike for an indefinite period. That, for me, is the gravity of this issue.”
Another important issue that the candidates emphasized was their pledge on improving living conditions around the campus. The presidential candidate said, “One of the key prerequisites for a good study environment is shelter. This GSC, should it be elected, will work with surrounding schools to establish a system that provides affordable housing to university students in the region.”
Communication with foreign HUFSans were a key point. Vice candidate Kim Min-yeong said, “Foreign HUFSans are fellow members of the GSC. We thought it necessary to directly provide any information that comes from the GSC – to make sure no one is marginalized for being a foreigner.” While the candidates are aware of the many different languages foreign HUFSans speak, they decided to limit translation to English deeming it the lingua franca.
Regarding on-campus racism, the candidates admitted the importance of racial awareness and the need for more understanding. The vice candidate said, “We see possibilities, such as working with the GSA and the Office of International Admission Affairs to come up with better solutions.”
Besides these, the candidates were asked on their thoughts about the school’s elevator situation, the heating and a/c time extensions, the flawed course registration system and a number of other pressing issues.
All in all, candidates Kim Na-hyun and Kim Min-yeong showed conviction throughout the hearing, most notably when the presidential candidate declared the lengths she will go to protect student rights. Whether it comes down to the hunger strike or not, the candidates have made it clear that they will go the ends and call for what is best for HUFSans.
By Park Chang-hwan
Associate Editor of Theory & Critique Section