|▲ An Dre (right) was elected as the chairperson of the General Student Council, and Jo Seong-woo (left) was elected as that of the vice chairperson.|
/Photograph by Lee Min-jeong
On December 2nd of 2015, An Dre and Jo Seong-woo from party “Hashtag” were elected as the new chairperson and the vice chairperson of the 48th General Student Council. The 47th GSC took an active role to demand the resignation of Han Tae-sik (Bogwang Sunim) and Ilymun Sunim by going on a hunger strike and organizing a candle assembly. Therefore, students had been paying an attention to new GSC members’ decisions on how they will act regarding present school matters. In this interview with An Dre and Jo Seong-woo, the new chairperson and the vice chairperson of the GSC, The Dongguk Post listened to their future plans and resolutions for this year.
Q. Very pleased to meet you. You won on the election. What were your feelings at the moment when your names were called?
An Dre: I was extremely worried about this election because I have never won an election ever since I was a high school student. I think my experiences of losing elections remained as a trauma in my mind. From the moment our party’s winning became obvious, I could not even scream out of excitement. I was just happy.
Jo Seong-woo: I was happy too, however, I felt anxious due to the responsibility I should take in the future as the vice chairperson of the GSC. “How can I step into such a huge and difficult position?” This question filled up my head.
Q. What were your intentions in running for the chairperson and the vice chairperson of the GSC?
An: Honestly, I did not plan on running for election as a chairperson of the GSC because I have been already in a student council for four years. However, as I witnessed the situation of President Han Tae-sik, I decided to stand as the chairperson of the GSC to make a better Dongguk University, and a better students’ society.
Jo: Kim Gun-jung and I are close friends, and his devotion to lead Donggukians’ society in the right direction inspired me a lot. Just in time, An Dre suggested me to run for the election together.
Q. You presented several pledges, such as “Monthly Hashtaging,” which is a way of communicating with students using “hashtag” on Facebook and “Prevention of Youth Abandonment,” a way to let students live without worries on credits. Do you have specific plans to carry them out?
An: Regarding “Monthly Hashtaging,” we are planning to carry out the online survey using “Google Form” for checking if students are satisfied with their school life and our job. Therefore, students’ participation is the most important. To make them take part in this, we should inform it with initiative using SNS like “Facebook” and “Kakao Talk yellow ID.”
Jo: For “Prevention of Youth Abandonment,” we are suggesting a new grade boundary so that students can get more As on their grade reports. It is a long-range pledge, which needs a consultation with school. There must be difficulties because this pledge involves both students and professors’ rights in terms of educating and assessing. Most importantly, we need to ask for the opinion from the professors about this issue, and if they are favorable, then we can demand for discussion to the school together.
Q. Moving on to the questions about your term, what issue do you consider to be the most important?
An: We both think that school matters such as the school festival and board of directors’ meetings are important. Jo puts more focus on school’s matters related to school administration and student rights, whereas I concentrate more on social matters regarding the young people of school. It is good that we can supplement each other’s weak points. I personally think the issues about the youth are as important as internal problems of school; the unemployment problem, political problems, and the upcoming general election in April. Since we are the future leaders of a nation, we, the youth, need to be concerned about them. Thus, I usually analyze the youth problems with a huge interest.
Jo: I regard structural problems of Dongguk and school festival as crucial issues of the year. Basically, students can have more pride in Dongguk University with a stable school atmosphere and great memories. If the problems are solved, the student council will get better automatically.
Q. There have been many conflicts between the former GSC and the school. As the new representatives of 13 thousand Donggukians, how would you resolve the further conflict with school authority?
An: To cope with the conflict, an integration of students’ society should come the first. Therefore, if this “fight” lasts long, being one and making a united opinion among students can be the key point to avoid exhaustion due to the long conflict. This is why I organized regular meetings of student council members from each college for a harmonious relationship.
Q. What is your ambition in 2016 as representatives?
An: As 2016 is the last year I am in the student council of Dongguk University, I want to do my best, and desperately put my every effort into everything without regret. I know many Donggukians are disappointed with the GSC, saying “Student council is only in their league.” I will try my best not to disappoint them anymore. I want to be remembered by them as a hard-working chairperson for Dongguk University’s development.
Jo: Now I am starting extra-semesters in order to fulfill my job as the vice chairperson of the GSC. Actually, it was not an easy decision make because for me, it was time to go out to real society. As my decision was not made through an easy process, I crave for Donggukians’ attention, which can be the power for me. We will strive to be the worthy chairperson and the vice chairperson of the GSC of Dongguk University.
Lee MinJeong firstname.lastname@example.org
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