Discourse with the 45th Student Council - Seoul Campus
Focusing on the overall agenda and the preparation progress
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With the simple but significant name 'Hanmadi,' meaning one word, the 45th student council of Hanyang University has embarked upon its prologue. Listening to the words of all students and representing them, the student council is preparing to achieve grand goals to enhance students’ rights and quality of life at school. Based on the teamwork they developed through voluntary activities for rural communities and the supporting experiences at the 44th student council, President Lee Kyung-eun and Vice-president Choi Kyung-sang are full of hope and desire to advance the council together. News H met the student council to hear about the holistic scheme and the current progress of preparation.
Satisfying the rudimentary needs of students
Three biggest concerns of the student council are lowering of tuition fees and increasing entrance rates to the school dormitory. Due to a host of students going through hardships paying tuition fees, previous student councils have been trying their best to reduce the fee. “Reduction in tuition fee is the most significant problem to be resolved and this concern is being carefully debated at the Hanyang University Tuition Advisory Committee,” said Choi. Also, the importance of scholarship programs is being addressed, since the appropriation of the scholarship budget is being reduced.
Another goal of the Hanmadi Council is to publish the “living expenses scholarship for the future,” or the Misaeng scholarship in Korean, as an official policy. This Misaeng scholarship program, which about 600 students applied and 364 students got accepted to, provides students with living expenses based on their economic conditions. “It is crucial to establish the Misaeng scholarship as an official policy of the school and settle the student council as the vanguard position to stimulate this scholarship program. Considering the flaws of this recent scholarship program, we are planning to enhance it through reviewing student surveys,” said Lee.
Along with reductions in tuition fee, increasing the dormitory acceptance rate is another momentous goal of the council. The newly built accommodations have been announced to be accepting only freshmen beginning from the following semester. Initiated by strong oppositions, the council has negotiated with the school authorities to change the policy by allowing dormitory entrance of more seniors. “The original plan was successful, as many seniors who live away from home can now reside in dormitories. We think that the next step should be contacting and persuading with Seongdong-gu Office to allow more dormitory constructions,” added Choi. According to Lee, there are problems such as an unclear standard in dormitory acceptance and irregularities in assigning rooms, which she ponders to be an urgent problem to be solved.
Necessity of impartial debate based operation
Both Lee and Choi emphasize the significance of debate and conversation between the school and students, while the student council being the linking medium. The Hanyang University Tuition Advisory Committee is one of the debates considered imperative by the council. The committee consists of five students from the Seoul and ERICA campuses, five school administrators, and a recommended guest. “Since the recommended guest is the key holder of a fierce debate of five to five, it is crucial that the guest is selected with care. However, the guest is currently recommended by the University president, which our council considers to be impartial,” added Lee. Thus, the council is in the progress to renovate the operation of the committee to lead the results to reduction in tuition fee.
Another debate session that the Hanmadi council is looking forward to be successful is the College Education Issue Joint Confrontation T/F team for the 2016-2017 reorganization of education. “This team is a debate session proceeded during the Central Operation Committee. The committee consists of presidents and vice presidents of all departments and during the debate session, we discuss each department’s concerns regarding their educational environment, contents, dissatisfactions, and more,” said Lee. The committee along with the discussion session is kicking off its start with flattering anticipations.
“It has been almost three years since we worked together at the student council, and now we became the president and a vice president. We are not in these positions to be greeted with cheerful ovations, but to serve the students to meet their needs and solve problems,” said both Lee and Choi. Because school and the society are interconnected worlds, the student council of 2017 is looking forward to agonize together with students about both matters and try their best to bring out the effortful results. The Hanmadi student council is looked forward by students, while singing out its beginning with hopeful visions.
Kim Ju-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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