The Emergency Response Committee (ERC) has been in action for two and a half semesters, and finally the time has come for the 33rd KAIST UA general election. Scheduled for December 4 and 5, the vote — if successful — will see the end of the ERC and a fresh start of student-elected UA leadership. Currently, Hyun-Sik Yoon, a senior in the School of Computing, is the sole candidate for the presidential race.
A vacancy in the KAIST UA presidential position has existed since 2018 Fall, when the 32nd KAIST UA, Batchim, was impeached after a referendum. The vote was held in October 2018, after a backlash against the UA’s participation in an LGBTQ parade in Seoul without consulting the student body in advance. Many saw this as a misrepresentation of the KAIST student body as a whole. For more information, see Volume 165. The vote result was a tie between those against and those in favour of the action, which meant an immediate resignation of Batchim’s leaders. When no candidates stepped forward to fill the position, the ERC, Rise, was formed to operate as the temporary executive committee for KAIST undergraduate society.
In March, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) opened applications for new presidential candidates. The only team to run for the KAIST UA, Saero, was composed of two key former members of Batchim and Rise. The duo, however, received several warnings, strikes, and orders of correction due to violations of the KAIST UA Election Regulations compiled by the CEC. Eventually, in accordance with Article 60 Section 4 of the Election Regulations, Saero lost its eligibility for candidacy and subsequently a full year of the ERC, Link, as the executive committee of the KAIST has been in action. See Volume 168 for more details.
After a year of temporary convocation of the ERC, the CEC finally announced the 33rd KAIST UA general election to be held near the end of this semester. The application period for the presidential candidates finished on November 12, and the campaign period will commence on November 20. This will last for two weeks until December 2, when the early voting will be held for two days prior to the scheduled main election dates (December 4 and 5). In accordance with the Election Regulations, all KAIST undergraduates are eligible to vote for the leaders of the KAIST UA. As of now, Hyun-Sik Yoon registered as a presidential candidate with KyuWon Park, a sophomore in the Department of Chemistry, as his running mate for vice president. Both are former members of the ERC, Link (I-Eum), and will disclose their manifesto on November 20 when they start their campaign.
The general election held during this period also includes presidential voting for the Freshman Council, club union, various subcommittees, and any departments/schools that wish to entrust their election to the CEC. Voter turnout needs to exceed 50% for all elections to ensure that the elected presidents are fully endorsed by the student body. Hence, exercising one’s right to vote is vital in this year’s 33rd KAIST UA general election.