The upcoming resignation of KAIST Overseas Networking Exchange (KAIST ONE) organizer Osama Karkout has led International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) to restructure KAIST ONE and the KAIST International Students Association (KISA) by merging the two bodies together.
Currently, KAIST ONE is a directly funded sub-body of ISSS and consists of several “general staff” who serve under an “organizer”. Each staff member receives an hourly wage from ISSS. The organizer is the most dominant role within KAIST ONE and is responsible for the promotion and catering of events, the recruiting and coordinating of staff, and much more.
KISA members are volunteers recruited from the international student body and organized into set departments: events, finance, public relations, and web-design. Each KISA department is led by a “division head” who reports to an executive board, led by the KISA president. Unlike KAIST ONE, KISA members do not receive payment from ISSS; instead, funding is only provided for events.
Under the new model, KAIST ONE will become part of KISA. The role of KISA president will be expanded to include the position of “KAIST ONE team coordinator”, a position that will hold responsibility for the more managerial aspects of KAIST ONE. As team coordinator, the KISA president will oversee the recruitment of KAIST ONE staff from KISA volunteers. This means that some KISA members will hold dual roles as KISA volunteers and as KAIST ONE staff. The KISA president is also expected to become the KAIST ONE organizer at the end of their term.
The KAIST ONE organizer role will still exist as a position directly under ISSS; however, the scope of the role will be much more limited. All KAIST ONE staff will be paid by ISSS, meaning that the KISA president and all those recruited by the president will receive a wage.
By splitting the organizer role into a separate organizer and team coordinator, ISSS hopes to avoid creating the demanding conditions that were placed on Karkout. It is also expected that the rotation of roles will keep events fresh and encourage a more creative work environment.
Karkout is resigning at the end of this semester after three years in the role of KAIST ONE organizer, a role that he describes as enjoyable but time-consuming. In an interview with The KAIST Herald, he expressed his support for ISSS’ plans, stating that he hopes the new arrangement would mitigate the stress future organizers may experience and create a more dynamic and efficient organization. For those interested in Karkout’s last semester as KAIST ONE organizer, you can attend KAIST ONE events on March 28, April 25, May 16, and May 30.