With the start of a new year came news of new campaign parties aiming to be elected as the new Undergraduate Student Council (USC). After the dismissal of the previous USC, Batchim, last year, the USC was replaced by the Emergency Response Committee (ERC), Rise, causing confusion for many KAISTians. To clarify the events of last semester, The KAIST Herald interviewed a former USC and ERC member, Jeho Jin.
Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, I am a senior member of the Freshmen Student Council, former International Secretariat of the USC, and a member of ISO and Illusion. I take charge in most of the on-campus events for international students in KAIST and also created MAKE, a project to correct erroneous English translations [in KAIST, both] online and offline.
You have had various experiences in a number of student communities in KAIST; what inspired you to do so?
I have taken part in student communities before entering KAIST and wanted to keep doing so. KAIST is one of the most diverse universities in Korea — I wanted to make KAIST easy to adapt [to] for international students and create a globalized campus where Korean students and international students get along well.
Which program of the USC do you wish that the students of KAIST would find more useful?
One of the programs I remember the most is the Freshmen Amity Program. We thought that existing club activities and the buddy program are not sufficient to promote friendship between Korean and international freshmen. We hoped the bonds as freshmen would create a long-lasting friendship between the two different communities and create a truly global campus. We had a visit to Jeonju with most of the participants in the program, and I was very happy to see people from two different communities taking selfies [together] and enjoying the trip. Many participants were very satisfied with the program. Other programs I would like to mention [includes the] Language Exchange Program, a program where an international student and a Korean student teach each other’s language.
Last year, the USC was dismissed after a tie in the re-election vote, how do you reflect on this event?
I was in my class when the vote results came out. I was actually surprised. Actually, this is the only part that I remember vividly and really don’t remember much of it.
Why do you think the USC was dismissed?
I believe this happened because of a lack of communication between the USC and the students. There has been a barrier between the two parties and this created misunderstandings. Although the event was surprising, I believe it was a democratic choice of the students and accept the wrongdoings.
At the end of last year, there were no candidate registrations to run for the USC. Hence this year, the student council was run by the ERC, but now voting campaigns have begun again. Could you elaborate on how this was possible?
I believe many potential candidates for USC president were shocked after the result of the re-election and decided not to run. Although all students can run for the candidate, it is only a few that actually take part in the student community and actually decide to run for president since their duties are very rigorous. It is actually a very regretful situation.
Are there any last words you wish to provide to students of KAIST?
I am very proud to serve the students of KAIST and I hope many international students and Korean students reading The KAIST Herald take part in many opportunities and events in KAIST.