Kookmin People

Meet The ‘Dream’ Student Council

  • 20.04.20 / 김해선

In this opening issue, I met Song Da-mi, president of Kookmin University’s (KMU) “Dream Student Council,” to understand what the council wants to do during the upcoming year. The following are edited excerpts from the interview.


    Why did you want to be student council president? What do you want to change and why were you, and not someone else, elected?
I've been a student council member at the college of social sciences for a long time. At the time, I didn’t feels the importance of the whole student council. But last year, I saw the student council change the university, and I wanted to change the university for the positive, especially since I was taking the year off to work at Seoul City Hall. I was inspired by youth participation after seeing the youth policies carried out by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and I wanted to actively participate in the fields interesting students and change the university.


    What is your final goal for the year?
Instead of looking forward with a radical new vision, we hope that this year’s policies and projects will be carried out, that they’ll continue to benefit students, and create a continuity of work. 
 We’ll concentrate on setting a positive tone for this year.


    How do you plan to achieve that goal? What is “Communication With Seongbuk District”?
I’d like to cooperate with the agencies of Seongbuk District for three reasons. 
 First, I want to ease the installation of external universityfacilities through discussions with the Seongbuk District Office. In the case of shuttle stops, there should be a permit from the district office, yet the district office was unhappy with the permit, so we want to resolve these issues through meaningful discussion.
 Next, I want to strengthen safety through an agreement with the Seongbuk Police Station. In Seongbuk District, near the university, there are a number of room rentals, and I thought we ought to pay more attention to their security given the area is mainly constituted of alleys and because the safety risk further increases during certain periods — such as festivals — so we’ve agreed on ensure the safety of these areas by strengtheningpatrols during certain periods.
 Finally, through discussions with local merchant associations, we want to revitalize the business district near the university and sign a contract with the association during the festival to make it more distinctive and improve its quality


    How do you aim to improve students’ educational rights ?
First, I’d like to introduce a consultative body called the “Education Environment Improvement Planning Group,” which will discuss KMU students’ educational environment, including their educational rights, the teaching environment, and other such matters. 
 With the student council’s policy bureau at the forefront, it’ll be responsible for recruiting students to identify issues with the current educational environment and suggest alternative policies to improve them. This will continue while the Dream Student Council is active in 2020. 
 The adjustment of the grade distribution ratio is currently reflected for subjects’ relative evaluation 1, 2, 3, and for the expansion of subjects of relative evaluation 2, as well as the expansion of subjects’ absolute evaluation. We’re also currently discussing and promoting various matters, such as introducing an add-drop period during which students can withdraw from a given course, allowing them to take classes during particular seasons, conduct surveys on the actual conditions of class 
experiment tools and the classroom environment, conducting and reflecting a demand survey on over-demand major subject for multiple major and minor policy.


    Why are you pledging to promote students’ rights?
Through “Meeting with the President,” I'd like to meet with the student council and the president twice a semester to regularly share opinions and disseminate the issues discussed throughout the university. Since the president has continued to give unilateral administrative notices, we’ll try to narrow the gap between the president's schools and establish a communicationchannel to ensure that students’ opinions are conveyed and reflected before making managerial decisions. 
 We’re also going to reveal students’ tuition fees. Despite the high dependence on tuition fees, KMU does not reveal much of its expenses, whereas otheruniversities divulge their funds’ use. I want to increase financial transparency. 
 Finally, we’ll make emergency instructions available to students through the university’s system, maybe through the K-push app.


    How else do you aim to improve students’ welfare?
We’re planning to repair both the basketball courts and old park facilities, reduce conflicts caused by different lifestyles, improve dorm operations that match roommates through surveys, and simplify applications for all-night studying that previously went through a number of complicated procedures — including social networking sites (SNS) — so that students can more easily communicate with one another.

 Demand for the shuttle’s expansion has been around for a long time, yet the issue has never been resolved due to budgetary shortcomings. How do you aim to succeed where so many others failed?
 The president recognizes the need for additional shuttles. We have yet to reach an agreement on the issue and the president hasn’t replied to the improvement plan since Feb. 2. The plan was delivered to the university’s management team, and seeks to add routes to new hubs — such as Sindorim-dong and the area south of the Han River — but addressing the matter has been difficult amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll communicate any progress made on the issue right away.


    What’s the plan for the Academic Conference? Has there been any progress?
Academic conferences are held once a semester. Although there is no specific part yet, the purpose was to help students secure employment by increasing their chances of winning prizes while enrolled at KMU.


    What is the Green Campus and what do you hope to achieve through it? 
The Eco Green Campus Festival was originally scheduled for the semester’s beginning. Eco flea market, used book sales, environment-related booth recruitment, and various events were planned to focus on recycled materials, but the festival was canceled due to the pandemic.
 Other plans include greening the rooftop of university buildings.


    What’s “Dream Membership”?
In addition to Jeongneung Market, we are planning a membership through partnerships with culture, food, and leisure business in areas popular with students. The idea’s been proposed to local businesses, though any further discussions have been temporarily suspended given the pandemic has made it difficult to meet businesses.


    Former KMU Student Council President Lee Jun-bae aimed to make the festival more than an event filled with celebrities and alcohol, though he emphasized the difficulties of doing so immediately, instead aiming to enact this change gradually. Do you agree with former President Lee?
I have some ideas regarding the festival. Considering the purpose and utility of the event, I would like to invite local merchants to produce a variety of content, such as a performance zone, an information zone, and a food zone. We’re also going to promote the youth policy of Seongbuk District, and promote the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s youth-related policies. 
 I’d also like the festival to proceed by the college that held it last year, ensuring it embodies the college’s own characteristics,such as orchestra concert or busking, flea market. Of course, I can’t guarantee anything due to the pandemic.


    If student council events are canceled due to the pandemic, how will you use your budget? Which academic schedules that have been altered by the pandemic, and what are the subsequent  changes?
Once the Eco Green Campus Festival has been canceled and the situation has stabilized, we plan to reschedule it. 
 The other canceled events are school-level events, so we won't have any extra funds. We have no choice regarding rescheduling. We’ll proceed quickly and notify students when we know more.


    What would you like to say to the students?
This year is about the “Dream.” I want to provide students with as much rights, convenience, and welfare as possible. 
 I hope students will participate in the event. I’ll upload pandemic-related news through SNSs and make events to overcome the current times, so please keep your eyes peeled!


Chan-Yeong Kim Reporter
niet89@kookmin.ac.kr

Meet The ‘Dream’ Student Council

In this opening issue, I met Song Da-mi, president of Kookmin University’s (KMU) “Dream Student Council,” to understand what the council wants to do during the upcoming year. The following are edited excerpts from the interview.


    Why did you want to be student council president? What do you want to change and why were you, and not someone else, elected?
I've been a student council member at the college of social sciences for a long time. At the time, I didn’t feels the importance of the whole student council. But last year, I saw the student council change the university, and I wanted to change the university for the positive, especially since I was taking the year off to work at Seoul City Hall. I was inspired by youth participation after seeing the youth policies carried out by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and I wanted to actively participate in the fields interesting students and change the university.


    What is your final goal for the year?
Instead of looking forward with a radical new vision, we hope that this year’s policies and projects will be carried out, that they’ll continue to benefit students, and create a continuity of work. 
 We’ll concentrate on setting a positive tone for this year.


    How do you plan to achieve that goal? What is “Communication With Seongbuk District”?
I’d like to cooperate with the agencies of Seongbuk District for three reasons. 
 First, I want to ease the installation of external universityfacilities through discussions with the Seongbuk District Office. In the case of shuttle stops, there should be a permit from the district office, yet the district office was unhappy with the permit, so we want to resolve these issues through meaningful discussion.
 Next, I want to strengthen safety through an agreement with the Seongbuk Police Station. In Seongbuk District, near the university, there are a number of room rentals, and I thought we ought to pay more attention to their security given the area is mainly constituted of alleys and because the safety risk further increases during certain periods — such as festivals — so we’ve agreed on ensure the safety of these areas by strengtheningpatrols during certain periods.
 Finally, through discussions with local merchant associations, we want to revitalize the business district near the university and sign a contract with the association during the festival to make it more distinctive and improve its quality


    How do you aim to improve students’ educational rights ?
First, I’d like to introduce a consultative body called the “Education Environment Improvement Planning Group,” which will discuss KMU students’ educational environment, including their educational rights, the teaching environment, and other such matters. 
 With the student council’s policy bureau at the forefront, it’ll be responsible for recruiting students to identify issues with the current educational environment and suggest alternative policies to improve them. This will continue while the Dream Student Council is active in 2020. 
 The adjustment of the grade distribution ratio is currently reflected for subjects’ relative evaluation 1, 2, 3, and for the expansion of subjects of relative evaluation 2, as well as the expansion of subjects’ absolute evaluation. We’re also currently discussing and promoting various matters, such as introducing an add-drop period during which students can withdraw from a given course, allowing them to take classes during particular seasons, conduct surveys on the actual conditions of class 
experiment tools and the classroom environment, conducting and reflecting a demand survey on over-demand major subject for multiple major and minor policy.


    Why are you pledging to promote students’ rights?
Through “Meeting with the President,” I'd like to meet with the student council and the president twice a semester to regularly share opinions and disseminate the issues discussed throughout the university. Since the president has continued to give unilateral administrative notices, we’ll try to narrow the gap between the president's schools and establish a communicationchannel to ensure that students’ opinions are conveyed and reflected before making managerial decisions. 
 We’re also going to reveal students’ tuition fees. Despite the high dependence on tuition fees, KMU does not reveal much of its expenses, whereas otheruniversities divulge their funds’ use. I want to increase financial transparency. 
 Finally, we’ll make emergency instructions available to students through the university’s system, maybe through the K-push app.


    How else do you aim to improve students’ welfare?
We’re planning to repair both the basketball courts and old park facilities, reduce conflicts caused by different lifestyles, improve dorm operations that match roommates through surveys, and simplify applications for all-night studying that previously went through a number of complicated procedures — including social networking sites (SNS) — so that students can more easily communicate with one another.

 Demand for the shuttle’s expansion has been around for a long time, yet the issue has never been resolved due to budgetary shortcomings. How do you aim to succeed where so many others failed?
 The president recognizes the need for additional shuttles. We have yet to reach an agreement on the issue and the president hasn’t replied to the improvement plan since Feb. 2. The plan was delivered to the university’s management team, and seeks to add routes to new hubs — such as Sindorim-dong and the area south of the Han River — but addressing the matter has been difficult amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll communicate any progress made on the issue right away.


    What’s the plan for the Academic Conference? Has there been any progress?
Academic conferences are held once a semester. Although there is no specific part yet, the purpose was to help students secure employment by increasing their chances of winning prizes while enrolled at KMU.


    What is the Green Campus and what do you hope to achieve through it? 
The Eco Green Campus Festival was originally scheduled for the semester’s beginning. Eco flea market, used book sales, environment-related booth recruitment, and various events were planned to focus on recycled materials, but the festival was canceled due to the pandemic.
 Other plans include greening the rooftop of university buildings.


    What’s “Dream Membership”?
In addition to Jeongneung Market, we are planning a membership through partnerships with culture, food, and leisure business in areas popular with students. The idea’s been proposed to local businesses, though any further discussions have been temporarily suspended given the pandemic has made it difficult to meet businesses.


    Former KMU Student Council President Lee Jun-bae aimed to make the festival more than an event filled with celebrities and alcohol, though he emphasized the difficulties of doing so immediately, instead aiming to enact this change gradually. Do you agree with former President Lee?
I have some ideas regarding the festival. Considering the purpose and utility of the event, I would like to invite local merchants to produce a variety of content, such as a performance zone, an information zone, and a food zone. We’re also going to promote the youth policy of Seongbuk District, and promote the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s youth-related policies. 
 I’d also like the festival to proceed by the college that held it last year, ensuring it embodies the college’s own characteristics,such as orchestra concert or busking, flea market. Of course, I can’t guarantee anything due to the pandemic.


    If student council events are canceled due to the pandemic, how will you use your budget? Which academic schedules that have been altered by the pandemic, and what are the subsequent  changes?
Once the Eco Green Campus Festival has been canceled and the situation has stabilized, we plan to reschedule it. 
 The other canceled events are school-level events, so we won't have any extra funds. We have no choice regarding rescheduling. We’ll proceed quickly and notify students when we know more.


    What would you like to say to the students?
This year is about the “Dream.” I want to provide students with as much rights, convenience, and welfare as possible. 
 I hope students will participate in the event. I’ll upload pandemic-related news through SNSs and make events to overcome the current times, so please keep your eyes peeled!


Chan-Yeong Kim Reporter
niet89@kookmin.ac.kr

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