Ever wondered what type of students contribute to determining your level of satisfaction at Yonsei University’s Underwood International College? Who represents the core of UIC, the one and only international institution with diverse student bodies at Yonsei? How effective is the student council at delivering students’ needs and concerns and swaying decisions of the UIC administration?
Around this time of year — on November 12th, 2019 to be specific — UIC released a list of candidates for the 15th student council election. A total of twenty five students participated in representing their majors from UIC this semester, all under unique team names and slogans they selected to express a sense of their character. Each major representative provided a pledge where they listed duties and obligations they plan to fulfill once they are elected. Only eleven majors are available for election, including Comparative Literature and Culture, Economics, Life Science and Biotechnology, Asian Studies, Culture and Design Management, Information and Interaction Design, Creative Technology and Management, Justice and Civil Leadership, Sustainable Development and Cooperation, and Energy and Environmental Science and Engineering. This leaves out majors like International Studies, Political Science and International Relations, Bio-Convergence, which leads to the question of how StuCo is managed and how their election is carried out.
In seeking further details to answer this question, a quick search of “Yonsei UIC Student Council” on the internet offers a website with an information page of the Student Council under the “Student Life” section on the UIC homepage. It seems as though the website hasn’t been updated since 2017, as they claim themselves to be the “12th Student Council” under the name “SOLIDITY.” This page consists of mainly vague yet optimistic sentences, such as: “Our potential and vision for the future is limitless,” and “We aim to grow stronger together both in building internal solidity and being externally more established in Yonsei University as a whole.” Although it is unclear what their exact objectives are, they list student-led events like Daedongjae Festival and the Freshmen Workshop to illustrate their accomplishments for providing a “distinguished college experience” at UIC.
At the bottom of the page, they reference three modes of digital communication: Email, Facebook, and Kakaotalk. However, both the Facebook page and Kakaotalk ID are inactive, since they do not let you access the page. What does this mean? Would we all have to pay a visit to the New Millenium Hall to reach out to our StuCo members?
When asking an upcoming CLC representative, Audrey Wardana, it appears that the UIC StuCo homepage has not been updated since the last election, meaning that there was a one year gap during 2018 without the presence of any student council in charge. Whether this is because not enough people ran for student council or not enough students voted during the election is unknown. The StuCo group, SOLIDITY, is therefore no longer considered as the leading group of our current student council. Instead, the UIC Emergency Exigency Committee operates as a temporary replacement and can be contacted through their active Facebook Account.
Although the student council ostensibly acts as an intermediary between the UIC student body and the UIC administrators, there appears to be a lack of transparency that remains between StuCo and the present students. Let us hope that this year’s election establishes a solid, reliable group that will attempt to consistently reach out to the UIC public, instead of ending up as an unforgotten past on an outdated page of Yonsei’s UIC website.