The last month of the year has arrived. Not long ago Sookmyungians were walking along the cherry blossom road in front of Myungshin Building in spring, winter is upon us. Because most of our days are spent at Sookmyung, most of our memories will likely be related with school when we look back on the past year. In this issue of SMT, reporters have chosen to highlight some individuals who have worked hard to ensure that all Sookmyungians end the year with good memories. SMT reporters met the 50th Student Council of Sookmyung Women’s University, RE:bound, to hear more of their effort to ensure satisfaction among all Sookmyungians.
For three years, Sookmyung Women’s University had no student council, only an Emergency Board. With that in mind, what do you think is the main responsibility and role of a student council?
We must represent the minds and thoughts of Sookmyungians, letting their voice be heard and better connecting the school and Sookmyungians. From small things like welfare work for Sookmyugians to make bigger things like extending students’ rights, our job is to work for the wellbeing of students. That is, it’s our responsibility and role to speak on students’ behalf when problems arise in the school.
You have done an admirable job at each event. What is the most unforgettable event or project that the student council worked on?
Cheongpa Festival. Changes made to the festival were huge and diverse, so we were anxious as to whether our fellow Sookmyungians would appreciate our effort. We introduced lots of new things like the Picnic Zone and Cheongpa Land, but we worried about their success. Fortunately, Sookmyugians really liked the newly redesigned Cheongpa Festival. We have a very strong connection to that event due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received. Moreover, because it is a really big event at Sookmyung, we started planning it with students in mind. At the initial planning stage, we invited students to participate in a Cheongpa Festival contest, which is likely one of the reasons we feel so close to it.
What is the most fulfilling moment working in an organization like Student Council?
Perhaps all student council members from all schools would give the same response. The most fulfilling moment is when students send messages of support. Whenever we are directly involved in events like the sharing of snacks during exam periods and the Cheongpa Festival, it is a proud moment when a student says, “I will always support RE:bound” or “Thank you”. Comments like those drive us to work harder and we feel revitalized and proud.
What hardships have you encountered working as members of the student council? How did you overcome them?
President: Fellow Sookmyungians are encouraging and I am grateful for that. However, I am constantly hard on myself. I do not want to make even the smallest of mistakes, which has actually become our greatest burden. We don’t want to let anyone down. What has helped me, personally as a president, is the unconditional support from the vice president and all other members of RE:bound. Even now, I am working on overcoming it dealing with the idea that no one is perfect.
Vice President: Personally, I have been mentally stable, but I suffer physically from being overworked. While we made preparations for the Cheongpa Festival, I also had completed my teaching practicum. I had to wake up at dawn to go to the school to teach, and then in the evening, I had to return to Sookmyung to work on the festival. Because my arrival time was the same time when other council members were finished with classes, I had no break and had to get right down to business. We worked from then straight through till midnight, and with the requirement to go to teach the next day, I only got about two to three hours of sleep each night. I was physically exhausted, but the Cheongpa Festival was a huge success. When RE:bound took the stage on the last night of the festival to wrap things up, Sookmyungians cheered for us in unison, shouting “RE:bound!” At that moment, all my weariness vanished.
What does 2018 mean to RE:bound?
2018 would not be 2018 without RE:bound. While there are times we wonder what we would be doing had we not ran for student council, we are proud of our work. We did our best and give more effort because Sookmyung and students mean so much for us. It was not an easy decision to run as candidates, but our combined experiences of working with the Emergency Board helped a lot. We decided to run for president and vice president with the goal of forming a more official student representative group than the Emergency Board. We feel the 2018 school year would not have the same if it were not for RE:bound and its work for Sookmyungians.
It is almost time to say goodbye for RE:bound as the end of the year approaches. As representatives of Sookmyungians, what are your final goals before the end of the year?
Last semester, the Cheongpa Festival in May was our main event. This semester, we have distributed snacks both during the day and at night throughout the midterm examination period. We are currently also in the process of preparation to publicize the adoption of direct election system for the school president elections and to strengthen security. Another major event is the 51st Student Council Election. Once the election is done, we will have completed our term and step down.
Is there anything you had hoped to do as members of the student council did not have time to?
President: Campaigning for student council, I only thought about working as a representative of Sookmyungians. Until last year, I was a member of the Emergency Board and I worked as a member of my College’s student council, so I would often encounter many barriers and limitations. After becoming a president of the student council and supervising projects, I vowed to work without regret. I really wanted to work on the late-night snack distribution and Cheongpa Festival. While some may see these as trivial, for me, they were like a dream come true. Now that the end of our time draws near, I’m both happy and sad at the same time.
Vice President: I think I accomplished everything I wanted to do as student council, everything I thought of doing when I worked with the Emergency Board last year. As a member of the Emergency Board, I liked working on the Cheongpa Festival, so I wanted to do that again. I also thought I could create a larger scale event as student council than as the Emergency Board member. Therefore, Cheongpa Festival was the project that I looked forward to the most.
A school is an organization that is managed by a number of stakeholders. What is something students can do for their school besides serving on student council?
Students should pay attention to the school and its student council to make sure they are representing everyone not just a select few. We are grateful for all students’ support and all their attention because it helps us to work better. It’s especially helpful when we are publicizing opinions. For instance, a survey we carried out last semester on Shinsegae School Meals Situation to make it publicized, and 2,000 Sookmyungians participated. When we discussed the concerns of Sookmyungians with the company, the survey data made the company take the problem very seriously. In this respect, Sookmyungians’ attention is a great source of power.
Lastly, please leave a final word to Sookmyungians who support and praise your efforts for them.
First, we want to say thank you to all Sookmyungians for trusting us. Sookmyung has been without a student council for an extended period of time, so we couldn’t receive advice from former members. That is, we were new. We might have not accomplished all that you wished us to do, but it was our first time to work as members of the student council and all your support and understanding went a long way in encouraging us to work hard for our fellow Sookmyungians. We promise to do our best throughout our remaining term and to the end of 2018. We love you, Sookmyungians.
- President of the 35th School of Law Student Council (2017)
- Vice Chairperson of the 49th Emergency Planning Committee (2017)
- President of the 50th Student Council ‘RE:Bound’ (2018)
- Temporary Representative College of Science (2017)
- Member of the 49th Emergency Planning Committee (2017)
- Vice President of the 50th Student Council ‘RE:Bound’ (2018)
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