Since the previous presidential election, the school implemented the direct presidential election system. With the upcoming 17th presidential election, the 52nd General Student Council, Emotion, promoted the Online General Student Voting for the Formation of a Presidential Agreement Ceremony, Honest President.
During the first semester, Emotion protested for the selective pass grade policy, refund of tuition fees, and measures for experimentation classes. Despite the arduous efforts including emergency sit-ins at school and protesting in front of the dean’s office, the school merely responded that they could not reflect the student opinion entirely.
In order to increase student involvement and effectively deliver student requests, Emotion decided to host a Presidential Agreement Ceremony. This way sudents can demand the school to provide better measures for this semester. To make this possible, Emotion conducted Honest President, an online General Student Voting to gather student opinion.
The General Student Voting is the highest decision-making approach under the Constitution of the General Student Council. This voting was planned in order to deliver the following student requests: formation of a Presidential Agreement Ceremony, tuition refund or deduction, recruitment of professors and expansion of courses, improvements on social views of the school, preparation classes for national examination, the tourist quota system, improvements on the chapel courses, and other individual college requests.
Student involvement in General Student Voting
However, the Formation of a Presidential Agreement Ceremony was to fail if the voting rate does not exceed 50 percent.
The General Student Voting started with collecting consent forms for processing personal information. This consent form was necessary as the General Student Voting was held online and the council had to hand in the electoral roll in order to use the online platform. The form was collected via online between Oct. 4 to 5 and students who handed in the form were allowed to participate in the General Student Voting.
As this was the first voting to be held online, the General Student Council promoted the vote through online events. In order to take part in the online event, students had to send a screenshot that proved they have participated in the voting to the General Student Council via Instagram. The student council then randomly selected 40 students and gave prizes to them for participating.
Furthermore, to promote the Presidential Agreement Ceremony and the General Student Voting, the student body put other various efforts.
Student council members visited online classes held via Zoom, handed out flyers and made speeches in the school front gate. In addition, Emotion created several booths, put up posters around campus, and requested professors to post announcements on CyberCampus to further promote the General Student Voting.
The General Student Voting was held from Oct. 6 to 9 and the voting rate marked 50.62 percent in total. Among the 14,827 eligible voters, 7,510 voters participated and 7,495 voters agreed to the General Student Voting. However, 12 of the voters disagreed and three voters abstained.
As a result, the General Student Voting passed with more than 50 percent of the students participating. Also, as the voting was held online, there was no error made on the result.
Lee Ji-in, a freshman from the Department of Content Convergence, shared her thoughts on Emotion’s actions.
“It seems like Emotion is doing its best to reflect student demands and promote the participation of students,” Lee said. “Moreover, I think the online voting procedure increased the accessibility and made it easier for students to participate.”
Lee also commented that the General Student Council’s efforts kept the students informed with important school activities and events.
“Since this General Student Voting would have a great impact on future school activities, I hope the voices of Ewha students can be heard properly through Honest President.”