"Happy Virus," the 35th group to lead the SGA, began its tenure in March with four main goals: to expand students" involvement in school-related events and activities, to voice students" concerns, to secure students" rights, and to ameliorate the school environment. After a summer of reflection, it is now hoping to sustain its successful projects and resolve its unfinished businesses.
One notable policy that the SGA implemented this year was its "100 requests campaign." It installed suggestion boxes around the campus where students could write down requests or questions related to school policies or facilities.
Vice President Lee Hyang-hee(Sculpture, 3) explained that the reason for initiating this campaign was to make the SGA easier for students to approach. "It would have been difficult for students to express their concerns to SGA members personally. This campaign made us more accessible," she said.
The SGA considered the campaign to be very successful. "There were a lot of requests from students who are on leave of absence," says President Choe Ji-sun (French Lang. & Lit., 4). Based on their requests, the SGA was able to help in allowing students on leave of absence to apply for one course each in the summer and winter, borrow books from the library, and receive medical service from the University Health Center.
Besides putting forth its utmost effort to improve the campus environment, the SGA also endeavored to help students cope with swelling tension over external issues such as the war in Iraq. The SGA handed out dove-shaped slips of paper for students to write down messages about the war. They were displayed near the school gate to symbolize the desire for world peace.
However, students lamented several unresolved problems, some of which have occupied SGA groups for years. One was the struggle against the registration fee hike. "The SGA promised that they would reduce tuition fees during the election. But nothing has been resolved yet," said Kim Min-ae (Political Science & Diplomacy, 3).
"It is true that the SGA is undergoing difficulties in negotiating with the administration," said Lee. "They are not being cooperative and sometimes even change their policies without notice." She sided as an example to the school"s reversal of a decision to add information about class size limits on its homepage in order to make registration easier.
Despite the series of hardships that it is encountering, the SGA is taking full responsibility for all unresolved issues and is endeavoring to devise plans to effectively complete their agenda before their term ends. This is why this new semester is going to be both Happy Virus"s toughest six months and an opportunity to test their competency.
The SGA has also developed new initiatives for the fall for student involvement and welfare. Among them will be an attempt to diversify the school"s festival culture, to produce more student participation. "There is a lack of participation among students every time we sponsor an event," says Choe.
To overcome these difficulties, the SGA is holding the "First Fall Festival" from October 4 to 10. Unlike other previous festivals, this one will be entirely coordinated by students themselves.
The SGA also disclosed their long-term plans for a welfare program for disabled students and a nursery school for married students with children. Lee stresses the importance of extending facilities and services for the disabled and the need to renovate old school buildings and install safety bars. Choe says that the school must boost support for married students in order to promote a better educational environment.
Summing up the SGA"s future plans, both Choe and Lee look forward to active student participation. Although they often face criticism, both of them have decided to take it as a show of student appreciation which heartens the SGA.
Giving Lee and Choe hope for fall, "The SGA is trying hard to draw students" attention to school events, which I find very positive. They"re keeping their promises one by one. Students must not be hasty in censuring the SGA, but should give them their full support," comments Lee Ji-young (Elementary Education, 2).
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