February 14 is not just for Valentine’s Day. It’s also for Candle Day, a day people show that they appreciate love from their lovers and neighbors by sending candles. Candle Day was started by Korean University Student Inspectorate of Mass Culture (KUSIMC) 13 years ago as an alternative to the commercialization of Valentine’s Day.
The current leader of KUSIMC’s passionate members is Lee Sul-ah (February 14 is not just for Valentine’s Day. It’s also for the Candle Day, a day to give candles, as a meaning of sacrificial love to your loved ones instead of chocolates, had its 13th anniversary this year. The Candle Day was started off by the members of the Korean University Student Inspectorate of Mass Culture (KUSIMC) as an alternative to the industrialized Valentine’s Day of these days.
Lee joined KUSIMC when she was in her sophomore year in university. Before, Lee she was a typical student who worried about her future career. “I was involved in various club activities but since I didn’t know the reason to live, I couldn’t find joy or purpose in any of those things,” said Lee.
Then, Lee found that KUSIMC was a group she could devote her entire passion to.
“I was attracted at monitoring the mass cultures such as television shows, magazines, comic books with a better view and understanding. I found joy in making changes to the things that give harmful influences to the adolescences,” said Lee.
Lee has been leading numerous campaigns such as “Honor Teachers Campaign” for teacher’s day on May 15 which encourages students to send flowers and cards to honorable professors and teachers by providing group delivery services on campuses; and other times with “Times Savings Lecture for University Campuses,” a campaign hosting free lectures given from respectable senior students and professors.
“We not only criticize, but also suggest alternatives to bad parts of culture. Candle Day campaign is one of the efforts,” said Lee.
The group was awarded the Mass culture and Media, Science Technology Award by the National Assembly in 2003 for organizing a government campaign called happiness in Little Things” for the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Besides working as the leader of KUSIMC, Lee also works at EBS (Educational Broadcasting System) as a documentary film director. Lee tries to make a difference through showing her media art works.
“I see critical issues and visualize them on screen. I want to have an impact on people’s thoughts and actions through media,” said Lee.
Lee stressed that the most important thing to pursue in college life is to find the purpose in life.
She said, “If you don’t know your purpose or your goals for your life, everything could turn out to be vain.”