Abandoning Rights Of Students
Abandoning Rights Of Students
  • 승인 2003.05.07 00:00
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The long-awaited General Assembly of All Student Government Representatives on April 10 was canceled yet again, marking the fourth consecutive time that the assembly was called off due to the lack of members attending. The assembly, originally scheduled to commence at 5 p.m. at Case Hall, was postponed for more than one hour to wait for representatives from each department to fill up the hall. However, the efforts of 20-something dutiful representatives present at 5 p.m. sharp were in vain. Despite the one-hour wait, only 41 representatives appeared, falling short of the quorum by 27.

The fact that the SGA has not been successful in gaining full support for what it does is evident. The general consensus among students is that the SGA has been putting too much emphasis on the matters associated with the National Student Body Association (NSBA), known as "Jeon Hak Hyeop" in Korean. The NSBA is famous for its hardcore leftist stance. Ewha"s SGA itself has been committed to supporting socialist movements, such as calling for the rights of labor unions. Considering that the majority of student representatives are politically neutral and not enganged in any particular social activist movement, it is understandable that not many members of the Assembly feel they belong to the group led by the SGA.

However, not agreeing does not necessarily have to translate into indifference and boycotting the Assembly. Even if they do not see eye-to-eye with the SGA, the student representatives of each department elected by the students in their respective majors have obligations and duties they need to fulfill.

The General Assembly is where the SGA publicizes how the student activity fees that all students pay­though few know this because it is paid along with the tuition­were used last year, and how it will be used this year. It is also the forum for the SGA to account for the pledges made during their election, and the school"s reponse to the list of the items that the SGA had demanded. In addition, the representatives can freely express their thoughts on issues on campus, whether it be praise, complaint, or opposition. If students or representatives disagree with the political line that the SGA is taking, they can raise questions on the use of student activity fees on demonstrations or other NSBA-affiliated issues. Through this process, the students can evaluate the activities of the SGA in a legitimate manner.

By failing to attend the General Assembly, the student representatives are not only neglecting their duty to inform the students of the issues brought up in the Assembly, but also to represent the voices of the students. In brief, the representatives are surrendering the students" right to know, and the right to speak. Criticisms are only valid when they are based on correct evidences and palpable facts; those based on false rumors and prejudice are not only unhealthy, but they only contribute to the more rumors of intrigues and conspiracies.

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