In Ewha, Synergy Ewha was the sole candidate for the 46th Student Government Association (SGA) presidential election. As Woori Ewha, the 45th SGA, was also the only candidate last year, it has been two consecutive years for Ewha to have a sole candidate on the ballot. The situation in individual department’s student council election was no different. All departments, except for the College of Music, only had one registered team for the election – two parties have signed up for the College of Music election.
In case of other universities, Soongsil University is running its 54th student union presidential election with sole candidate, “Let’s SSU.” Additionally, only one candidate signed up for each election of five departments including the College of Liberal Arts, Natural Science, Social Science, International Economy and Trade. No candidate ran for the election under the College of Law and Information Technology. Therefore, a by-election will be held to fill the vacancy in 2014.
Only one candidate has signed up for student union election in Kyung Hee University as well. “Good KHU” is the sole candidate running for the election. Other universities that have sole candidates include Dongguk University, Sungkyunkwan University, HongikUniversity, Sejong University and Sookmyung Women’s University.
Students express concerns regarding the qualification of the sole candidates.
“As we only have one candidate for the student union election, it is questionable whether they are well prepared and qualified to represent the student body,” Rhu Ga-yeon (Kyung Hee University, 2) said. “Compared to elections that have multiple candidates, sole candidate elections could possibly lack competitive spirit.”
Matters are worse in universities that have no candidates for the student union presidential elections. Hankuk University of Foregin Studies’ student union election had to be cancelled as no one signed up during the candidate registration period, which was held from Nov.12 to 13. Accordingly, the current student union’s term will be extended to March 2014.
Experts comment that the society forcing university students to acquire various so-called specs, specification, caused this sole-candidate issue.
“Different from the past, university students feel the burden of earning as many experiences as they can,” said Park Jin-su, a senior researcher of Daehaknaeil Research Laboratory for the Twenties. “Being the president of SGA requires large amount of time during their school years, which could prevent students from participating in other activities.”