|Enable has been elected as the 51st General Student Council with Lee Minha (left) as Student Council president-elect and Han Eun-seo (right), as Student Council vice president-elect. Photo by Park Jae-won.
On Nov. 24, the Central Election Administration Commission announced that Enable was elected as the 51st General Student Council. This year’s election gained much attention from students, since for the first time in four years two candidate teams were competing for the election. Enable gained almost double the number of votes than the runner-up team, Change Ewha. The voter turnout also reached 62.4 percent, the highest percentage in four years.
“Winning an election that had two candidates for the first in four years means a lot,” said Lee Min-ha, Student Council president-elect. “I think we were able to win because our hopes and passions for the university reached the students.”
“We also feel that more students were interested in the election this year, especially when students asked us about the election in person during our campaigns. To win in such situation means a lot to us,” said Han Eun-seo, the Student Council vice president-elect.
Han mentioned some memorable moments during their campaign, including the students who supported them.
“The students we met while we were campaigning were very supportive to our concept of folding pinwheels,” Han said. “We handed out pieces of paper so that students could write their hopes and demands towards us and helped them fold it into a pinwheel, which we later pinned on our big board when campaigning. We also chose eight of them as our election pledges and placed them on our pamphlets.”
Enable’s main goal for the next nine months as student representatives is to further facilitate communication. They set three ways to actualize it: enable communication to make a warmer Ewha, create a consultative group with a supervisor, and continue the student council’s chatbot service on KakaoTalk Plus Friend.
“As there are about 15,000 students in Ewha, we thought that at least 10 percent should share their opinions with the student council, which is the supreme decision-making body for fellow students,” Lee said. “So, we thought the number 1,000 would be fit for the ‘Ewhain 1000 Consultative Group Supervisor,’ in which any student could participate in our decision making or activities.”
When Ewha Voice asked Enable about pledges that had been brought up almost every year but had failed to be reflected, including pledges regarding mandatory chapel, they gave a positive answer.
“For reducing the mandatory chapel semesters, we aim to discuss with the Office of the Chaplain,” Lee said. “We plan to tell them about different universities, including Yonsei University where it only requires four semesters of chapel, or Myongji University where a five-minute tardy is considered safe and three late arrivals are counted as one absence.”
When asked of the school’s safety issues, they explained their plans to set a system to ensure comprehensive campus safety measures.
“Recently, Sookmyung Women’s University’s student council has started a safety service with Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. We would like to adopt similar measures,” Lee said.
Enable also has plans that involve exchange students and international students in Ewha.
“Meeting many students during our campaign, I was able to see the great number of international students on campus,” Han said. “According to statistics, one out of 10 Ewha students is from abroad. Acknowledging this, we want to hear their voices as much as possible, and we plan to create a task force that could focus on problems that international students experience.”
Han also mentioned that she had recently heard about a Chinese international student council and wishes to interact with them as well.
To strengthen communication, Lee added that Enable would continue using the previous council's Naver blog and KakaoTalk Plus Friend. They also plan to hold a regular Focus Group Interview every quarter to get a better grasp of student opinions.
The two candidates finished the interview by thanking those who have supported Enable.
“One memorable moment during our campaign was when a student asked me to act for Ewha, not just for the pledges,” Han said. “Enable will work hard to make a strong Ewha community and we will keep in mind every support and encouragement we received –we will hold more talks, and try to approach more students.”