It is again that time of year. Chilly weather makes students to make haste to their classrooms while some students give out fliers, sing or announce so ardently with the messages that they want to deliver. Yes, it is the time of student elections.
Although it should be a festive period as it is the time to pick their new representatives, it has long been a fact that students are apathetic towards these elections. Student councils buy donuts or gifts to encourage students to vote. Extending the election date for the Student Government Association (SGA) is becoming a norm. Some departments form an emergency committee to recommend their representatives as no one has registered for the election.
The reasons to their apathy can vary. It may come from personal reasons that they do not have interest in student elections what so ever. Or they might not like the representatives who have registered for the elections. However, the biggest reason is that they do not have the consensus on the activities that are or will be conducted by the SGA.
During this year, the SGA conducted several demonstrations in the name of “for the good of Ewhaians.” They boycotted the chapel service, confronted the police during the school anniversary ceremony, conducted a hunger strike which led the president of the SGA to the hospital, ran into a car when the prime minister of New Zealand was visiting the school, and are considering to make a constitutional petition to the court for charging high tuition fees. Throughout their long journey, not at least half of the Ewha students stood by them, but for sure, more than half of the students would have had the stance of “I don’t care.”
Not only the students but some of the departments’ student councils’ presidents are against the activities of the SGA nowadays. Then the question why are some of the fellows of the SGA turning backs on the SGA comes.
It is true that the demonstrations held by the SGA is rather extreme and involve risk most of the time. It may be their strategy to show their strong will to solve a problem but it is difficult to earn much support from the majority of the students. This makes a distinctive gap between the SGA and students as they do not share a common understanding. Then, as time goes by, the gap turns into apathy where students do not care of what the SGA is up to and who gets elected as the next SGA.
Students’ apathy toward the SGA is no longer a surprise. However, not doing anything although there is a solution is not what it should do. The extreme and dangerous demonstration held by the SGA, which neglects order and safety, should stop and go under a serious reform if they wish to seek for more support from other Ewha students.
Let us hope that this time, the candidates of the SGA can foster more participation and understanding with the majority of the Ewha students by sound, reasonable and civilized student movements.