Undergraduate Association In Chaos
Undergraduate Association In Chaos
  • Reporter Kim Su-min
  • 승인 2018.01.01 15:23
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▲ The wall paper of the accused and the written apology of the president of UA
▲ The wall paper of the accused and the written apology of the president of UA

During candidate registration in October, Kim Namwon (LIFE 16) and Kwon Hyukcheol (CSE 16) ran for a president and a vice president of the Undergraduate Association (UA). They did not submit a few required documents and violated several regulations, so they were warned by the Central Election Commision (CEC) from the start of the election. After several days, they resigned as candidates because next year’s president of the Central Executive Committee is vacant. At that moment, the election was a week away, so CEC decided not to hold the election for UA.
 After the election for Female Undergraduate Association (FUA) and Dorm Union (DU), CEC decided to hold a re-election for UA. However, nobody ran for the UA until Dec. 5th, so the re-election foundered and the CEC was dissolved on Dec. 8. It seems inevitable to organize an Emergency Planning Committee (EPC). EPC is composed of two student presidents from each department, the presidents of the Club Union (CU), FUA, DU, the student president of Mu-eun-jae Freshmen, and the leaders of various specialized agencies.
 The fact that EPC became a committee means the main independent student body does not have sufficient leadership. Leaders of the UA have performed as the representatives of the whole student body and tried to transmit students’ opinions to the university. Although the EPC would take the role of the Central Managing Committee (CMC), it would be difficult to gather the opinions of students and transmit them effectively to the university. In addition, the projects the UA has completed becomes hard to carry out under the system of EPC. In cases of other universities, most projects like snacks for the examination period and mat rental projects were canceled. In the case of POSTECH, the UA office service such as the printing service will be more difficult to use during this winter vacation. It was available for use at a specified time when a worker of the UA was present in the office, however due to the current situation, service is only available randomly. If we need to use the service urgently, we should check whether the UA office opens through Kakao Talk yellow ID. If the current system of the EPC continues, students will be inconvenienced.
During this chaotic situation, the leaders of the UA and the FUA have intensified the confusion. Through the process of dealing with the recent sexual harassment in club chat-room issue and subsequent events, they have faulted. The president of the UA made some inappropriate comments about the accused at the Club Representative Council (CRC). She condemned the accused, who inevitably revealed his identity at the CRC in order to defend himself against her judgement. The president of the FUA representatively posted the accuser’s wall paper, without checking the facts. After the CRC, several anonymous POSTECH members criticized those faults through the POSTECH Lounge on POVIS. The accused also posted the result of the POSTECH Counselling Center, which tried to prove his innocence, and demanded an apology from the UA and FUA presidents.
According to article 90 that deals with the impeachment of UA presidents; if more than half of student representatives or more than 200 members sign jointly, a motion to impeach the president can be undertaken. If accomplished, the Whole Representative Council (WRC) will be convened to decide whether to call a members’ council or to carry out a referendum. In both cases, half of the members should participate, of which, half of whom should agree for impeachment. Accordingly, an undergraduate tried to gather joint signatures, but it was stalled with only 138 joint signatures, achieved over a period of seven days.
At a WRC council in December, an agenda for discipline of the UA president and the FUA president was proposed. The former was criticized for determining that the person who was accused was an assailant and for denouncing him in the CRC last November. Also, the president promised to apologize to him in person, but she did not fulfill this promise until the day of the WRC, which was regarded as irresponsible behavior. The discipline was a public warning and the publication of a written apology through email, Facebook pages of the UA and crowded places on campus. The apology was concerning emotional words directed at a public figure, and remarks on a case which have yet to be determined as guilty. This case is now in the process of criminal proceedings. Also, it said that “I should have judged after gathering opinions from both sides, but I did harm to person who was accused. I am deeply sorry for any harm I have caused to the accused due to my remarks.”
Next, the FUA published the poster even before confirming the related facts. Before attending the CRC in November, on the FUA Facebook page and Student Lounge, the accused was already determined as the assailant. The FUA did not specify that the poster would contain details that are possibly not true. Additionally, even when the poster contained concerning details when published publically, they did not recommend that the writer change the details. These are reasons for discipline, which was a cutback of their budget for the fourth quarter. As a result, the FUA published a written apology regarding themselves on the student lounge. The FUA promised to open only indispensable parts public for focusing on the problems of community while conveying the voices of the informer. Also, pledging to aim for a fair process for both sides, the FUA promised to cooperate in a recurrence prevention program. It would discuss the problems of these events, and make certain guidelines.
There is an old saying, “one who wants to wear the crown, bear the crown.” However, the presidents of the UA and the FUA have committed a wrong, and lack trust from the students. While the successor problem of the UA is unclear, a series of happenings have surely stained the honor of student representatives. Even if the next UA president is elected, he or she may not receive the trust of students and school. The reason being of course, is due to the series of recent events. Second, the new president would not be as influential as the one who succeeded through the rightful process of election at the rightful time. The UA represents the rights of students. However, if this mood continues, the next UA cannot fully claim those policies for students’ rights against the school. While these are the main problems for the next UA and FUA, all students should be attentive and concerned about what is going on in POSTECH.





 


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