‘Better Together’, the 32nd Undergraduate Association of POSTECH
‘Better Together’, the 32nd Undergraduate Association of POSTECH
  • Reporter Lee Mi-yeon, Reporter Lee Jun-yong,
  • 승인 2018.04.18 16:36
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▲The members of 'Better Together'
▲The members of 'Better Together'

On March 9 and 10, elections for the Undergraduate Association (UA) were held. Last October, the undergraduate association election stumbled as a result of the resignation of certain candidates, and the re-election was frustrated due to the lack of registered candidates. As a result of the ballot count, Kim Dong-seok (CSED 12) and Jeong Jin-a (CHEM 14), whose campaign, ‘Better Together’, were elected president of the UA and vice president respectively. 

Since this election was composed of just a single candidate, it was carried out by calling for yeas and nays. According to the official total of counted ballots, the total amount of voters for the UA was 1,444. Of the 800 voters, 686 voted in favor, 86 were against, and 28 submitted blank ballots. In the case of this election, according to the rule of student council Article 151 Clause 3, election management bylaws Article 83 Clause 2, candidates will be elected, provided that the number of votes obtained is more than one third of the total number of electorates, and decided by the majority of them. The ‘Better Together’ campaign was elected as it met these requirements. The turnout of voters was 55.4% and the difference between notional number of votes and the total number of votes is 1, recording a 0.125% error rate. 

The ‘Better Together’ campaign violated election management bylaws Article 39, a provision that the campaign period must be observed, by maintaining the election campaign postings using information and communication networks on the day of the election without removing the election posters. In response, the election commission imposed one warning to the campaign. No problems were found in the campaign expenditures deliberation committed by election commissions. 

Hereby, the 32nd Undergraduate Association was launched. Unregistered candidates during last year’s election led to emergency planning committees, resulting in voices of concern and subsequently, expectations about the new UA could be heard. Accordingly, it seems necessary to organize the pledges and solve the questions which will be possibly raised by students.

The Postech Times organized all the five pledges the UA developed and interviewed the 32nd UA. Most questions were aimed at the five specific pledges, while other questions concern foreign students and earthquakes. 

1. Compensated Student Activities
The interest in student autonomy is decreasing noticeably these days. Students are uninterested and consider participating in politics a waste of time. As a result, student councils of several departments and the whole student body were not elected due to a lack of participation. If this situation continues, students might lose their representative voice.
Meanwhile, the school is preparing the ‘Postechian Mileage System’, which gives credit for extracurricular activities. The 32nd UA is planning to gather students’ opinions, and then work with the school to decide the exact credit given for a variety of student activities. The new UA hopes that student involvement in activities will increase with the successful implementation of the mileage system.

2. Supporting the Mueunjae UA
Since all 2018 freshmen are not formally associated with any department, they can be excluded within the previous system, which was operated under the department system. Thus, the 32nd UA is planning to involve the representative from the freshmen body, the Mueunjae UA, to be able to voice their opinions within the student government.
The 32nd UA will support the Mueunjae UA exclusively, providing consultation and materials. Also, if needed, the 32nd UA will create a special committee to help with the settlement of the freshmen’s UA.

3. Active Communication
The 32nd UA plans to improve the conventional ‘Open Office’ means of communication, while experimenting with new methods of connection. Even though the previous UA opened up their office, the 32nd UA is planning to design a different and improved version of their own. Similarly, the UA is planning to create a new method of communication, maintaining the virtue of anonymity. The conventional anonymous board that currently exists isn’t dedicated for exclusive use of the UA and has considerable limitations for debates.
Also, the new UA plans to create and establish new content; vlogs, cartoons, and radio; to increase interest and lower entry barriers for students to participate in autonomously.

4. Improved Student Welfare
The 32nd UA is preparing a variety of different services for student welfare. First, they are planning to revive the cross-country march, which existed up until 2015. The other project they are promoting is the improvement of smoking areas. There has been a constant conflict between the smokers and non-smokers of POSTECH. The new UA plans to gather opinions from the students, and work with the school to create actual improvements, such as test-operating a new facility or creating a budget to improve smoking areas. Lastly, the new UA aims to create an archive of student mentoring materials, collecting and arranging the precious files scattered throughout student society.

5. Succession of the Previous UA
The new UA plans to improve on the success of projects inherited from its predecessor. By their definition, it is the continuity of business and development. For example, there was a meeting with President Kim Doh-Yeon last year, which ended up with a comparably low participation rate. At fault, was a focus on the meaning of the meeting rather than practicalities. Now, differently, the UA is planning a Q&A on online, and finally, delivering and discussing those results with the President. By making an interesting video based on that interview, the 32nd UA are trying to chase two hares at once; generating intrigue and increasing participation.