Are You Leaderphobic?
Are You Leaderphobic?
  • Reporter Kim Su-min
  • 승인 2019.04.24 13:19
  • 댓글 0
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▲The main reason to be / not to be a leader
▲The main reason to be / not to be a leader


There are about 152 leaders in POSTECH: 15 Steering Committee members, 11 student presidents from each dept, 3 leaders of Advisory Committees, 9 representatives of dorms, 47 club leaders, about 30 class leaders (assuming that they perform their roles for two years), about 33 department representatives (assuming that there are three representatives each for the first grade, the second grade, and over-third grade for each department), 4 leaders of press organizations and others. In simple calculation with the fixed number of students (1280), 11.88% of Postechians are leaders each year, and the chance a Postechian experiences being a leader at least once before their graduation has a probability of 39.69%. In the survey conducted by The Postech Times, 40.4% among 188 students answered that they have experienced being a leader. The slight difference is thought to result from students holding multiple positions. This probability is quite high, considering the size of POSTECH.

 During the past ten years, there was only one candidate campaigning for Senior Leadership of the Student Union (SU) except the 2015 academic year. It is not a problem limited to the Senior Leadership of SU, but in POSTECH at large. In the past four years, recruitment for leaders for the Advisory Committees has been extended five times: 2016, 2017, and in 2018 for the Sunrise Festival; 2017 POSTECH-KAIST Science War; and the 2015 Freshmen Orientation. Moreover, the Emergency Student Union Committees (ESUC) and several organizations-such as Student Unions of various departments, the Dormitory Union, the Student Committee on Pedagogy & Education, and the Library Council-are formed necessarily. In short, there are not enough students who want to be leaders.

 This phenomenon is called ‘Leaderphobia’, which is a combination of the words ‘leader’ and ‘phobia’, meaning a person who hates to be a leader. It has been labelled as a problem in Korean society. The Student Union in KAIST is vacant since the election foundered since there were no candidates last November. It was a more serious problem because the SU at KAIST was already under ESUC, and the reelection was also aborted last March. The SU at Yeonsei University has been vacant since November 2016. The elections for the SU at Yonsei University had collapsed several times over the past few years, and finally, this April, the SU at Yonsei University organized successfully. 

 Then, why do some students avoid becoming a leader and others embrace the opportunity? 23.68% of students who have experienced being a leader answered, ‘because I just wanted to be’ and other 23.68% answered ‘because I wanted to help members of the group’ as the main reason to become a leader. In contrast, 22.37% answered ‘because there was no choice but to be a leader’. The results suggest that there are many voluntary leaders, but also many students become a leader because they feel they have no choice. 48.21% when asked why they do not want to become a leader, answered ‘because I wanted to focus on other tasks’ and 35.71% answered ‘because being a leader bears a heavy burden’ as the main reason. 

 However, there were some hopeful results. 65.96% of 188 students answered that they would be a leader if they get a chance in the future. It is also hopeful that no one selected ‘because being a leader is not a plus factor for my future career’ as the main reason not to be a leader. All things considered, in the near future, a POSTECH without an ESUC may become a reality.

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