It has been two months after the election of Parang (파랑), the 30th student council of CUK. On May 4, they were elected through the first online voting system. To minimize the damage caused by COVID-19, Parang has implemented various things: an investigation into total damage cases, the Criticism of the university’s response to COVID-19, and a discussion for the introduction of Selective Pass System.
“The students were forced to give up many things in our society, but we should realize the value of democracy,” said Parang in their election speech. CUF met the student body president Park Hyung-woo (International∙17) and the student vice president Baek Kyung-soo (Korean Language and Literature∙18) to ask them the current issue and the next plan during the term of office: How will the new wave rise to CUK?
Q. Parang submitted “the demand of CUK students related to COVID-19”. How did you proceed?
We had considered this before the election. When operating the online class due to COVID-19, there were many problems such as cyber campus errors. In terms of infringement of students’ educational rights, the problem was at aserious level. So we collected the total damage cases and submitted the public demands based on the survey in which 2,377 students participated for a week.
Q. What tasks have you been working on since your election?
"Focusing on the establishment of facilities with COVID-19 countermeasures"
Parang is focusing on ways to minimize the damage caused by education policy, institutional devices. We are now planning to prepare many things related to welfare in periods of inactivity caused by COVID-19, so that students can have a good time on campus next semester.
For example, we will actively pursue improving the facilities after selecting some areas such as replacing all-in-one desks, which is the desk with the attached chair. Maple Road, one of the school’s road that is surrounded by maidenhair trees, is the most necessary part of improvement. I think we can turn this crisis into an opportunity. To avoid disruptions in the second semester, Parang will prepare those works quickly.
Q. The problem of youth housing has been raised by students. Does Parang have any plan for it?
“Making the new system rather than the disposable method”
The youth housing issue is a serious problem. However, the housing cannot be made in only one aspect, so we are considering this problem from many points of view. First, the Share House business for students in Yeokgok has been actively proceeding since last year. We also completed the change-over with the previous council. I hope that the Share House provides an affordable housing space for students.
The process of moving into a public dormitory in Oryu-dong is also going on. I think we should expand this kind of thing. In the case of Gachon University, they are already working in collaboration with the Korea Land and Housing Coperation (LH 한국토지주택공사), and building the public dormitory in the form of one-room apartments. Like this, we need to draw the CUK’s attention to this approach: making a sustainable system like Gachon University.
Q. Are there any policies inherited from the previous student council?
“We want to take over the many good policies and reach the end.”
We especially want to complete the introduction of the Democratic Chancellor System. CUK Students cover the largest proportion of the university member so that they should be able to make their voices heard in the actual decision-making process. The democratic chancellor system will make this. Many other universities are already getting into this flow, and the previous student council also organized the Full Bloom (만개), TFT (task force team) for the democratic chancellor system. A four-part consultative group was formed with the faculty, the staff, the students, and the alumni, but the faculty representative was not elected in the professor association or in the staff union at that time. Now, the representatives are recently elected in both, so it is time to begin a discussion.
We also plan to inherit and expand a Barrier-Free Policy. Although some policies for disabled students were being pursued last year, many points that we have not covered yet still exist such as the round doorknob which needs to change into the lever door handle. Parang already prepared the election pledge about the foundation of the Human Rights Commission for this. We hope that the rights of minorities can be protected and the place to voice their concerns will be formed in CUK.
Moreover, we will pursue making an online community only for CUK students by revitalizing the Student Webpage made by the previous student council.
Q. What is the election pledge that you are prioritizing, other than the aforementioned pledges?
“For students who cannot enjoy the campus life because of COVID-19”
We want to console CUK students since they cannot enjoy campus life now. Of course, our collegiate life should include a campus culture and enjoyment of daily life. For instance, a festival or an event can have a strong influence on this. Thus, we will study and proceed for this with all 63 pledges.
To make “our own university town,” we plan to expand the CUK Membership system inherited from the previous council. Together with the tradespeople’s association, we will introduce a new concept: “Flex Week” when students can buy something at a discount from local stores. In addition, Parang will focus on the Putting Together Festival (아우름제) scheduled for next semester to get rid of the stigma that “CUK’s festival is not fun”, so that can hear “Oh, CUK students absolutely know how to have fun!”