▲ The Temporary Student Representative Meeting. Photographed by Maeng Jun Ho.
A temporary Student Representative Meeting was held in the 4.18 Memorial Hall on January 22, 2017 to discuss and ratify the creation of an independent Budget Committee, changes to Korea University Student Association (KUSA) regulations and the direction of the 2017 Educational Rights Movement. Furthermore, the first draft of the Academic Affairs Committee regulations was also reported in the Meeting.
The plan for the Academic Affairs Committee was finally unveiled in today’s meeting, which shed light on how the Committee would be constituted, when the Committee would be held, and what role the Committee would play in the ratification of school policy plans. The plan also dictated that the Head of Student Affairs would be the President of the Committee, and that he or she has a responsibility to convene the Committee at the request of more than two thirds of all Committee members. An additional responsibility of the Head of Student Affairs is to facilitate communication between the faculty and the Committee, relaying the Committee’s decisions concerning a certain school policy to the faculty and vice versa.
Some representatives voiced concerns that not specifying a deadline for when the Head of Student Affairs should notify the Committee of the faculty’s decision might become problematic. The President of the Meeting, Kim Bo Hyuk (’14, Political Science and International Relations), promised to alter the Committee plan in a way that reflected such feedback. No further comments about the plan were made.
During the Meeting, the creation of an independent Budget Committee was discussed at great length. Due to the perceived inefficiency of the Budget Committee having to be ratified at a Student Representative Meeting before it could commence, the Central Steering Committee set forth plans to make the Budget Committee an institution independent of the Student Representative Meeting. This would enable the Budget Committee to go about its activities and require ratification by the Student Representative Meeting only afterwards.
A number of representatives pointed out that the plan offered no means of restarting the Budget Committee if the Student Representative Meeting refused to ratify its activities. Furthermore, controversy was stirred over the vagueness of the term person in charge, with many arguing that it could inadvertently place all the blame on student representatives and suggesting that it be replaced with the term financial manager. In the end, a new, more detailed plan for an independent Budget Committee was introduced and passed.
After a series of discussion on the topic of penalties for unfulfilled duties, the dialogue was called to an end by a student representative and the motion to move into voting procedures was called. By 4:28 P.M. the bill on the Budget Committee’s rules of operation was passed with a supermajority of 48 out of 70 representative present voting for and 0 against, with 22 abstaining. Soon after, the meeting proceeded to its third discussion regarding partial amendments to administrative procedures.
The introduced bill aimed to remove several phrases that the submitters deemed unnecessary. Discussion was particularly fierce as student representatives questioned the reasoning behind the omitting as well as highlighting the phrases’ necessity. The majority of the discussion was spent on the suggestion of removing the part involving the creation of a document detailing the fixed assets of each colleges’ Student Associations.
Those advocating for its omittance argued that while it is de jure a necessity, the Student Associations have de facto not used such documents. Those against its deletion rebutted that because since the document on fixed assets is part of administrative rules, it is de jure a duty, and that it should be fulfilled even if it has not been part of procedures. The discussion came to mutual agreement when submitters and supporters agreed to points made by the opposition. The bill went into voting procedures soon after, and with 69 student representatives present, the third bill of the meeting received 49 votes for, 1 against, and 19 abstentions to win a supermajority. Overall, the last bill that was brought to table was passed without alterations.