▲ KUSA Vice President Kim sharing his thoughts on the presidential election. Photographed by Kim Seung Hyun.
On May 2, the Korea University Student Association (KUSA) held a press conference before the Student Union Building to implore the candidates of the presidential election to reflect students’ voices in their policies. The president of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the head of the autonomous exchange division of KUSA and many more student representatives participated in the event and railed against the presidential candidates’ perceived indifference to student issues.
Ahn Byung Kook, a member of the human rights division of KUSA, was the first to speak. He expressed disappointment at candidates’ clear disinterest toward students’ welfare. Furthermore, he criticized the lack of affordable housing policies or those promising lower tuition fees, both of which were present in the previous presidential election. Declaring that students will vote for the candidate that actually shows concern toward students’ plights, he passed on the microphone to Lee Seung Jun (’11, Psychology), the president of KUSA.
President Lee started off by pointing out that candidates should be willing to listen to students’ demands, seeing as how they are voters as well, and remonstrated candidates’ decision not to pay heed to this voter demographic. In particular, he placed much emphasis on university tuition fees and argued that candidates should make efforts to decrease tuition fees instead of allowing universities to devise new projects that require higher fees.
The vice president of KUSA, Kim Bohyuk (’14, Political Science and International Relations), also spoke before the audience. He focused on the tribulations of Seoul National University (SNU) students, condemning the SNU administration’s dismissal of students’ demands and its use of violence against students. Additionally, he shared his disappointment with candidates’ perfunctory and parse replies to KUSA’s inquiries about their policies regarding university administrations’ abuse of authority. The press conference concluded with the student representatives reiterating that voting is a means of sending a message to politicians that students are voters too.