The board of directors announced the finalized bill for the school’s presidential electoral system on April 14. The election, which had been indefinitely delayed until the school members came up with a consent bill via the four-way consultative group, has begun to roll on a faster pace. The group has held 14 meetings since its establishment on Feb. 9 and concluded with its final meeting on April 10. While the new bill contains changes that were deemed necessary during the group’s meeting, many of the revisions were decided solely by the board of directors on April 14 after the faculty, staff, and student representatives failed to reach an agreement. “Although not all members of the group may be satisfied with it, we cannot wait any longer after six months of failing to elect a president,” said Jang Myung-sue, the chairman of the Ewha Hakdang board. “I earnestly plead for all Ewha members to cooperate in electing a good president.” The new reform has eliminated the previous age limit of presidential nominees, which had enabled only those younger than the age of 62 to apply for the post. Under the requirement that the candidates’ moral standards should be raised, the previous examination of their past 5 years of research achievements has been prolonged to 10 years. Candidates’ criminal records will now also come under scrutiny. The most contentious change lies in the voting ratio. The voting ratio that the board of directors announced on Jan. 9 was 82.6 : 9.9 : 5 : 2.5 for professor, staff, student, and alumna. In the revised bill, the ratio is now 77.5 : 12 : 8.5 : 2.6. “I, along with many students, view the recent electoral reform as a mere performance put on for the public,” said Kim Ji-yun, a sophomore majoring in Sociology. “To exert student’s sovereignty as the true owner of the school, at least 25 percent of the ratio should have been given to the student body, which would be the equal amount for the four electorate groups of school members.” Starting Ewha, the Student Government Association, and the Student Central Operating Committee asserted that the revised bill does not satisfy the demands students formed from the Student Assembly on March 29. The meeting of the board of directors that finalized the revised bill on April 14 have been carried out secretively, adding to the controversy surrounding the revised bill. The board of directors refused to reveal their meeting schedule to the students even at the day before the meeting. Although the students were later informed that the meeting will take place at 10 a.m., it in fact began at 3 p.m. that day. The meeting also lasted barely an hour, raising doubt in regards to the thoroughness of the revision process. The Task Force recruited from the Ewhaian website broke up after the revised bill was announced. The stickers put up on buildings with by anonymous voluntary students are being eliminated by anonymous voluntary students as well. Candidates applied for the post from May 1 to 2 and uploaded videos presenting their pledges online on May 8. Among five open policy debates, the one available for alumna is held on May 10, for student on May 12, for staff on May 15, and professor on May 17 and 19. On May 26, Ewha’s 16th president will be determined. “I’m aware that the specifics for policy debates have not yet been decided,” Kim said. “To exert the little voting ratio students do have, we should be able to participate in the debate, hear out candidates’ pledges and judge their qualifications. Since the presidential electoral bill was revised for the purpose of selecting a good president, I believe that the Election Commission should put on that much effort. I suggest they have an open mind and start planning out the specifics, announce them to students and professors and take in other opinions!” Regarding the form of the debate, the eligibility and requirements for the debates’ spectators, the existence of Q&A time, the scale and the openness of the debate, and whether the debates would be recorded to disclose to alumnae in foreign countries, the Election Commission replied Ewha Voice that none of the questions can be answered. Discussions to determine the form of the debate is still ongoing.
Kim Yun-young email@example.com