1. Kim Hei-sook
Students are not paid equally for working scholarships, and pay rates differ for undergraduate and graduate students. How will you approach this problem?
A. No student in Ewha should be restricted of her studies due to financial difficulty. Although students receiving work scholarships aren’t protected by labor laws, I would make sure to find the best solution on this issue so that students can focus entirely on their studies, and that the school can support their living expenses.
You talked of building a Student Rights Center. Some worry of previous cases where schools disregarded student rights when it clashed with school profit. Despite this, why is the center necessary?
A. Now is the time to manage student rights more generally. We need a systematic application to protect students from internal and external forces of injustice. I’m sure the center will provide good, and I prefer to face trial-and-error rather than worrying about unapproached problems.
You mentioned a Brand Committee to improve Ewha’s public image. How will you break the stereotype that Ewha students are self-centered, and that an all women’s environment has excessive competition?
A. It is important to secure professionalism in our promotion team. Although setting a school image is difficult, there are simple yet effective ways to attract outstanding students. I would portray Ewha to the public as an inspiring place to be.
From 2018, applicants admitted based on their College Scholastic Ability Test will study as an open major. Students will not choose less popular majors. Scranton’s significance as the best college in Ewha would also decline. How will you improve this situation?
A. I think this situation would partially resolve Ewha’s falling image by attracting qualified students to enter Scranton College. I was the first Dean of Scranton College, so I understand your worries. Interestingly however, we’ve seen students in an open major system eventually spreading across a wide range of majors. We can solve the problems while looking at positive results.
2. Kang Hye-ryun
What do you think of students’ disapproval of mandatory chapel?
A. As chapel isn’t merely a religious service, and conveys Ewha’s identity, I hope students would consider this a service to be rightfully done as students of Ewha.
What are your thoughts regarding the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)?
A. Some may be uncomfortable with on-campus military, but I hope students change their perspective and consider it as one of many professions. Everybody has different goals, and the ROTC is not being forced upon anyone. I also think that Ewha takes pride in its alumnae becoming the first in many fields. This could be another chance for Ewha’s first female breakthrough.
3. Lee Kong-joo
You called the demanding of former president Choi Kyung-hee’s resignation, “Ewha 2016,” and wished to make an academic study of it. Why do you want to proceed this? How can we trust you, when just yesterday, you said that student protesters must have had anger management issues?
A. It’s a pity that a trusting bond between students and professors has been broken. I wished to understand the social paradigms by organizing the incidents that brought social changes, rather than focus on interviewing individual students.
You took part in the board’s audit during the investigation of Chung Yoo-ra’s illicit admission. You also emailed students to leave the Main Hall during the protest last year. Despite all this, can you still say you are fit to be president?
A. I’ve taught at Ewha for nearly 20 years and taken on diverse roles for the school, which I don’t know how to prove to you at this moment under limited time.
6. Choi Won-ja
How would you approach the falling image of Ewha by outsiders?
A. I don’t want to play number games with the Ministry o f Education, but I would send the admissions office and promotion team to these academies to appeal to young students on the necessity of a women’s university, and of the advantages of entering Ewha.
Why do you wish to publish student experiences of the 2016 protests?
A. I came up with this plan during a conversation with a student. Just as Annals of Joseon Dynasty convey great historical significance, I wanted to honor the significance of student action by recording it. If the plan proceeds, it will be after sufficient discussion with students.
One news article states that you said Chung Yoo-ra’s illicit admission wasn’t corrupt. Why do you believe so?
A. I believe that the incident did not derive from organized structural corruption, but rather an extremely partial individuals’ wrongdoing, which should never be repeated.
7. Kim Eun-mee
Of Kim Hwal-ran, the first president of Ewha, the school has ignored student criticism of her proJapanese acts. Outsiders use her statue on campus to shame Ewha as a pro-Japanese school. How will you approach this problem?
A. The matter is complicated as Kim Hwal-ran is remembered for both her contributions and errors.
Some claim that the admission standard of Ewha is falling. Ewha is constantly undervalued due to it being a women’s school. How will you resolve this?
A . I would emphasize the advantages of a women’s university and challenge this university evaluation that has been created for high school graduates and applicants. I would benchmark Ewha’s 131-year dedication to women’s education, despite Korea’s 116th place global ranking of the gender gap.
How will you support students preparing for CPA and state exams?
A. I understand the lack of aid for these students and would work on providing free Internet lectures to lift some of their financial burden.
8. Lee Hyang-sook
Many unnecessary changes were made in department names. There have been cases where applicants confused Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering as a Natural Science major. What is your stance on this issue?
A. Making new majors was necessary for us to qualify for financial government support via PRIME projects. Concerning the name of colleges, there should be some consideration.
What is your specific plan to expand scholarships?
A. The main cause for lack of scholarship lies in securing financial profits in the school. I would solve this by vitalizing social programs in the school, research institutes, language center, and more.
Candidate 4 Kim Gyeung-min, and 5 Kim Sung-jin did not recieve any questions in the open debate for students on May 12.
Editor’s note: The article above was independently translated and edited by Ewha Voice. The questions and answers published have been abbreviated to fit our limited pages. For the full discussion, visit the official presidential election website at (http://my.ewha.ac.kr/election16/).
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