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SNU to Leave All-Korea Student Council

Posted May. 11, 2006 07:08,   


Seoul National University’s (SNU) student council announced its withdrawal from the Korea Federation of University Student Councils (KFUSC) on May 10. The student council also said that it has no affiliation with any political student bodies.

Anti-violent Movement-

In a press conference, the SNU student council issued a statement dubbed the “declaration on the separation between student body and student political organization” and said, “Political student groups such as the KFUSC are alienated from most students because of the groups’ engagement in violent and unreasonable movements.” It added, “The SNU student body has no link with all political student organizations including National Students Coalition Council, National Students Council, and 21st Century Korea University Students Coalition.”

There were moves of secession from the KFUSC among the SNU students since a candidate who pledged to leave the students’ political organization became the students’ representative in 1999. But this is the first time that the students’ committee has officially announced its withdrawal from the KFUSC.

Current leader of the SNU students’ association Hwang Ra-yeol (29, Department of Religious studies) said, “The majority of SNU students reject student movement that is mainly about violence and demonstration. Under these circumstances, it is meaningless to participate in the KFUSC activities.”

Hwang made it clear that SNU will opt out of the list of universities that participate in demonstrations and assemblies.

He said, “We have expressed our intention to ditch the KFUSC several times, but its response was not clear. So we decided to announce our decision officially through a press conference. During my term, SNU will not join any political organizations.”

Hwang stated, “Because of such organizations’ anti-American and anti-capitalistic monopoly demonstrations, various opinions from students have been ignored. I acknowledge that student movements have contributed to the democratization of Korean society, but there have been a number of side effects since Korea realized democratization.”

In the statement, the student council said, “Student council dues that should be spent for the welfare of students have been used for the political organizations. Students have been demoted to the objects of such organizations.”

Status of the KFUSC to be Reduced-

SNU’s decision will affect non-political student councils at other universities, reducing the KFUSC’s stance and weakening its influence. The KFUSC was launched in 1993 to represent college student councils in Korea. However since the mid-1990s, apolitical students have shied away from violent student movement, weakening the federation.

In 1996, Ewha Women’s University seceded from the KFUSC, and in 2000, KAIST and Sungkyunkwan University left the federation. Hanyang University, at the center of student movement, whose student was the first leader of the KFUSC, withdrew from the KFUSC last year.

The KFUSC held an event celebrating its 13th anniversary at the student hall of Sogang University on April 25 under the theme of legalizing the KFUSC and abolishing the national security law, but only some 60 people including those from its executive branch and civic groups were present at the event.