Student organizations at the university are beneficial to students in that they are great opportunities to create relationships and strengthen communication as well as leadership skills through campus activities and experience through involvement in the organizations. When hearing about student organizations, most students think of student unions such as the General Student Council (GSC) and the General Female Student Council which are representative bodies to mainly speak for the rights of all the students at CNU.
The Student unions of every college at CNU also can easily come to your mind. In addition to the student councils, a number of registered student organizations also exist at Chonnam National University (CNU). Many are likely to be unfamiliar such as, the school magazine Yongbong Editorial Committee (YEC), General Association of Clubs (GAC) and Library Autonomy Committee (LAC). In this article, let us look into the roles of the three student organizations.
YEC: Independent Press at CNU
“We are trying hard to not only be an alternative press but also an oppositional press at CNU,” said Choi Yong-heon, the Chief Editor of YEC. The school magazine named Yongbong seeks to be the opposite to the mainstream press. At the end of every semester, you can see the school magazine in every college building, which always sides with the socially weak and alienated. The YEC members distributed the previous issue and also flyers named ‘Hold On’ twice in a semester. The flyers had safety signs, a cone and a palm on the cover to inform readers that theYongbong itself is a ‘stop’ sign.
“These days, most people only stare at the front cover and are in a rush to go ahead of others. It is time to be stopped on our spots for a while and start looking around.” The Yongbong points out that we should pay more attention to surroundings, especially the weak in our society. During last winter vacation, it held ‘Monday Coffee Shop’ where students can read a book and exchange their opinions every Monday. Since some students had interests in ‘Monday Coffee Shop’, the YEC plans to continue this project. In addition, there is a contest called ‘The Blank’ every April. Students who want to share their writings, poems, and paintings with others can enter this contest.
Last January, the last issue of the Kwanak, a school magazine from Seoul National University was published. Just as the Kwanak has stopped the publication because of the lack of members, the Yongbong also faces a shortage of new members. “Not just the Yongbong, but most school magazine committees at other universities have the same difficulties.” Because of decreased financial support from the university administration and lack of fellow student’s interest, school magazines are losing their ground. The Yongbong struggles to find their own identity and get nearer to students today.
GAA: Gathering All the Clubs at CNU
GAC is taking charge of about 80 registered clubs at CNU. The ‘rainbow’ is a symbol of the association. The lights are reflected in different angles so water drops make the seven colors of the rainbow. The association does their best to help clubs to have different beautiful colors just like the rainbow. In order to advertise and activate campus clubs in five categories, the GAC holds two events every year; a Club Introduction & Information Event and the GAC Festival. The information event takes place every March and in this event, students can get information and join the clubs in which they are interested. Another big event is the festival of clubs called Jeumeunuri (a thousand worlds). From this year, the association is going to hold the festival in the first semester. You can enjoy the performances of various music clubs at CNU.
“Studying is students’ responsibility, but we need to experience various things and broaden our horizons through club activities.” The president of the GAS Kim Seong-hyun (Junior, School of Business Administration) requests students to be passionate about club activities.
-Official Website: http://www.jnudongari.com/
LAC: For Quiet and Clean Library
For the CNU students, alumni and local citizens who use the Library Annex, the LAC located on the third floor of the Library Annex has been doing its best to make a better environment since 1998. The LAC has five divisions to manage the 1,200 seating capacity of the building effectively. The Executive Department recruits new members of the committee on the Internet, takes charge in seminar rooms and notifies the successful applicants of lockers every semester. The Publicity Department organizes various events for students online and offline. Aside from these divisions, the Computing Department, Cleaning Department and General Affairs Department are operated for the committee’s convenience.
Ma Jin-rak (Senior, Division of Forest Resources), the chairman of the LAC pointed out that there are two main problems regarding the Library Annex. The first one is a smoking problem. Although there are warning signs everywhere in and out of the library, some students’ careless behavior continues to disturb other people. In addition, some students save several seats for their own sake, so there are a limited number of seats available to other students. “As a student of CNU and chairman of the LAC, I feel good when Library Annex is full of students studying hard.” The library will be a better place if we respect visitors. He also compares the committee to a ‘mirror’. “As we can check our face every morning with a mirror, the committee will help to fix the problems for a better Library Annex.”
-Official Website: http://dojawi.jnu.ac.kr/
Join Student Organizations
Today, most student organizations have suffered from a lack of attention from students because they are too busy to struggle to make more specs. Some of them tend to make small groups to prepare for employment instead of getting involved in the organizations. “Since our rights come from our participation in campus activities and student organizations, CNU students need to get involved in their own rights. It is too late when there are none left,” said the president of 2014 GSC Jang Min-gyu (Senior, Division of Forest Resources). Only student participation and attention will boost student organizations on campus and make students broaden their boundaries.
By Son Hyun-jee, Student Editor