Protests? It just ain’t happening anymore

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Protests? It just ain’t happening anymore

Where have all the protesters gone? The College for Social Sciences at Seoul National University, which led a democracy movement in the 1980s, has canceled the election for leader of the student council this year because no students signed up to run.

The college’s election commission said yesterday on its Web site that the 29th election for student council leader would not be held.

Han Bit, head of the commission, said four or five candidates usually run for the post, but in 2008 and 2009 only one person ran. So the college decided to punt.

“We will form a temporary council of leaders from different departments,” Han said.

It is the first time the college withdrew the election since 1991. Kim Sang-bae, associate professor of international relations, said professors were disappointed by the lack of interest.

“Students seem to have no an interest in organizing.”

A source said students might have been sick of old-fashioned political campaigns led by student.

The students’ association held a hearing in 2009 to discuss issues at the university, but no one participated.

Students said the cancellation of the election will have an impact on other colleges on campus that are facing upcoming elections of their own.

Choi Gwang-jong, head of the student election committee, said, “We are worried that cancelling the election will cause an overall depressed mood about elections at other colleges.”

Two famous figures were on the student council in the past - Hwang Iy-soo, presidential secretary for the late former-President Roh Moo-hyun, and Chung Kwan-yong, a professor in graduate studies at Hallym University in Chuncheon, Gangwon.


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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