Newly elected S.A. President Jung Won Kim '18 sat down with The Sun to detail his plans for the future.

Michael Weyne Li / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Newly elected S.A. President Jung Won Kim '18 sat down with The Sun to detail his plans for the future.

March 29, 2017

Student Assembly President-Elect Reflects on ‘Outsider’ Status, Plans for Future

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Jung Won Kim ‘18, newly elected Student Assembly president, discussed his winning electoral strategy and vision to transform the S.A. into a results-based organization during an interview with The Sun on Wednesday.

Despite receiving limited support from the “Cornell establishment,” Kim explained that he was able to secure the electoral victory by mobilizing previously neglected voter bases.

“I would consider myself an outsider,” Kim said. “I [have] not served on the [S.A.] executive committee, nor was I well connected with influential people on campus compared to other candidates … but all these clubs and communities that S.A. never reached out to believe in me, and that’s what got me in.”

While Kim did not deny that he appealed to the identity of Asian students, international students and other groups to garner support, he said that he is confident that this will not prevent him from representing the interest of all students.

“Communities support who best represent them, there’s nothing wrong with that. If I am part of the Greek system, the Asian community, they will obviously support me,” Kim said. “That said,  S.A. president isn’t just there to represent just one group; the policy I bring will benefit all groups on campus.”

Kim also said his victory could reflect popular discontent among students regarding the competence of the S.A.

“One thing that resonated with the student body: nothing gets done [in the S.A.]. We make Columbus day, Indigenous People’s day, last time I checked it’s not on the calendar. Asian American Major got passed and people celebrated. Where is it now? There is no progress,” Kim said.

Unlike other members of the S.A., Kim said he has a reputation for delivering tangible results to students instead of “just signing a piece of paper.” This reputation, Kim claimed, was his greatest appeal as a presidential candidate.

“A lot of representatives run on platforms that are very vague. ‘I am gonna put students on the table, I’m gonna increase transparency,’ and so on. What does that even mean? It’s not a real project,” Kim said. “The only difference between me and other representatives … was that I constantly followed up and I actually … got things done.”

Kim said that his presidency will reform the S.A. from an organization that proliferates resolutions to one that makes concrete change.

“We are not a body that just passes resolutions,” he said. “We are a body that can, and should, get things done. I want representatives to stick to one or two policies. If 27 representatives successfully implement two policies rather than 50 that get nowhere, that’s a tremendous boon for students.”

Kim also plans to address the Asian and Greek communities which, despite having a significant campus presence, are underrepresented in the S.A.

“Asians make roughly 20 percent of the school, Greeks make a third of a school, but they aren’t the groups most engaged with the S.A,” he said. “What it takes is outreach, letting these groups know what the S.A. can do for them.”

Kim’s administration hopes to bring meaningful change for international students as well.

“I advocate very fiercely for bringing back need-blind admission for [international] students and establishing the International Student Resource Center, an initiative I will be working on personally,” Kim said.

At the end of his presidency, Kim said he wants to leave behind a “results-based S.A.”

“The legacy I want to leave is that the S.A. actually got things done. Students gained things tangible that they could derive benefits from. I want the S.A. to become, not just something for the resume, but a tool student leaders can use to get practical results.”

26 thoughts on “Student Assembly President-Elect Reflects on ‘Outsider’ Status, Plans for Future

  1. So a Korean wants to help rename “Columbus Day” “Indigenous People’s Day” ???

    How about we start a holiday called “Japanese Appreciation Day” whereby Koreans can honor the culture and enlightened values brought by the Japanese liberators to Korea between 1910 and 1945? LOLZ

    The American Indians were violent and brutal. The European settlers were far too easy going on them.

    The American Indians ritually tortured their captives.

    I suggest Jimbo and other Cornellians who support renaming Columbus Day read the account of how Indians skinned John Ratcliffe alive in 1609.

    And you want to commemorate these savages. You’re sick.

    • Your analogy is logically incorrect. Indigenous People’s Day would celebrate the people who originally lived in this land, whereas Japanese Appreciation Day would celebrate the invaders. Also the Native Americans were defending their home from invaders. Lol the “European settlers were too far easy going on them”. If you want to express opinions like these, you should say them in person. At least Jung is talking about his ideas in an interview, which is much better than hiding behind a screen under a username like “Cute Baby Giraffe”. You should probably also take a class on logical thinking.

      • No moron.

        Europeans were not invaders: they were liberators.

        They liberated the American Indians from ignorance, heathenism, and most importantly, from their own violent self-destructive tendencies.

        Every institution in this land – including Cornell – was built by White Men.

        If it weren’t for a boatload of emaciated scurvy ridden Pilgrims landing in the New World 400 years ago, there would be nothing here.

        How does it feel that a continent of millions of savages couldn’t stop a couple boat loads of half-starved scurvy ridden Europeans?

        Feels bad man?

        I will gladly speak in public. You provide me the soapbox on which I can stand, you gather an audience, and I will be there with bells on.

      • It makes no sense to celebrate those who originally lived in the Americas.

        They preyed upon, abducted, tortured, and murdered the Europeans who built this civilization.

        The natives not only did not contribute anything to this civilization, they actively resisted it’s creation.

        So why would we celebrate a roadblock? Why would we celebrate a speed bump?

        Good riddance to bad rubbish.

        Tonight, I raise a toast to Custer and the Heroes of the 7th Cavalry.

      • And no, defending oneself does not extend to ritualistically torturing as by skinning them alive, flaying the flesh from their bones, and forcing them to eat pieces of their own body.

        That’s isn’t self-defense.

        That is straight up sadistic torture normally only witnessed in horror movies.

  2. Since Cornellians want to rename Columbus Day “Indigenous Savage Day,” I would like to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Japan’s Peace and Enlightenment Efforts in Korea and Manchuria in the early 1900s.

    I believe all Korean and Chinese students at Cornell should pay homage to the peaceful and honorable Japanese Empire.

  3. “Communities support who best represent them, there’s nothing wrong with that.” … unless you’re White then it’s racist LOLZ

  4. I think Cornell should observe August 15 as “Japanese Appreciation Day”

    What do you you think Jimbo? 🙂

  5. Can Cornell hold an observance in honor of the peaceful Emperor Hirohito? I think we should honor that great courageous man. Bonzai!

  6. Leftist thinking:

    My lifelong goal is to attend the institutions built by the White Man.

    But I don’t wanna honor the White Men who explored and built this country up from nothing.

    Oh Leftists your minds are so broken.

    • The implication that all contradiction is hypocrisy leaves much to be desired.

    • Also, the implication that white men are the only beings responsible for building up this nation rings false in the ears of those who have been into the history, like time travelers in the anus of that man’s giraffe.

  7. Alas I fear Kim will bow down to liberal pressure and become an all-talk-no-action president. If you want REAL change (not some Columbus-Native American bullshit), better deliver your promise. That includes the question of tuition.

  8. No racial, but in my personal experience Korean international​s make up possibly the most cliquey and elitist groups of students on Cornell’s campus. As a Korean American myself, I have been on the receiving end of discrimination from these groups more times than I can count, simply because I’m not “Korean enough”. When I first came to campus, I was shocked and appalled to here these students talk about “KAs” (Korean-Americans) like we’re some sort of lower class, and it honestly made me ashamed of my race for the first time in my life.

    He says he wants to give a voice to Asian students who previously haven’t had much representation on the SA, but I worry that he means Asian internationals (who I’m sure were the majority of his voters) and not the Asian population of Cornell in general.

    I sincerelt hope you prove me wrong Jung. Maybe you can use your position to help integrate international students with the general student body better, and end the elitist and racist attitudes of many of your voters.

      • Uh … other than the fact that this is America and Cornell an American institution?

        I wonder how Americans would be received if they went abroad in massive numbers to Korea and China and chided the natives about how evil and oppressive they are and started demanded handouts and special concessions.

        Pretty sure they would be thrown out and told never to return.

    • If you drive a car at least as nice as BMW 7 then you can pass for a TRUE FOB Korean. Your car must not be nice enough. They can smell the poor American stink on you.

    • You’re right.
      It’s deemed entirely appropriate for Chinese and Korean students to keep to themselves in insular cliques and refuse to associate with anyone who isn’t Asian; however, similar preference among White students is attacked as racism.

      So that’s why you see Korean and Chinese groups holding events with hundreds of Asian students but every time more than 3 white students gather together, there has to be an injection of some diversity in the form of an Asian, black, or Middle Eastern student. ‘Cause whites be racist maaaaaaan

    • If you’re a Korean-American and you run around calling yourself “Sum ting wong,” then you are part of the racism problem. That shit’s not funny. You’ll get it every time you try to take a position of power in your life, and you’ll grow to regret having used it against someone else. The response to inequities in any community is not to become “ashamed of your race.” That just submits to the ‘purity’ attitude that’s creating your problem in the first place. You do realize that this very comment thread is full of ridiculous Trump astroturf, don’t you? Can you see how you’re making their job easier?

      Get your own head straight. Then you’ll be able to make criticisms that are fairer and more balanced (because after all, Jung never called you a “KA,” did he? You’re mad because you think he’s part of a group that makes you mad). The problem you identify definitely exists, but you’re making it worse.

      • Sure seems like Whites are encouraged to be ashamed of their race: they’re told their history is one of brutality and oppression against the gentle arboreal ewok-like Indians who loved to collect marigolds and braid each other’s hair.

        Want to be proud of your heritage? Fine. Go for it.
        But stop your agitation against White culture. Renaming Christopher Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” is an affront to my culture and and insult to my history.

        People voted for Trump because they are sick of the venom spat out by ungrateful Americans. They voted for Trump because they were sick of being made to feel like second class citizens.

        No one questions when China adopts a hardline nationalist policy that puts the Chinese people first but the moment America does the same, it’s suddenly waycist LOLZ

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