Blueprint is committed to restoring the issues and vision to the center stage of this election. We’ve reached out to all declared Student Council candidates to hear about their ideas for the next school year. All responses received will be published prior to the town hall, scheduled to be during lunch on Thursday, April 26 in the Mini-auditorium. This post is neither an endorsement nor disapproval of any particular candidate.

1. Why are you running to be the President/Vice President?

Duke I’ve been a part of Student Council at KIS since 4th grade with my first major role in 8th grade. Since entering high school, I’ve worked for and with great leaders like Kyle Shin (’16), Amy Kang (’17), and JD Choi (’18), Alice Yoo (’18), and Amy Kim (’18), and I feel that now is the appropriate time for me to take the baton. The Student Council officer team—the President and Vice President especially—has, just a year ago, been tasked with working more closely with the admin, and I feel that the Student Council President holds more responsibility now than ever before. Not only does the President have to overlook the entire Council’s vision in executing events like Patio on Fire, Pep Rallies, Spirit Weeks, and Prom, but must now also act as a platform through which students can address concerns and complaints, and possibly even solutions to the admin team, and vice versa, as we have been doing through Town Hall Meetings.

Jenny I’m running to become next year’s Student Council Vice President! As VP, I work with the President, administration, and the rest of the officers to cater to the student body’s needs. I love being a part of the Student Council because I can make an impact in our school and bring change in positive ways. I wasn’t a part of Student Council in my freshman year and I had a lot of things I wanted to change about our school but I didn’t feel as if my opinions were being heard. So as Vice President, I want to make sure that every student’s voice is appreciated and considered because I think that’s what the Student Council is meant to do.

2. What vision do you have for KIS and how will you accomplish this?

Duke Every year, Student Council candidates emphasize change, but for me, the key is consistency. This year has been a year of growth and change for both the student body and the Student Council, and I feel that next year, we should take time to transition smoothly. Having attended many Leadership Conferences like the ones hosted by SOIS, SIS, and KIS, I realized that other international schools are concerned by the lack of spirit among students. That’s not the case here at KIS—the attendance at home games and theatre productions show just how supportive KIS students are of each other, and I don’t think students at any other international school are as proud of their schools as KIS students are. That being said, I hope to increase club involvement at various school events. Student Council has been an overachieving club, this year especially. An overwhelming workload surrounding a single event, however, may backfire and lower the overall quality of the event’s execution. We plan to invite clubs to work at Student Council events like Patio on Fire, providing opportunities for both monetary gain and club promotion, which will in turn narrow the attention span for Student Council and allow for strongly organized and executed events.

Jenny This year’s Student Council has been working extremely hard to make our school environment more welcoming, spirited, and accepting and I want to continue this next year. I want to make sure that new students feel welcome by revamping the buddy system so that they have someone to stick by from their first day at KIS. I want to show our student body’s spirit by celebrating its accomplishments, as spirit doesn’t always come in the form of cheering during pep rallies or attending sports games. I want to continue to promote and improve upon Town Hall meetings and create more opportunities for students to voice concerns online.

3. In which area do you think our school and the student body face the greatest challenge? How will you work with this challenge?

Duke I think the student body faces the greatest challenge in adjusting to changes. The school has gone through a lot of change this year, ranging from technical changes like construction to abstract changes like scheduling. It’s really increased student voice in admin decisions that ultimately led to the removal of skinny days—although it’s the change so many students have wanted for so long, it will take some time to adjust to it. To be frank, I don’t think I have the ability to help a body of 500 students adjust to a new block schedule. That will come with time. As for problems that arise during the school year, I will deal with them the best I can through discussion with Ms. Quirin, Ms. Kellar, and Mr. Poullard as well as a large student sample.

Jenny I think that we struggle the most with getting everyone to participate in school-wide events. Most often, less than half of the school dresses up for spirit day, less than a quarter attends sports games and concerts, etc. As Vice President I’ll work to take feedback from students this year on how events can be improved to make next year’s events more interesting and boost advertising for events so that the entire student body is aware that such events are happening. I also want to change spirit weeks so that they can include dress-up days and action days so that those who don’t want to participate by dressing up can instead participate by doing things instead (ex. Free Hug Day/Twin Day – either give a free hug or dress up with a friend)

4. There are a lot of changes happening next year. If the student body has confusions or complaints about such changes, how do you plan to effectively communicate and address these with the students and the admins?

Duke We have been holding Town Hall Meetings regularly this year and plan do to so next year as well. Although the turnouts haven’t been too impressive, I feel that might be because this year’s the first time we’ve done anything like this. As time goes on, I believe (and sincerely hope) that more students will be willing to share their ideas and concerns regarding any school-related topic of their own interest. Every Town Hall Meeting is followed by a debrief between the officer team and the admin team, which will be kept as well along with occasional follow-up surveys for those who didn’t attend the Town Hall Meeting.

Jenny I want to continue Town Hall because I think that it helps improve communication between the admin and the students. I also want to put up a physical or digital feedback form so that students can submit complaints or suggestions throughout the year anonymously. I’ll also make sure that all Student Council members are being attentive to what their friends and peers are saying about our events and our school in general so that we can get feedback on a regular basis.

5. What is your secret talent?

Duke I’m good at overusing em dashes (—) in my writing, so if that’s gonna affect your decision at all, keep that in mind when you vote—not that you have a choice, really.

Jenny I can dance!! Look out for StuCo’s dances next year  😉