Meet the Candidates: Ann Kim

Ann Kim (’21) is running for the position of Vice President.

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 start of voting. This post is neither an endorsement nor disapproval of any particular candidate. All answers here are taken from the candidate’s presented campaign documents. 

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

The year I have spent on the Student Council has caused me realize how much I care about planning and organizing events for my fellow students, I helped plan these events from scratch, think of games that would be appealing to all grades, communicate with the leadership groups from other international schools, and talk to representatives from all grade levels. The past year has not only built up my experience as a student leader but changed the character of who I am today. 

It has brought out a new personality, and maybe this is the reason why I feel the need to dedicate myself to helping the student body to be more spirited, vocal, and enthusiastic about expressing their thoughts to the community. To shape KIS into a school where everyday is filled with school spirit and one that is constantly changing for the better. 

I want to be a person who lends others a helping hand. Because of this, I ran for and won a position as a junior grade representative. When I went to the new students orientation, I helped the new students fit in and responded to their questions about the school and Student Council as best as I could.. And since I’ve experienced the impact of simple acts like reaching out to new students, I think it brought me to realize that these small but powerful deeds can spread throughout our school community.

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

If I were to become Vice President, I think I will start with promoting these everyday acts of kindness that may change the whole student body into realizing the great impact that these simple acts are able to bring. it has on the student body and the attitude we come to school every day.

I have great, feasible ideas and the potential to make this school better. Throughout my year serving as a grade representative, I’ve asked many of my friends continuously what the Student Council needs to change. I was also a member of the AISA leadership team for this year and heard about other international schools’ problems. Below, I’ve outlined what the student body has requested of the Student Council and also have incorporated my very own solutions to these problems and some new things I would like to implement.

  1. Release of Student Council-Admin Communication to the School
  2. Optional Monthly meetings by grade & implementing anonymous suggestion platforms (i.e. Drop box, bulletin board, google form, asked.kr)
  3. Active communication between grade reps and students in that grade
  4. Improved Club Fair
  5. New student support

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

While thinking through all my campaign ideas I thought a lot about how a lot of my friends talk about what Student Council does and why we are not able to fulfill students’ demands and make significant changes to the school. As a student, I’m also frustrated by the fact there aren’t any significant changes that are being made to the school (ex. Dress code, AP limits, # of college applications, formals, fair grading amongst teachers). Serving as a junior representative to Student Council for a year, I realized those things are not easy things to change. They all require planning out events specifically, estimating the budget, contacting/purchasing supplies, and getting final approval of an admin. So my idea is releasing all Stuco-Admin communication to the school, such as documentation of the Admin-Officer meetings. This way, I believe the student body will be able to actively see what Student Council is doing and hold us accountable. This way, it enables the student body to propose alternative/creative ideas that may be implemented through further meetings with PTO/teachers.

I believe one of the main reasons there’s a lack of participation in Student Council’s town halls is that the environment town hall creates is a somewhat formal atmosphere that makes it harder for many of the students to speak out their concerns or questions of the school. Often, we use a platform which passes around mics to share our opinions which may make people afraid to speak even though they come into the meeting with a determination to share their thoughts. To better implement a system where people can share their opinions freely, I think separating the town hall based on grade level will create a more relaxed atmosphere for people to freely express their opinion. Furthermore, sometimes students have valid suggestions for changes, but they are too afraid to speak out for fear of being chastised or being too controversial. This is where I believe anonymous suggestion platforms can be a huge help to the student body. Creating drop boxes or google forms allows students to express their opinions in an anonymous environment where they don’t have to worry about being criticized.

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?

Grade Reps best represent the student body of their particular grade. To make sure these roles are fulfilled, I want to make sure that there is more involvement of grade reps to their particular grade so that we can gather as executive officers and grade representatives to plan pep rallies and events that fulfill the desires of all grades because that is what I believe the student council should be doing. To do this, I would like to activate facebook groups by adding polls, updates on schoolwork/big projects for each grade level, along with coordinating with advisory teachers to create activities that the students desire.

One problem I’ve noticed within KIS is difficulty integrating new students. Despite things like new student orientation, I feel that on the first day of school, new students still feel alone and unsure of what to do. I can say this confidently as I was once in this situation, as were many others that I know. My idea is to extend the StuCo support for new students past orientation, such as pairing new students with a StuCo member they can contact even before/after orientation for any questions they have. Furthermore, many schools have systems where for the first day or week, StuCo members help new students find their classes throughout the day or sit with them at lunch. I think this strengthened support system is a great way for new students to familiarize with KIS methods and not feel so alone.

5. What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

Most importantly, I would like you all to know that I am not a person that will drop the responsibilities of the position as Vice President after being elected. I value your votes and I value people. After I was elected as a Grade Representative last year, I received a swarm of messages congratulating me and saying that they trust me and know that I will do a great job. They also said things such as I’m glad that YOU are the junior representative. Honestly, there were times when there was just too much work, or too many expectations people had of me of being a grade representative. There were times when I needed to stand out to the grade and be charismatic in front of people, which was not an easy thing for me. But these messages which I’ve screenshotted and put into my folder on my phone, continuously motivated me and kept me to the right path: to serve and work for the better of the student body.
This is why I would like to tell you guys that voting for me is the right choice. Many of the voters may be my friends and many I may not know. However, I’ll know one thing. That you have voted me to be your Vice President because you trust me. That’s all I need to push me forward. If you vote for me, I can reassure you, your votes do not expire after this election. They become the small pushes that will make me keep on going forward and eventually form into the vision you and I have created together when you voted for me. I am the right candidate for this school, the one who will truly work hard to better this environment and to listen to you, the students. I will not just work hard now to win the title and then sit idly by while others work. I will work my hardest for the entire year leading the Student Council to reach its full potential and do what it was meant to do: serve the students.

6. What is your secret talent?

I can predict the future with surprising accuracy!

Leave a Reply