Meet the Candidates: Hannah Choi

Hannah Choi (’22) is running for the position of Community Outreach Liaison. 

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.

1. Why are you running to be the Community Outreach Liaison?

I’m running because I have been a grade rep my entire time in HS and I wanted to get more involved in STUCO. I am running for the Community Outreach Liaison position specifically because I genuinely enjoy connecting with others and wish to incorporate everyone’s opinions as much as possible.

2. If elected, what do you see to be your role in the Student Council?

If elected, I envision my role in Student Council to be one that binds everyone together. I mean not just STUCO and the student body, but also everyone within STUCO. Grade reps are sometimes informed of plans later than officers since there are a lot of processes that must be undergone in officer meetings before the word is officially spread. I wish to help everyone be involved ASAP. I will also try my best to apply everyone’s opinions to improve STUCO socials and meetings. As the position encourages, I will reach out!

3. What makes you the best candidate for this position?

What makes me the best candidate for this position are my clear goals and spirit (both of which I will outline in my future updates!). I have also attended the AISA Leadership Conference (with other schools’ STUCOs) every year in my time in high school, which means that I not only have a lot of new ideas but also have a lot of experience in STUCO-related issues or approaches 🙂

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

I think the greatest challenge in our school and student body is the lack of adequate communication. For instance, town hall. Town hall is designed to be a judgment-free zone where students can vent about their problems so that STUCO can approach and try to solve them. However, every town hall, we discover that so many people are too shy to participate in it. So my solution is: an anonymous google form! This way the student body can still let STUCO know their problems, eat their lunch, and still be anonymous. If so many students feel comfortable submitting anonymous google forms on the KIS Anonymous Facebook page, I’m sure they will feel comfortable submitting google forms (just as anonymous) for STUCO as well!! 😉 For more references, I am addressing several other problems in my document coming soon!

5. What’s a secret talent that you have?

A secret talent that I have is my wild self in karaokes. Anyone I can went to karaoke with before can attest to this!^^^^^

Town Hall Recap (Nov. 5)

A quick summary of Student Council’s Town Hall (Nov. 5).

The Student Council’s Town Hall on November 5 has been a productive forum in which students were able to honestly articulate their opinions on the current state of the school, ranging from policy on food ordering to the schedule system. Below are some concerns brought up by the students in attendance.

Contact time

It became apparent that the degree to which contact time activities are carried out by advisories varies dramatically. Multiple students stated that they wanted contact time to be spent more actively with engaging passion projects, but there was unanimous consensus that advisory time as work time is (generally) time well spent.

Grading systems

Students, as predicted, seemed to have strong opinions on this issue; the complaints reflected general dissatisfaction regarding recent changes in the grading system. Concerns were raised about the perceived effects of the grading system, namely the magnification of disadvantageous grades in the gradebook.

Food ordering policy

A student pointed out the need to clarify policy on food orders, pointing out a discrepancy between a statement by the administration and the KIS Student Handbook. The student stated that although the admin had announced last year that all food orders on campus by students during school hours would be prohibited, the Handbook maintains that food orders are allowed provided that a supervising teacher gives his or her approval. 

The schedule

The rotating schedule was criticized due to the fact that changes in the schedule for half days and other events set back progress made in class. A student noted that it was problematic that some blocks were well ahead in terms of learning of others.

Other assorted concerns

The students have agreed that they should be able to do anything they want (of course, as long as it is appropriate and in adherence to the Student Handbook and federal law), especially sleeping, during autonomous block.

Students had also brought up sports uniforms, notably the fact that their sizing is inconsistent and that their maintenance is insufficient. Specifically, the student athletes in attendance have complained that their uniforms, when they handed out at the beginning of the year, were frequently dirty, contained numerous holes and rips, and carried an unpleasant odor. 

Complaints were leveled at what many saw as “hypocritical” violation of the library’s ban on eating. Students noted that despite the fact that the library was designated (and heavily enforced) as a food-free zone, teachers would frequently eat in the library in direct violation of those rules.

Please address any comments or concerns to blueprint@kis.or.kr.

— William Cho (’21)

 

The Fundamental Problem with Student Council Elections

When we vote for a candidate’s name instead of his or her skills in this fashion, our election is really no better than the half-baked candidacy of “Make America Great Again,” one driven entirely by personal popularity, professing vague promises that even supporters themselves cannot define.

The Blueprint Editorial Board encourages candidates to demonstrate that the StuCo elections are actually more than what many people believe it to be.

This article has been revised to reflect its authorship and input from readers.

The election to decide the direction of our student body is tomorrow, but we know very little about the candidates running aside from their catchy slogans. That’s it. Apparently, the only thing to know about almost every candidate is who can write the best catchphrase. But who cares? Tomorrow’s election will entirely depend on how popular someone is.

Admittedly, voter outreach using campaign posters around the school and on social media is a useful tool. It helps candidates publicize their candidacy and draw attention to their individual campaigns. However, what most candidates fail to understand is that witty posters are not the only, nor the most important, part of a campaign to lead this school; posters should merely be a means to an end. (An exception to what I just said is in the race for the Creative Director position, where a good poster shows off creative ability and is therefore both important and effective. But I digress.) Many have solely relied on their campaign posters as an instrument of campaigning, and only three—out of twelve—candidates so far have publicized their qualifications, plans for the future, and/or vision for the school and the school body.

The use of campaign posters without the other hallmarks of campaigning — clarification of platform positions, community outreach, debates, etc. — is a recent trend that hints at something more alarming: that most of these candidates are confident that they will win solely by virtue of their popularity. As trivial as this might seem — “Who cares if this election is a popularity contest? They’ll still do their jobs!” — it’s important to recognize that, for most KIS students, this is the first time we will be voting, one of our first experiences with the democratic process. That this entire election seems mostly based on popularity doesn’t really encourage real political engagement.

The unspoken rule of elections states that voters should vote for the candidates who present the best plans, goals, and/or qualifications. Why, then, aren’t we learning more about these candidates? Why haven’t there been more rigorous discussions about goals and plans for how to achieve them? I suspect candidates don’t often worry about engaging in a political process due to their confidence in their voters/friends. They know that a sizable portion of the student body will vote for them unconditionally despite the fact that they have no idea why the candidate should win. Why should they push to be more thoroughly vetted?

Because it matters to the integrity of our student government. When we vote for a candidate’s name instead of his or her skills, our election is really no better than the one that promised to “Make America Great Again,” which was driven entirely by personal popularity and vague promises that even supporters themselves could not define.

Of course, I must acknowledge that many of the candidates have included something of substance in their posters. I applaud that effort. But many of those statements are rather vague and noncommittal; most are merely campaign slogans, one-liners that are supposed to capture the essence of a candidacy that is so much more than one line. Taken together, all of this leads to a lack of faith in the StuCo elections.

That we have a serious problem here is evident when people pass off running since they are “not going to win anyway.” While some might dismiss this as mere apathy, it actually reveals the darker truth that we perceive the election as a popularity contest, and this attitude brings immeasurable harm to our school and our conception of democracy, affecting our civic participation down the line. Too many people in the past have attempted to run for Student Council positions and put immense amounts of time and effort into campaigning just to be beaten by someone more popular than them. It seems that we, as a student body, have grown to accept that no amount of qualifications or careful planning can beat popularity.

I encourage the candidates to engage with the political process and demonstrate that the StuCo elections are actually more than what many people believe it to be.

– William Cho (’21)

How a Trending Netflix Rom-Com Teaches Us About Culture

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Noah Centineo?  Whether you’ve joined in on this ultimate movie frenzy or have been on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter— basically any form of social media in the last month— those words probably ring a bell.  Teenagers all across the world are fangirling (or fanboying) over the movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the current Netflix sensation.  Most people probably watched the movie for a two hour escape from reality into a world of romance and relatable high school experiences.  And you probably finished the movie thinking one of two things. One: “Wow… Noah Centineo is really hot.” Or two: “I wish I had some love in my life.”  But these movies envelope ideas that are more valuable than just teenage love.  

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” features a Korean-American family of a single father raising his three daughters.  Lara Jean, the main character, writes love letters to her crushes and keeps them hidden in a box. When her younger sister, Kitty, sends the letters out to their respective recipients, Laura Jean finds herself “fake-dating” a boy, Peter Kavinsky.  The movie unravels the details of how her fake relationship with Peter Kavinsky led to her finding her true love.

Everyone who watched the movie was absorbed in Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky’s suspenseful and heart-fluttering romance.  But I’m sure the Korean-American audience noticed something more throughout the film. Even the cast gives heavy emphasis on Asian-American actors in an otherwise White-dominated movie market.  Personally, I feel represented and proud whenever a Korean-American family is featured in a US movie or TV show because I can relate to their daily struggles so well.

Laura Jean’s father struggles to follow the Korean food recipe that their mother left behind when she passed away.  In the midst of constant meals of In-N-Out, Italian food, and Chinese takeout, the father wanted his two girls to enjoy a nice home-cooked Korean meal, a way to find your true culture despite being surrounded in people of different nationalities.  

The most famous reference to Korean culture can be seen when Peter Kavinsky is introduced to a “Korean yogurt smoothie”, known as Yakult (야쿠르트).

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  After taking a sip, Peter Kavinsky actually loved it, being pleasantly surprised at the unique taste.  Since I know many Korean-Americans who grew up in the United States being surrounded with friends who were unfamiliar with the snacks they brought to school and hesitant to try them because they were “Korean”, this scene was a new and pleasant welcome for me.  

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A while into the movie, Peter Kavinsky makes a romantic move of driving all the way across town to the Korean market to buy the yogurt smoothie Laura Jean’s family loves so much.  After the film’s release, stores in the United States have been selling out of these Yakult drinks. My Korean friends living in the US have been telling me that since the movie had gained popularity, their non-Korean friends are finally trying those drinks. The teenage Korean-American Twitter community especially blew up after this movie, posting about how this movie has sensationalized their favorite childhood drink.

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It’s personally great to see so many new people trying and enjoying one of my all-time favorites as it feels like Korean culture is being shared across the United States.  This movie depicts the realness of Korean lives and emotions, showing the international audience that we are essentially the same people as them. Yes, we have our Korean quirks, and yes, we are unique in our own ways.  But this film sheds light upon the fact that Korean-Americans aren’t just tiger-parents and super good at math, but rather that we are more than just the typical Asian stereotype.

Granted, Yakult becoming widespread and enjoyed doesn’t really seem like much.  But it’s a way for other cultures to learn about ours and experience it for themselves.  I’m certainly happy when Korean-American families or characters become new hits in the United States, as it means our culture and our lives are being appreciated.  It’s not a large step in eradicating all Korean stereotypes or the division between races, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

– Michelle Shin (’20)

 

Meet the Candidates: Peter Ha

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 Community Outreach Liaison?

Student Council is one of my favourite clubs along with my other clubs. Student Council is more than a club to me. I get to help the school/club prepare for school events and try to reach to the students with all the club members. I am running for Intramural Activities Liaison because when I read the descriptions of each role, this role grabbed my attention the most and I thought that this role suits me the best (if I manage to get elected). Also, I wished to be involved even more in the club work.

2. If elected, what do you see to be your role in the Student Council?

According to the Officer Election Packet, one of the intramural activities liaison’s roles is to “ensure student council activities are appropriately organised and operated”. So I think if I manage to get elected as a liaison, one of the role I would be doing would be to help the club to organize school events.

3. What makes you the best candidate for this position?

This year, I am the only 9th grader running for the election, which makes me the only 9th grader running for this position. I understand that if I managed to get elected I would be 10th grade and people could say that that is too young to become a liaison. However, I think with my strengths and passion for this role, student council, and the school, I think I would be capable of accomplishing the job. Also, I think with help and guidance from other members and examples set by previous liaison, I think with hard work, I would be able to accomplish the job. Finally, I am willing to prioritise this role and student council on top of my to-do list.

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

I think cannot think of students’ challenges that are in range of intramural actities liaison currently however i think if i managed to become a liaison of this role, i would be more aware of students’ concerns about the role.

 5. What’s a secret talent that you have?
Hmm… my secret talent… maybe organising and cheer team up?

Meet the Candidates: Jiyeon Kim

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 Community Outreach Liaison?

Student Council, to me, exists to serve the student body and acts as a means of communication between students and the administration and faculty. I’ve been part of Stuco at KIS since freshman year as a rep and especially from being part of the officer team this year, I’ve been able to work alongside and learn from some of the greatest leaders and people I’ve met. Not only do we serve to deliver what we, as students want, but also plan events such as Patio on Fire, spirit week, and prom at the greatest quality we’re capable of making them. The experiences I gained this year is what really propelled me to run again next year. I would love to see successful events that the student body enjoys and help letting all voices be heard.

2. If elected, what do you see to be your role in the Student Council?

Being the Community Outreach Liaison does come with specific roles such as being the main form of communication between organizations such as Service Learning and the PTO, and I definitely see myself actively taking on that responsibility of working as the liaison between such organizations. Aside from being present at meetings and doing what’s needed to be done for that specific role, from my experience on the officer team this year, the bigger part of serving as an officer is working with all other members in planning events, coming up with ideas, and making sure everything happens. Successful events like Patio and pep rallies only come with everyone suggesting idea, having the commitment to be present at run-throughs/rehearsals, and being open to suggestions and changes. If I were to be elected, I would take on those roles further.

3. What makes you the best candidate for this position?

I feel like what makes me the most qualified for this position is my knowledge of how Student Council operates. I’ve seen and experienced first hand what works and what hasn’t and going through those setbacks or achievements will help me make next year’s Stuco even better.

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

A lot of people would agree to this, and I feel like one of the areas where KIS faces the biggest challenges is just in involvement and spirit. Through specifically my role, I hope I can further “reach out” to the student body and increase the levels of awareness around certain events. I would also work alongside the creative director and media relations director to help come up with promotional ideas that can increase spirit. For example, increasing the number of people who come to sports home games is one of my goals for next year. One of the ways Stuco tried to help increase the hype around home games is by moving pep rallies, and I hope we can utilise such changes further.

5. What’s a secret talent that you have?

A secret talent I have is getting tanned really easily. I’ll reach out to you if this is something you need help with!

Meet the Candidates: Duke Moon and Jenny Chung

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  😉

Meet the Candidates: Eliot Yun

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 Media Relations Director?
Becoming a student rep for the junior class this year was my first year ever involved in Stuco. It’s taught me a lot about how Stuco is an organization that really tries their best to serve the school body. I wanted to help Stuco achieve greatness as well as widen my experiences with Stuco which lead me to the decision of running for an officer position.

2. If elected, what do you see to be your role in the Student Council?
I can see myself filling in the role of creating videos as well as posters that promote Stuco events throughout the year. I’d also take pictures at Stuco events to post on our social media accounts to share the fun moments that students had during our events.

3. How will you (better) use existing Student Council media outlets to match your vision for KIS and the student body?
Currently Student Council has accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram which are the big three in terms of media outlets. Stuco actually made a huge jump in terms of effectively using a variety of media platforms, with the fact that Facebook was the only major platform used, but I see room for improvement. I honestly think that the social media usage of Stuco this year was a bit repetitive—we saw the same poster for events three times. It’d be great if Stuco could create a more interesting experience with the social media platforms. Each media platform that Stuco currently uses has special traits and features that can only be used on their platform. Being able to use those features to create a diverse experience that isn’t boring would be a nice jump towards a great use of social media.

4. In which area do you think our school and the student body face the greatest challenge? How will you work with this challenge?
The student body at KIS faces a problem in that there is a slight lack in spirit. In no way am I ignoring the many people that do actually participate in spirit weeks, but the people that do participate are always the same people. If more people could gain interest in participating, the student body could become more whole and even create a more friendlier environment. The problem with Stuco is that spirit weeks have always been dressup-centric. We need to come up with different ways to incorporate spirit into the week to have more accessibility amongst the student body.

5. What is your secret talent?
Secretly, I’m really good at tickling people

Different Grades and Different Perspectives

With the KIS highschool being the home to many different events and traditions, let’s see how each grade thinks differently about them!

From spring sports, soccer and swimming, to the spring musical, Beauty and the Beast, as well as graduation coming up next month, the high school students of KIS are busily finishing up the last couple months of school. We all know about the weekly soccer home games that are advertised for students to come watch.  We also know about the Graduation Ceremony that will be the last goodbye to all of our seniors. The bonds and relationships created with friends, as well as upper and underclassmen, have become a valuable part of our everyday lives. But let’s discuss how each grade level feels about these events/traditions and if their perspectives really differ with age.  Is it true that seniors and juniors are unmotivated to attend school events, or are they the ones who recognize the true value of them? Do freshmen get to be part of the entire high school experience, or are they missing out on a lot?

 

What does “soccer games and swim meets” mean to you?   

Freshman: “I’m a freshman and this is my first year at KIS, so the idea of a large varsity soccer home game where many students come to cheer was very different to me.  It seems like all of KIS is becoming a team, despite all the differences we have between us!”

Sophomore: “As a member of the girls’ soccer team last year and this year, I’ve always appreciated the support that KIS students and faculty show during our home games.  It really does give me energy on the field when I hear all the cheers!”

Junior: “I’ve been on the swim team for three years, and although no one really comes to watch our meets, it has brought us closer together because we’re the only cheerleaders out there.  I’m excited to be a senior and lead the team next year.”

Senior: “I’ve been a part of many groups, teams, and families during my four years in high school, but swimming has always been one of my favorites.  It gives me the opportunity to look at my fellow teammates as athletes, rather than friends and lower classmen.”

 

What does “upper/lower class men” mean to you?

Freshman: “It was scary coming up to high school and being the youngest after being the oldest in middle school, but I quickly realized that the upperclassmen were not as scary and quite approachable!”

Sophomore: “Although Korea’s culture heavily emphasizes the division between those of higher and younger ages, the various school activities that I am involved in has blurred that division line. I share so many memories with the juniors and seniors, and I have gotten close to a couple freshmen.”

Junior: “Other than the fact that upper and lower classmen have different priorities educationally, I don’t think that we are that different at all. In Korean culture especially, there’s a lot of seniority, but I don’t think it’s as prevalent at our school.”

Senior: “Being lower class men means you have an open field of opportunities. Go do whatever you want to do because any mistakes will be forgiven or forgotten (unless you eat tide pods).”

 

What does “spring musical” mean to you?

Freshman: “It’s my first year in high school, and the spring musical has really been a way for me to escape out of the shell I was cowardly in.  With all the support and encouragement that is going on, the musical helped me gain confidence to be better.”

Sophomore: “This is my second year in a musical and it has definitely been another great experience so far.  

Junior: “I work behind the scenes, and it’s always so memorable to see the entire cast and crew bond as a family.  In our family, everyone is welcomed and appreciated dearly.”

Senior: “Drama has become such a large part of my high school life, and it’s very sad to think that BATB is my last production.  I just want to say thank you to everyone who will come to watch and to my drama family for the last four years.”

 

What does “graduation ceremony” mean to you?

Freshman: “The last place that everyone shares with each other, like a final impression.  Even though I’ve only known these seniors for less than a year, I think I’m gonna be super sad to see them go.”

Sophomore: “Last year’s graduation ceremony was very sad, but I think I’ll be even sadder this year because I’ve known these seniors for two years now.”

Junior: “I just cannot believe that I will be letting these seniors go in a month, the seniors that I spent all of my high school career with.  Many of them have changed who I am and I’m excited to see them pursue their goals after high school.”

Senior: “Ackkk.. Honestly, I just can’t believe I’m graduating.  These four years whizzed passed me and I really don’t want to leave all the underclassmen behind and say bye to my friends.  Everything is just really bittersweet right now.”

While all grade levels agreed on many things, there were notable differences in the perspectives between freshmen and seniors.  As the freshmen are the youngest in the high school, they seemed more hesitant and doubtful about themselves in the school community.  However, the various activities that the high school has offered has allowed them to create bonds with older classmen, as well as exploring and creating their identity.  It’s clear that as students age, they appreciate the events KIS holds and how much it means to them.

For the ones who have been in high school for four years, they unanimously agree that the culture at KIS has created the best high school experience.  The seniors want all the underclassmen to remember to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that are offered at KIS and to live in the moment.  We should all recognize the power of traditions and events and how they influence us as we get older.

-Michelle Shin ’21

What am I voting for?

This post has been updated with input from readers.

The Student Council has an integral role in shaping the KIS student body, and it is with this recognition of the good student government can do that the deep concern on the Student Council election, results of which will shape KIS for years to come, arises. With catchy, often rhyming slogans, the candidates this year all promise they are the leaders in whom we can confide to lead the student body next year. That’s all good, but how? These witty mantras all run tawdry in face of the void of proposition of ideas and concrete steps for action to achieve these big goals.

This culture of our election that prioritizes campaigning over serious vision is flawed. To be clear, active participation and interest in the election is something we should celebrate and everyone who changed their profile pictures to a candidate’s poster did so because they sincerely believed in that particular candidate (I did too). But doing so is overwhelmingly clouding what actually matters in an election: the issues and promises. In the end, we—the electorate—know nothing about the candidates prior to the assembly, by which time our decisions are already set, overwhelmed by the deluge of campaign posters plastering one’s Facebook wall. And sure, there is the campaign forum, but is 30 minutes during lunchtime really enough to hear the platform, ideas, and vision of the seven or so candidates? Candidates know well that the forum and the assembly are limited platforms for campaigning—why is it that their ideas are taking a backseat in this election?

While the question, who am I voting for?, is important, what am I voting for?, must have an equal place in our conscience. We all are cognizant of the importance of student government and the heavy responsibilities that come with it to ensure that KIS student body thrives—we should know what the candidates stand for so that we can elect the best-qualified candidate for each office.

Because of the fact that the members of the Student Council is determined by a vote, it seems that campaigning and winning the election is preceding the qualities and promises of a candidate that makes him or her qualified to lead this school in the 2018-19 school year, at least for the candidates themselves. Campaign now, talk issues later? Why not now? It is only with individual candidate’s decision to commit to restore the sidelined cruces of this election—serious vision and plan for this great school—to its rightful place that the change we so desperately need can be attained.

– Blueprint Editorial Board, penned by Chris H. Park (’19)