The Power of Anonymity

I mean yes, some of the posts shared on those anonymous platforms may have stated agreeable opinions that deserved praise (seriously); however, it is also the unavoidable reality that those opinions were brought up and voiced under veiled, unknown, figures.

The rise and fall of the Instagram “KIS anon confessions” page or the endless student complaints on the “kisbamboogrove” Facebook page are just some examples that demonstrate the power of anonymity. 

Not only does the mighty power of anonymity allow students who are unable to publicly address their concerns towards our school administration and their peers serve as a tool to express their angers, but it also supplies our student body with a toxicity that is quite frankly, ridiculously amusing. 

The margins of internet anonymity and those impacted by it extend beyond KIS students to pretty much every internet/social media user in the world: 59% of the global population (Statista).

Of course, a side of anonymity allows individuals to voice their opinions without having to fear judgment, but nowadays it seems like this isn’t the most prevalent use of this feature. Instead, anonymity has become a utility that liberates people from fearing the consequences of their words and actions.

I mean yes, some of the posts shared on those anonymous platforms may have stated agreeable opinions that deserved praise (seriously); however, it is also the unavoidable reality that those opinions were brought up and voiced under veiled, unknown, figures.

While South Korea boasts an internet penetration rate (percentage of internet users compared to the national population) of 95.9% compared to the global average of 59% and the largest network of cybercafes, it is no surprise that we are also home to one of the highest teenage suicide rates, the highest online teenage bullying rates, and an extremely ruthless culture of hate comments and celebrity cancellation.

Ask yourself: What do all these statistics have in common? They are all byproducts of toxic online anonymity. The power of anonymity not only staples a mask that molds an unknown identity, but it also breeds a destructive nature that is fueled by the relentless and merciless nature of it.

Let’s remember one thing. Behind every piercing comment and its target are two individual human beings: and you could be either of them. But in reality, most of us are unable to graciously embrace the weight of both these roles.

In my sincerest thinking, I don’t entirely disapprove of criticism itself, as it is an unavoidable phase of the high school and teenage experience. However, I do pause in hesitation when I see individuals abusing the sense of misguided power they gain when hiding behind their screens, spitting comments that they would never dare to express in real life. 

Here’s my not-so-anonymous comment: if you can’t say it to their face, don’t say it at all.

– SJ Yang ‘21

Featured image: Quentin Carnaille/Quentin Carnaille Selected Works

New KIS attendance policies due to Covid

Complaining has become a daily exchange in our everyday regimens. But today, I’d like to challenge this commonplace routine that we’ve all become so accustomed to.

Weeks into the start of another school year, the PTO and administration have come to settle a new attendance policy for KIS students: seniors at school, virtual for the rest. After weeks and months of tedious social distancing protocols, the introduction of this policy has spurred discussions across our school community ranging from teachers and parents to bus drivers and the Hyundai catering lunch workers. 

First, let’s keep in mind that this “decision” wasn’t really an individual’s choice but rather a national command from the Korean Ministry of Education to all students of public and international schools in South Korea. In other words, whether you’re a student, a teacher, or a parent, you’ll have to stick with these policies, at least until they further revise our plans.

As a senior myself, I’m not intensely bothered by the new “senior only” policy. Not only am I breaking away from the unhealthy habits and temptations of virtual learning, but I am also enjoying the physical company of my peers (socially distanced, of course). Though the school feels a little empty, it is much less hectic. And yes, taking the school bus to school and back home every day is tedious and time consuming. But still, I very much enjoy the presence of being at school and just learning in real life. 

A great emphasis of this issue is directed towards the students’ perspectives. Not just seniors, but juniors and the underclassmen. Although individual preferences can vary, it is true that being present at school isn’t always the most favorable option. Some people think of it as a convenience to learn virtually, while others think it is an opportunity missed. What about parents? While some parents think their children are having valuable learning experiences taken away, other parents strictly disapprove of their children going to school.

So many perspectives surround this debate and they extend to the forms of arguments and more complaints. In fact, complaining has become a daily exchange in our everyday regimens. But today, I’d like to challenge this commonplace routine that we’ve all become so accustomed to. 

Why are we complaining in the first place? Remember back in March when we yearned to come back to school? Taking things into perspective, we are still international school students with a plethora of privileges. We have school buses comfortably taking us from and back to school. We have access to English spoken classes that are supplied by our online resources and expensive computers as well as internet connection. Are the school lunches not “tasty” enough? At least we still have access to consistent meals and besides, packing our own lunch is always an option. 

Simply put, we are still living under favorable circumstances amidst a very difficult time. Things could really be worse. Though everyone is being economically impacted (unless your mom or dad works for Zoom), most of our parents still afford to send us to expensive hagwons and provide allowances while assisting us in their full capacity. 

Things are and have been difficult for us. But let’s remember that there are always others struggling more. And more importantly, everyone is going through the same –if not worse – difficulties as us. And although many of us are fairly aware of these privileges, we could practice setting for a deeper consideration, at least before taking out our complaints.

Maybe it’s time to abandon our individualistic mindsets and make room for broader perspectives. You decide.

Featured image: John Oh (’21)

– SJ Yang (’21)

Meet the Candidates: Hansei Jang

Hansei Jang (’21) is running for the position of Media Relations Director.

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 Media Relations Director?

Being a positive influence and a leader is always something I’m pursuing to be. Media is always in my field of interest and something I’m passionate about. It isn’t just my hobby but it’s something I want to pursue for my future career, and our school is the perfect place to start. I want to raise awareness about our school spirit and school events with my talents and passions and am willing to dedicate my time and energy into doing so. Media isn’t the only reason I’m running to be the Media Relations Director. I want to share my ideas and visions to our Student Council and take part in the organization process. I have a lot to bring to the table such as my experiences with leadership, my talents, my visions, my sociable personality, and my strong desire for success.

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

Being the Media Relations Director of a Student Council isn’t just about the media, that’s only a small portion of it and I’m well aware of that. My role of being Media Relations Director in the Student Council is to help out in anything I can. This involves organizing for events, sharing my ideas and opinions to fellow officers, and creating relationships with the staff and student body to further improve our school’s community. All of this would be done while still fulfilling the media side of things such as creating videos, creating posters, decorating the KIS Student Council Instagram page, etc. If elected, I will dedicate my time and effort into a variety of fields rather than just media.

3. How will you (better) use existing Student Council media outlets to match your vision for KIS and the student body?

Our Student Council already promotes big events through videos and Instagram posts. To simply address my visions for KIS and the student body, I want to diversify the types of videos on the Student Council YouTube page and make as many people as possible feel involved. Right now, the Student Council YouTube page is not very active and posts only a few videos each year. I want to progress our Student Council’s YouTube page by creating a variety of different videos, not just promotional videos. Videos that will include students so that the student body can be more involved and watch videos they desire. Not only that but rather than only promoting events through videos, I want to create videos on what happens during these events so people can look back on these memories anytime they want. I’ll be capturing all of the fun, memorable moments throughout the school year and creating videos for you guys to watch! This isn’t just about promoting events and spirit weeks but it’s about making all of these moments memorable.

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 our school and student body has is that our school lacks a sense of community. A lot of times, our school feels separated. Everyone is in their own groups and it’s hard to know people you usually don’t talk with. Obviously I can’t fully resolve this problem, however I have solutions to make this better. My solution to improving our school’s environment is to include as many people as I can in future videos and Instagram posts. This way, students can get to know other people a bit easier and will encourage school spirit. Promoting school spirit is a great way to create a sense of community in our school as well. Showing others that our students are very supportive in our school activities strengthens KIS’s reputation and image. I am determined to improve our school’s atmosphere and make our school feel like one community.

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

My ambition, my experiences, and my character make me a more qualified candidate than my competitors. Media isn’t something I’m thinking about doing only throughout my high school career. Media is something I want to do in the future. Something I want to do as a career. I have great ambitions in this field and am in love with creating videos, creating posters, and sharing them to the public. Unlike others, my drive to pursue media isn’t for the recognition but is to capture the memories. I started vlogging on YouTube and ever since, my YouTube channel has been my journal. Capturing the funny moments of my life and creating videos my friends and I can look back on anytime. This is what I plan to do if I am elected as the next Media Relations Director: create videos for events so people can look back on the fun moments they had. Also I have a lot of experience in the field of media. I am the Head of Technology in the Sports Council and am the officer of Filmmakers Club. I’m a member of the media team in the Music Entertainment Club and was a Student Volunteer helping out the media team during KORCOS. I’ve helped with taking pictures and videos of school events such as sports games, Sketchbook, pep rallies, and more. Taking on all of these roles has made me a more organized and responsible person and has changed the way I work. Whenever I get a new video project, I always lay out my ideas and brainstorm right away. I have a plan on what I’m going to do and how I’m going to execute my plan. Not only that but as a person, I am very friendly, loyal, and hardworking. I work hard to show my best efforts to my audience and am very open to any feedback or ideas I get. My personality allows me to talk to others easily and share and receive ideas without any problem which is key in being a Media Relations Director.

6. What is your secret talent?

I guess it’s finally time to reveal my secret talent… I’ve been hiding this from many people but I guess sharing my secret talent is the least I can do to become the next Media Relations Director. My secret talent is that I can die from just drinking a glass of milk. Throughout my whole life I’ve realized that this was a talent only a small percentage of people can claim they have. I don’t really want to get into the specifics because I’m very insecure about this but yes, that’s my secret talent.

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!

Meet the Candidates: Cindy Kim

Cindy Kim (’21) is running for the position of 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. 

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

Throughout the many years I have been involved in Student Council, I believe that I have truly developed as a leader by acquiring necessary traits. Not only have I learned what true leadership is throughout those years, but I have learned how to take on responsibility, how to be communicable, and how important being organized is. I want to use these traits and experiences to serve the school and Student Council. I feel very passionate about the wellbeing of the student community and staff. I know that with great power comes great responsibility, but I am ready and willing to take that responsibility if it means that I can influence the community in a positive way. Please refer to my written introductions for more!

Throughout my campaigning season, I outlined the traits I have that I consider are important for a leader. However, there is one thing that is so much more important than any of those traits. And that is: I just genuinely enjoy being involved in the Student Council. I love serving our school. I love planning for events and hosting events. And I love seeing you guys creating meaningful memories in events that I planned. It means so much to me. At times Student Council can be stressful and time-consuming, but because I love it so much, all of that time and effort is worth it. I have been here at KIS for 12 years now, and it is my second family. I want to be the person that can make your school life more meaningful and more fun.

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

My ultimate vision for KIS is a more connected community. I feel like our school is so divided in many ways, and I want to break down the barriers by giving the student body more opportunities to voice their opinion. Some of my plans include: open up Student Council Feedback Form and change events according to the community’s wants, strengthen communication between teachers and students using an online bulletin board system for every class, and a more lively school atmosphere through interactive spirit weeks and school decorations.

Refer to this document for more details.

3. 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 that the greatest challenge that our school and the student body face is the lack of communication. Especially with virtual school, I feel like the divide has become even wider. Different grade levels rarely have a chance to really interact with each other, and teachers and students also have a barrier between them. As a school, it is harder to build a sense of community in an atmosphere like this, and as I said earlier in my vision statement, I want to implement initiatives that can create a more connected community. That way, I believe the school can be more spirited and the sense of caring and love can return.

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?

Communication and addressing changes or issues to the students and the admins are an essential role of the Student Council. I plan to do this in three ways. To the student body, I plan to give quarterly updates on what the Student Council has been working on by using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Schoology. Schoology updates will also help the Student Council communicate with the admins. Informing the parents is very important in our school community as well. As the activities liaison, I have previous experience of attending regular PTO meetings and addressing the parents what the Student Council did recently. I plan to utilize this experience and continue addressing the parent community in this way.

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

Experience is definitely something that you cannot ignore. I have tried hard to improve as a student leader since 3rd grade, and thankfully I think that effort has paid me off in recent years. Another reason I believe I am more qualified than my competitor is that I am responsible. Even small things like meetings to big things like events, I do not treat things that I am responsible for as a joke. Hardworking follows with this trait. Because I feel passionate about things that I am responsible for, it makes it hard not to be hardworking. No matter what it is, I always try my best and give it my all, because I want to return the amount of trust I have received from other people. This year I was able to utilize those qualities of mine to plan the logistics for Patio on Fire, International Day, several pep rallies, and Prom, even though it was canceled. I was also responsible for organizing and running the New Club Applications process this year.

6. What is your secret talent?

I can do a front roll in the middle of the street.

Meet the Candidates: Kevin Park

Kevin Park (’21) is running for the position of Media Relations Director.

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 Media Relations Director?

My skillset is applicable to my desired position of Media Relations Director. I already have the capabilities to edit promotional videos in a timely manner, so doing this for Student Council will be no different to me. I also want to branch out and create school-related videos to challenge myself in a new area I haven’t been introduced to much before. When I read the role of the Media Relations Director, every description seemed to fit me perfectly. Currently, I am able to market my own YouTube channel through social media posts that reach my Facebook and Instagram followers, and I am able to create effective, aesthetically pleasing promotional posts to attract viewers attention. With all this experience and skills, I thought that I would be a good fit for this position.

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

If I get elected I believe I would be able to utilize my design experience to create Student Council’s promotional posts and inform people about important issues and events in a concise, efficient way. I will also be making videos that market student council events to students. I believe my vast experience in many fields of design would come in handy for the Student Council team.

3. How will you (better) use existing Student Council media outlets to match your vision for KIS and the student body?

Since if I get elected I would be the Media Relations Director for Student Council, I will be heavily using Student council media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram to promote special events that Student Council will be hosting. As you may know, I’ve been streamlining daily and commonplace but tedious processes such as schedule checking for KIS students for the past few years. I believe I can use some of my programming knowledge to automate some tasks that previously required manual labor such as updated the schedule on Instagram for students to see.

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 what our school needs is a more consistent upload schedule for posts made by Student Council, currently posts are made during inconsistent times, but I believe if we set up a specific time that becomes well known to the student body. They would know when to expect a post updating students. Building upon this idea is a weekly or even monthly “Update Post” that recaps what happened over the week/month to notify people a student newsletter in a simple easy to read post.

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

I have been running a technology-based YouTube Channel over the past 3 years for fun, this allowed me to develop the skills necessary to create a video in a timely manner, create nice looking graphics and build up a brand known to a lot of the KIS High School student body. I also have 540,000+ views on my channel with 2 of my videos reaching over 95,000 views. All these years I’ve been learning from my mistakes and improving my content while becoming more economical with my time. I have developed skills that require lots of time to learn from and build upon.

6. What is your secret talent?

A lot of my ideas come from accidents.

Meet the Candidates: Janghyun Lee

Janghyun Lee (’23) is running for the position of Media Relations Director.

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 Media Relations Director?

I’m running for Media Relations Director because I have experience in creating and promoting various types of content on different social media platforms (MSTV, JSL Entertainment, @lvlz_lmijoo) and I have also been a member of the Yearbook team, which helped hone my skills in photography and editing.

Plus, I already have experience in combining leadership skills with media during my time as Associate Head of MS StuCo, where I co-produced and edited MSTV for five monthly episodes, and created a new video series called “Hot Phoenixes,” where teachers were interviewed in a fun, casual “Hot Ones” style. More on that later.

Speaking of @lvlz_lmijoo, my most recent passion project in which I created a fan account for a Kpop star to see how far it could go, I gained more than 300 followers in 6 weeks from complete scratch through purely natural promotion methods. In fact, the follower count is increasing exponentially, as I’ve gained more than 100 in just the past week. Also in the past week, my posts have been seen by 9,000 accounts with 19,530 total views.

I was able to do this thanks to spending quite some time on researching promotion strategies that professional business accounts use. Therefore, I’d really like to bring my skills to the table as the MRD and expand the Student Council brand to have a wider outreach on social media.

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

As previously mentioned, should I be elected, my main objective is to help the StuCo brand gain more outreach on social media. This will lead to further spreading of school spirit through various methods of promotion and provide new means for the student body to communicate with StuCo, and vice versa. Possible ideas for new media outlets include:

1) a StuCo homepage where students can learn more about the members of StuCo, submit ideas and questions anonymously through a Google Form, see the upcoming events, and more

2) a StuCo Spotify account where we add playlists with music that’s popular among the student body each month (Along with a monthly music survey)

3) maybe, just maybe a StuCo TikTok account where we upload creative promotional content… if only the students really want it

These are just ideas for new social media platforms, and I’ll explain how I’m planning to use the existing ones to meet my goal in the next question.

3. How will you (better) use existing Student Council media outlets to match your vision for KIS and the student body?

There are already well-made platforms for StuCo to promote school events and communicate with students, most notably Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, but I believe there is more work that can be done. Firstly, I’ve noticed that the Student Council Youtube channel rarely uploads videos, and the last video is from 6 months ago. As MRD, one of the first initiatives I’m planning to take is increasing the amount of content on the channel. Potential content include:

1) a “StuCo Insider” vlog series that shows what StuCo does behind-the-scenes and the process that leads up to hosting a pep rally or event, since many students are curious about StuCo’s exact roles and duties

2) a continuation of the “Hot Phoenixes” series, but with more professional content and editing, as it’s a good way for students to know more about their teachers and see them in a non-educational, casual environment

I also plan to raise more “hype” for school events by increasing promotion on the StuCo Instagram and Facebook pages. The latter is quite inactive, but utilizing FB more often would actually be very effective as more students use FB than Insta. In addition, another idea of mine is to host online challenges related to each event with prizes. (For instance, a Halloween-themed Kahoot game on Zoom to promote the Halloween Spirit Week.)

Through our time in virtual school, I think all of us have realized that we can do a lot more online than we think, and I will continue to develop more ideas on activities and events that don’t necessarily require offline participation.

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

One of the things I’m into these days is MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), a personality test that differs people based on how they make decisions and interact with the world. I know my personality type for certain as I’ve taken the test four times on different websites and I’ve consistently received the same result: ENFP. Now I’ll explain how I can make the most of my position with this personality.

If I were to sum up the ENFP personality with just five keywords, they would be:
enthusiastic, people-oriented, creative, optimistic, and passionate.
I know these terms make me sound like a hippy, but I simply see myself as an outgoing individual who enjoys connecting with others. Combined with a burning passion for whatever initiative I’m determined to take, I think I’m well suited for the MRD position.

Social media is all about reaching out and connecting with others, so as someone who’s very people-oriented, I’ll make sure to create and promote creative content that the student body enjoys. Spreading school spirit will always be my top priority.

5. What is your secret talent?

A lot of people know me as the guy who moonwalks, but I can also rap. If my favorite dancer is Michael Jackson, my favorite rapper is Eminem, and I can spit “Rap God” at original speed while his fastest song “Godzilla” at 90% speed. Still working on that one!

Meet the Candidates: Jeyoung Yoo

Jeyoung Yoo (’23) is running for the position of Activities 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 Community Outreach Liaison?

I’m running for the position as I desire to help create a strong and happy community at KIS that successfully manifests the thoughts and concerns of students, parents, and faculty into the academic environment. As someone who is very passionate about having one’s voice heard, I feel that the Community Outreach Liaison position would best fit my goal of interacting with the student body and gathering the dynamic visions each individual has, while having the capability to help push said ideas into fruition through my ability to communicate with faculty and administration through the executive role.

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

I feel that I would be someone who would help encourage everyone to work as their best self without sacrificing their wellbeing. Per the requirements of being Community Outreach Liaison, it’ll be my responsibility to foster not only the school community, but also Student Council in particular. I feel that as someone who strives for emotional and physical fulfillment, it’s inherently my responsibility as a member of society to help others in their endeavors while encouraging them to challenge themselves for their personal development. In essence, I’d be someone who would constantly assist, encourage, and (positively) challenge my fellow Student Council members to perform the best they can; benefitting the school community as a whole in return.

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

The reason why I feel I would be the best candidate for Community Outreach Liaison is due to my outspokenness and openness when it comes to new ideas and discussing them. I’m very well known as someone who isn’t afraid of getting my ideas across, as well as someone who will thoughtfully consider new or opposing ideas and reply to them in a detailed, logical manner. I feel that these qualities would be the best fit for Community Outreach Liaison, as I won’t shy away from any ideas that might come from the student body; and be an advocate for the students when in the face of scrutiny and criticism by faculty and/or parents.

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 feel that the student body faces its greatest challenge in its inability to propose; be cognizant about; and discuss proposals and matters concerning the KIS community. Outside of a few scattered posters and word of mouth, there isn’t a concrete way for students to hear about what will/is happening around them; much less discuss them. In order to fix this potential gap in communication between the student body and the Student Council and faculty, I will create both a physical and virtual board that shows current projects; important dates; announcements; proposals where one can write their opinions and thoughts on a subject; and an ideas section where one can post their own onto. This method would not only show students what’s happening, but also get their own input on the matter(s) without having them sacrifice a significant chunk of their time. Bridging the gap between the affairs of the school and the student body will be a difficult process; however, I feel that my approach to creating an easily accessible medium to anonymously propose and comment on ideas for the school is a great start to fostering an active, content student body.

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

Something interesting about me is that I can name all the countries of the world as well as a few territories. Also, besides a few places in Oceania and Africa, I can name their respective capitals as well.

Meet the Candidates: Arthur Park

Arthur Park (’23) is running for the position of Activities 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 become the Activities Liaison?

I think that the Student Council has always been something that I wanted to be a part of. The thing I love most about the Student Council is being able to organize and execute a well thought out plan. I started my Student Council career in middle school when I became an officer for the 2018-2019 school year. Going into this position, I had the vision of just trying out the Student Council for a year and getting the feel of what it’s like to be part of a club like this. However, I instantly fell in love with the job. I loved interacting with younger students, teachers, and my fellow 8th graders during that year and we all bonded with each other. In middle school, I gained experience on how to make digital posters to promote school spirit and events and also learned how to plan out the specific events or activities the Student Council was going to host.

Moving on to high school, through being a grade rep I learned a lot about how activities are planned out and posters are created. I entered a whole new world and sector of the school where events were held on a larger scale and were executed with a clear plan. Now that I’ve experienced what the level of expectations is for the high school student council, I want to take my abilities to the next level by trying out for an executive position in the HS StuCo.

The main reason as to why I chose to run for the Activities Liaison is because I like to plan, organize, and manage different activities. I really enjoy planning out activities and making events fun and interesting for everyone. Furthermore, I also like managing and organizing everything. This made me want to try out for the Activities Liaison because I can manage clubs, and organize activities in order to promote school spirit and take care of problems with clubs and deal with club leadership opportunities. I feel passionate and connected to every aspect of this job which is why I’m running for this position this year.

2. What do you see to be your role in the Student Council?

If elected, my role in the Student Council will be to communicate and gain knowledge on how clubs are created and run. I’ll also have to be in charge of the general planning of events and activities and make sure everything goes smoothly without interruptions. As the Activities Liaison, I want all events and clubs to be able to do what they should have been doing all along. To give their members more opportunities to become more involved in the club. So many times I see clubs not being able to do what they want to do because of the lack of money. Due to this financial problem, even the best ideas from clubs need to go through a long process in order to get more money. I want to solve this as the Activities Liaison and come up with a plan like a monthly google form that can speed up the process clubs can get financial support from the school. This way, the clubs can truly focus on providing more chances for their members to make an impact with the club.

3) How do you plan to promote new clubs and lesser-known clubs?

I think that the biggest challenges new clubs face and lesser-known clubs face is people questioning the impact of the club on them. Some students look for fun clubs where they can play with their friends and relax. Others look for clubs that can shine on their college application. For too long, students have been trying their hardest to join the most competitive academic clubs like MUN or Varsity Forensics because they think that these will help them get to the top universities they want. Of course, to some extent this is true. However, I want students from all grade levels to realize that joining a new club is also a wonderful chance. You can develop new ideas to make your club more well-known, and go through struggles to create a stronger and more well-known club overall.

My plan is to create a social media page on Instagram and Facebook to promote these ideas and lesser-known clubs. This will also be a space specifically for clubs to promote themselves. I will also create a clear outline for all the clubs to just write on. This will look like different sections like “Impact of your club” or “Backstory” to get more people interested and willing to join new clubs or lesser-known clubs. I will additionally support these clubs with the policy objective I’ve mentioned in the previous question where I will create a system so that all clubs can get financial support from the school. This, of course, depends on what the money is used for, but overall, the process will be much more efficient and effective than the system we use now. I strongly support my point about clubs providing more chances for their members to become involved in the club of their choice instead of having to worry about money problems. Let the new ideas blossom without worries again!

Besides my plans to promote new clubs, we should address a big problem I want to solve being part of the general officer team. The biggest problem in KIS is students from different grades not being able to bond and get to know each other very well. Sure you might know a few students from every single grade but I think that this should change. What KIS needs is more community bonding. Meeting new people helps us feel more connected and comfortable within our community, regardless of which grade you’re part of. I propose a plan to create a sports day of sorts where students from all different grade levels come together as a team to play sports against other teams. This way, through physical activities that require communication as a team, students from every single grade will be bound to form strong connections with students from other grades. This will help us connect any exposed gaps between grade levels and will help us create a more connected KIS family for the future of KIS. We’re better when we’re all together.

4) What makes you the best candidate for this position?

I believe that my experiences in the Student Council and the debate team are what give me an upper edge over the other candidates. I have a sufficient amount of years spent in the Student Council to run for this position. However, I would like to focus more on the aspect of being part of the debate team.

I’ve been debating for about four years now and this really fueled my passion to make changes. Through being part of the debate team, I learned a lot about current issues that impact people all around the world. This relates back to our school. There are many problems with clubs and activities running smoothly. Through debate, I’ve gained the confidence and ability to stand up for strong solutions that can help solve these problems.

One of the main points that I want to make here is that I don’t believe just the six executive officers should be making all the decisions on activities and events being held in school. There is a pretty good chance that someone in the entire high school would have a really good idea on maybe a new activity or event that can be enjoyed by everyone and promote school spirit. Hundreds of brains are always better than six. If I’m voted into office, transparency wouldn’t just be a policy objective, but a right I will be guaranteeing everyone. We will have weekly updates on plans the Student Council has, and not only that, we will open a survey that will allow the student community to suggest topics and activities be viewed and discussed in our meetings.

5) What is a secret talent you have?

A secret talent that I have is I can type the word “meow” about 150 times consecutively in one minute. With no errors of course. I’m not sure why I chose this as my secret talent. It sounded interesting in my head but as I’m typing this I’m becoming more and more doubtful. Yes, I do love cats. If you’re a cat lover vote for Arthur Park as your 2020-2021 Activities Liaison! Of course, dog lovers can vote too. Actually please do. Oh and those who just don’t like pets please vote Arthur Park as well! Thank you!

Meet the Candidates: Juri Nakayama

Juri Nakayama (’23) 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?

To start off, this position named Community Outreach Liaison to me is a position that I believe a reliable and trustworthy person should be in. This person should be able to openly communicate with not only all students and staff but also parents as well. To this, I thought that I should run for this position to decrease the invisible and minimal but still existing gap between the people in our community of KIS. As an extrovert, I am confident that I can do my best to bring the school even closer throughout the year.

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

If I get elected as the position of Community Outreach Liaison, I see myself as a Student Council member who reaches out to our student body and researches about the wants and needs that our people might have about our school. I would be a hands on member who wouldn’t hesitate to lend a hand or spend time to increase the satisfaction that our people have about their experience at KIS. Also, I believe that I would be a reliable and comfortable representative who tries to be a listener for anybody who wants to speak for their wants and needs for a better experience at school.

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

When I first learned about what a Community Outreach Liaison does, I thought that a person who loves to get involved to other people’s lives would be the best fit for this position. Although wanting to get involved into other people’s lives may seem like an irritating trait, I strongly propose that this trait is what a trustworthy Community Outreach Liaison should obtain. To that, I am more confident that anyone that I can fulfill the responsibilities of a Community Outreach Liaison to lend a hand to someone even before they ask for any help.

Also, during middle school, I was a member of the Student Council every year, and every year I learned something new about what a true leader needs to be like. 2 years of a grade representative, a year of secretary, and a full year of experiencing the perspective of a student without a leadership position. These four years of learning a lot of things, I realized that I see the best in myself when I am a leader. I see myself who tries to become a person who lives for others and their happiness. This was how I gradually realized that I was a perfect fit for this position, Community Outreach Liaison.

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 greatest challenge that I see in our student body is the hardship in building up a relationship between people that we don’t know much about. We all know that every relationship that we build up in our school teaches us something and improves us as individuals in numerous kinds of way, but the start is always hard. To this, I know that events and activities won’t be able to completely help us overcome this challenge. And I will try my best to deepen our understanding of individuals of our school; which will allow all of us to open up to each other and bond. To provide one potential activity, we can have surveys about students’ interests and wants, and we can start up anonymous conversations between students since knowing each other’s identity in the beginning can restrict them from fully opening up. Then these students who have similar interests can have the chance to learn about each other and if they feel comfortable enough, then they can open up who they really are and become true friends without hiding their identity. I also understand that this would be a hard challenge to work with, but with the help of our student body’s desire to understand each other can allow our whole school to open up and bond with each other even more than now.

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

My secret talent is that I can spend a short amount of time with someone and observe their habits and movements that they often show and exactly copy them.