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367. Interview with "This is Democracy"

Lee, Yu-jeang, Lee, Ju-eun 기자2017.09.11 02:01:57

Even if you are not really keeping track of what is going on in our school, you would have heard of the name “This Is Democracy” as this club has been actively participating in democracy related issues since the Park Geun-hye corruption scandal. However, even though many students have heard about “This Is Democracy”, most of them probably do not know much about it or exactly what it does. In this interview, we will do our best to solve your curiosities about this club.


Jeon, Su-jin, representative of the “This Is Democracy”


What caused this organization to be formed? And when did it change into a club?

In December 2016, due to the presidential resignation campaign and the declaration of the state, “This is Democracy” was created. We changed this organization into a club in January 2017. At that time, some of us thought we needed to be a club in order to have more structure. Others thought the characteristics of a club and the characteristics of our organization would not match well. I think trying to define “This Is Democracy” is unnecessary. I want people to accept our organization as it is.


Could you tell me what this club is and what kinds of activities the club members do? Also what is the purpose of this club?

“This is democracy” consists of twenty two students including the representative and secretary generals. However, since there are members who are working in business, the students who actively participate now number about 15 to 16. The club encourages its members to make speeches and uncover incidents of injustice that happen in our school and work to protect their rights.


Does the club handle the democracy related issues from outside of the campus or just inside of the school, or both? If it covers both, on which part does the club place more emphasis?

At the beginning, the club members gathered to campaign for the presidential resignation. However, after the candlelight protest and after the peaceful turnover of political power had been successfully executed, the club started to focus on democracy related problems in KNU. Apart from that, some members of the club participated in the “Seong-ju THAAD assembly. In addition, during the Sewol-Ferry campaign period, the club prepared a small space in which to cherish memories of deceased students at Ill-Chung dam and in front of the central library.


What kinds of activities has “This Is Democracy” been doing, and what is the club planning to do in the future?
We have participated in rallies for president Park’s resignation in the downtown area. We also participated in the “Declaration on the Current Situation” in KNU, and in the “Declaration on the Current Situation of Universities in Daegu and Gyongbuk Province”, in which we played a leading role. Concerning issues about the president of KNU, we held rallies and protested when the inauguration of the school president was held. We picketed, and we put daejabo (Protesting posters) on some places in KNU. On April 16, 2017, we held a memorial event to remember the Sewol ferry tragedy. We have not decided specifically what we will do in the future, but I think we will keep expressing our opinions regarding issues about the president of KNU. In addition, we want to discuss issues near school, not just inside of KNU. We want to help students who have not been able to receive their wages properly in their part time jobs, or students who have been sexually abused and have not been able to talk to others about it. We want to invite an instructor to instruct students about labor laws, since we do not have enough knowledge about them. We are planning to post something on our Facebook page for students who have troubles with getting their wages, etc.


Do you have any plans to promote “This Is Democracy”?

We are very concerned about this, because we think that promoting our club is extremely important. We distributed pamphlets when freshmen entered KNU, and put posters around the campus. I know that some people support us but others do not. We will discuss opinions from people who do not like us and we will embrace those opinions and try to to change if we think they are right. I think in this way, we can make ourselves more known to the public.


Does the club reflect on its activities?

Yes. If there is a person in charge of an event on which we are reflecting, we criticize him or her if we need to, and if there is something on which they should be complemented, we praise that person. We are adapting ourselves according to feedback because if we do not self-reflect, we will have no option but to be stuck in the past.


Does “This Is Democracy” plan to hold events for students or citizens of Daegu?

It is hard to plan such events because we operate this club mainly through our membership fees. We started this organization in November 2016, and many things have happened since then. There were some donations but we used most of them during the many events in the past. It has not been one year since “This Is Democracy” was begun, so I think this is time for our members to discuss more about what to do in the future. Apart from the plans that I have talked about, our plans for the future will be discussed after our organization has built a more solid foundation. 

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