Let’s Talk Global SNU

Panels: (From left) Jay PARK, Omangi Trevor MOKAYA (Kenya), Adela BOROWIAK (Poland), Cui WENYAN (China), Samy RASHAD (Egypt), Professor Hilary V. FINCHUM-SUNG, and Professor Bernhard EGGER
Panels: (From left) Jay PARK, Omangi Trevor MOKAYA (Kenya), Adela BOROWIAK (Poland), Cui WENYAN (China), Samy RASHAD (Egypt), Professor Hilary V. FINCHUM-SUNG, and Professor Bernhard EGGER

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of SNU, the Diversity Council, Office of Student Affairs, and Office of International Affairs organized a Let’s Talk Global SNU talk concert at the University Culture Center this Wednesday, October 5.

The nearly three-hour program, which was held mainly in Korean, opened with a SNU student acoustic band called BAB and congratulatory remarks by Jung-Hye ROE, the SNU Diversity Council Chair.

The evening’s emcee was Jay PARK, actor, entertainer, and current student at Graduate School of Public Administration. He introduced the main speakers: Professor Bernhard EGGER (College of Engineering) from Switzerland and Professor Hilary V. FINCHUM-SUNG, (College of Music) from the U.S. spoke about their experiences in teaching English-taught courses at SNU. The students were Samy RASHAD (College of Humanities) and ex-cast of the TV show “Non-Summit” from Egypt; Cui WENYAN (College of Education) from China; Adela BOROWIAK (Graduate School of International Studies) and guest cast of the TV show “Non-Summit” from Poland; and Omangi Trevor MOKAYA (College of Engineering) and winner of the 2015 Korean Language Speech Contest from Kenya.

(From left) Professor Bernhard EGGER, Professor Emeritus Robert Ian McKay and Mrs. McKay
(From left) Professor Bernhard EGGER, Professor Emeritus Robert Ian McKay and Mrs. McKay

Two special guests also flew in from Australia: Robert McKay, former Professor of the College of Engineering, was the first international professor to be admitted to the SNU staff in 2005. His wife Pilar McKay, Former Executive Director of Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea, also made an appearance.

The theme this year was the three D’s – Difference, Diversity, and Dream together. Following the theme, there were four talks total: Difference, History of SNU International Members, Diversity, and Let’s Dream Global SNU Together.

The audience and guests were shown a video that took them through 70 years of SNU and relatively recent past few decades of the international staff and student body. The speakers then shared their diverse experiences at SNU. Both professors and students agreed that over time, the number of international students has been increasing. At the same time, they expressed concerns over whether these students were adjusting well to campus life.

Professor Finchum-Sung stressed the importance of approaching the issue of integration at an institutional level. As a member of the Diversity Committee, she spoke about the committee’s plans to first reach out to the international students at the dormitory. She also noted that most of the members in the audience were international students.

“We ask for increased cooperation from Korean students as well. I hope next year, more students can hear about events such as these and come join us.”

Borowiak also suggested integration on an individual level by encouraging Korean students to approach international students with no fear of language barriers. She wanted to remind them that English is not a native language for many international students as well, so they will be on equal footing in terms of language comfort.

Mokaya added to this by saying, “People are all the same. They all want to love and be loved. We need to keep this mind.”

Let’s Talk Global
Let’s Talk Global

After a brief Q&A session, Junho LEE, the Dean of Office of Student Affairs, transitioned into the Global SNU Contest Awards Ceremony. He announced the contest winners in the following categories: Essay, Photography, and Video.

After contragulatory remarks, Jeong Sang LEE, SNU Diversity Council Vice Chair, appeared on stage to announce the lottery winners. The first 70 participants of the talk were given an opportunity to participate in the drawing for an iPad Mini.

Both the Dean of Office of Student Affairs and SNU Diversity Council Vice Chair communicated their ongoing efforts for the ongoing diversification of SNU and hope for the future success of a truly global campus community.

A celebratory performance by Young Motivators, an African percussion band, and T.I.P. Crew, a B-boying group, concluded the evening.

The online SNU Diversity Climate Survey is available from September 26 to October 25. A Happy Money Credit of 5,000 won is offered by lottery to respondents.

Written by Ho Jung Annie Hwang, SNU English Editor, annieohan@snu.ac.kr
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr