[80th Edition] Letter from the Editor

Dear readers,

The 80th edition of The SNU Quill knocks on your door under the theme “Boiling Point.”

The magazine finds you at a time when the pot full of tumult comes to a simmer. The world has been closely following Madame Disruption’s renowned recipe for crisis which reads as follows:

Five parts polarization, three parts fervor, two parts populism, and a pinch of disinformation—the cherry on top.

From the Israel-Hamas conflict to the ousting of former US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, the world saw a tumultuous year in 2023. The year was equally disruptive in South Korea, with the death of a teacher sparking nationwide outrage, and governmental policies—including those concerning the 2023 Jamboree and the removal of freedom fighter Hong Beom-do’s statue from Korea’s military academy—deeply polarizing and dividing the population. With major earthquakes in Turkey and Japan, and record temperatures throughout the summer, even Mother Nature seems to be adding her touch.

In wake of such critical events, the role of journalism becomes ever-the-more-important. Hence, the editorial staff at The SNU Quill have meticulously selected a series of articles showcasing critical topics that will determine the course of tomorrow’s history. These articles pose pressing questions that are avoided by society for being too difficult or too sensitive.

What is the status of minorities in Korea? How do private campus tours impact the students’ perception of outsiders? Why is our campus becoming infiltrated by large franchises while campus unions die out? Where are the social crevices in the debate between teacher’s authority and student rights?

These are only some of the questions that this edition fiddles with.

We sincerely hope that this selection of articles provides an insightful glimpse into the fault lines within our campus and society.

Our magazine itself has seen much change in the past semester. Digital transformation and restructuring have been our key focus. A group of freelance engineers have been revamping our website which we hope will provide a friendlier user experience. A shout out to the outstanding team of engineers led by Cho In-hyuk. The new website will launch within the first half of 2024—something to look out for.

Meanwhile, our newly formed Strategic Planning Team has been working arduously to promote our brand and reach. The team’s talented members, led by Cho Sang-hun, have much up their sleeves. For 2024, they are planning more events where you will be able to meet us on and off campus; so please keep an eye out for that too. More information on our upcoming changes can be found in the last two pages of this edition.

Amid such changes, I would not have been able to push through this turbulent semester if it were not for our fantastic editorial team. A million thanks to You-jin, Yun-geun, Da-eun, Hyun-kyung, Ji-woo, and Ji-won for helping me persevere. I am always humbled by your support and your love for The SNU Quill. To our subeditors, So-ya, Joo-young, Hae-soo and Hee-seo, thanks for the great support you provided in each of your sections. My deepest gratitude to Hye-rin and Yoo-suk for working so passionately, despite the subpar conditions. And a great magnitude of respect and appreciation to Sang-hun for navigating through the myriad of hurdles that arise when leading a newly formed team. Lastly, a huge thanks to each member of The SNU Quill family for playing their part in bringing this magazine to fruition. You guys are my All-Star team.

I would like to conclude this letter with a plea to our readers.

Despite being surrounded by a simmering society just about to reach its boiling point, our campus was surprisingly tranquil this year. As classes returned to complete normalcy, Jahayeon was filled with clubs looking for new recruits, while students took naps on bean bag chairs in the newly furbished Grass Plaza. However, under this thinly woven veil lies a great sense of political apathy, showcased by the 2023 student body elections which saw many colleges and departments failing to elect student representatives due to low voter turnouts.

The cacophony of voices accompanying the bombardment of information has rendered students to plug in their ears. No one gathers at the Acropolis anymore, even amid the government’s push to reduce research funding. The walls are no longer thickly covered in posters that carry written debates about the most pressing social issues. Everyone is busy living their own lives.

But I urge you, dear readers, to keep your ears open, for a neglected pot that boils will surely cause havoc. And I urge you, dear readers, to thirst for information, as knowledge—not ignorance—is bliss. Finally, I urge you, dear readers, to ponder upon the questions posed by society, for the answers lie within each and everyone of us. And in turn, I—and our magazine—promise to quench your thirst for knowledge with thought-provoking and insightful perspectives, in hopes of providing small clues in navigating this boiling world.

Your truly,

Lee Seung-ku


The SNU Quill