SIPA‘s International Student Union
Our international programs have grown substantially this year, and growth has been accompanied by change. The number of students is almost 80 (CPE, MPA, PhD and exchange students included), which is just as many as in the Chinese program. Thus, we decided to have a Student Union at SIPA.
The initiative was welcomed by the students and more than 15 of them signed up to become members of the Union, far more than expected.
On Monday 5th September, elections were held to choose the chairman/president of the Student Union. The election was open to all international students at SIPA (excluding exchange students) but candidates were part of the pool of students applying for Student Union membership.
Three excellent candidates gave speeches about their proposals for the Union, and students actively engaged in a round of Q&A with them before casting their votes. After the vote count, Yinghui Lee was declared winner, with over 50% of the votes.
Congratulations to our PhD student, Ms Lee, now chairwoman of the Intl Student Union at SIPA!
“I feel very happy and honoured to be elected the first chairperson of the SIPA International Students Union. I am especially thankful for the support and faith that my fellow SIPA mates have given me. With the hype of the elections now gone, I feel a great responsibility in working together with my team to bring about a good start for our Union.” - YingHui
“I would like to see the Student Union establish itself as the voice and representative for all International Students in SIPA. As part of my campaign manifesto, I would like to build up a formal system for student feedback within the next one year. Additionally, I would also like to establish more connections with the existing graduate students union for Chinese students to help bring about more integration and networking between local and international students within SIPA.” – YingHui
After YingHui was elected, she took on her role as chairwoman immediately and stayed with the rest of the Union members to select and divide the responsibilities of the members. A Treasurer and a Secretary were chosen as well. A special group was created using the social communication platform WeChat, and the members kept making arrangements and updates afterwards.
“With regards to student needs, the top priority of the Union would be to ensure that any academic concerns are raised and followed-up with relevant faculty members and school administration in a timely manner. In addition, helping our international students to source for relevant internship/ volunteering opportunities would also be a priority for the Union.” - YingHui
The Student Union will meet on Monday afternoons at SIPA, soon a Constitution will be enacted and all International students will be able to address Union members for complaints, academic help and also non-academic issues such as concerns regarding life in Shanghai.
Moreover, the Students Union will organise events, activities, campaigns, workshops and any initiative of interest to the students and approved by them.