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Seoul National University Elects Country’s First-Ever Openly Lesbian Student President

Kim Bomi with HankyorehTV (23 November 2015)

Seoul National University (SNU), the mecca of Korean higher education and a source of admiration/grief for many high school students, has been home to QIS (Queen in SNU) since 1995. Their website has a roughly translated English version, and is mobile-friendly.

Kim Bo-mi, a 22-year old at the Department of Consumer Science, ran unopposed and was elected with 86.8% of votes on a turnout of 53.3%. Kim has previously served as Vice-President of the Student Council (VP). She came out four days before the voting period (16th- 19th November), to much press coverage and public appraisal.

 She and incoming VP Kim Min-seok (Dept. of Political Science and International Relations) campaigned for the following items

  • To ban human rights violations, i.e. sexual assault and harassment
  • To ban Protestant organisations from evangelising inside the campus
  • To promote basic civic knowledge, i.e. CPR
  • To recognise male students’ absences caused by army drills as justifiable

Kim Bo-mi campaigned this August and September for the dismissal of two SNU professor accused of inflicting sexual violence on students. She was also responsible for creating the Student & LGBT Human Rights Council as a body of the SNU Student Council.

She also states that the clause on banning evangelising was proposed by her colleague Min-seok, a devout Protestant himself (and if you have been on a Korean campus, you’d surely agree the constant pestering of the combi – Korean Jehovah’s Witnesses and American Mormon missionaries, will get to you). As the SNU campus suffers from evalgelisers who even enter the dormitories without permission and en masse, they decided it was time to put a stop to them. Kim has agreed to speak with the SNU Christian Students’ Association on this matter.

After a quick look at the Korean media, I saw that articles treating her election have been thronged with negative, irrational comments (several commented on her physique and one even lashed out anger at her posture in the photographs as ‘rude’). One extremist Protestant website has condemned her campaign as one of the “many attempts by the gays to overthrow Christianity and the higher education system”.

Kim has simply stated that she has received many calls from reporters since her coming out in the Chosun article.


[Interview] Kim Bo-mi, President of the Student Council at Seoul National University (Video), 24 Nov 2015, HuffPost Korea
[인터뷰] 김보미 서울대 총학생회장 당선자(동영상)

Chosun Ilbo, November 24th, 2015.

Image by SNU Journal via HuffPost Korea

This post originally appeared on Blogger

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