University Student Elections in S. Korea Scrapped Over Sex Harassment Allegations

University Student Elections in S. Korea Scrapped Over Sex Harassment Allegations

Student government elections have been postponed at South Korea’s top-ranked Seoul National University following allegations of sexual harassment involving a student candidate, according to reports.

Student elections scheduled to be held this month are not taking place because a member of one campaign team was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward another student, local news services News 1 and Segye Ilbo reported Monday.

The defendant, who was not identified by name, was a former student chair at the college of humanities at the university. He reportedly harassed the victim, an unidentified woman, two years ago during a social gathering involving alcohol, reports say.

The defendant was running for the position of human rights representative. News of the defendant’s campaign prompted an outcry on social media platforms among university students.


The campaign team said the defendant had vowed to not be active in student council but ran anyway. After the defendant decided to run for student government, his victim brought a complaint to the campaign, according to News 1.

The team apologized last Thursday on public bulletins, but the move may have been deemed insufficient. By Friday, the team said it would be “impossible to proceed” and suspended the campaign.

In 2019, the defendant played a leading role in an on-campus hunger strike against a professor of Spanish literature at the university, who had been accused of molesting a female student during a trip overseas.

The professor was accused by a student of subjecting her to “various forms of sexual violence and all kinds of human rights violations.”

Seoul National University student elections have been postponed to November, according to Segye Ilbo.

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