The election of the Student President of Keio was held in December 2019. It serves the role of electing the representative of the all-school council of Keio which is the self-governing organization of students.
We were able to have a talk with Mr. Keisuke Goto, who defeated five rival candidates and was elected as the 4th Student President of Keio.
In this article, I would like to feature not only his pledges and his work as The Student President, but also what Mr. Goto felt throughout his own experience and what he plans for the up-coming term.
…About Mr. Goto…
He is a sophomore in the Faculty of Economics (at the moment of our interview). After graduating from a high school in Germany, he enrolled in PEARL, an English program under the Faculty of Economics, in September 2017.
Merely six months after his enrollment, he decided to drop out of the program and re-entered the Faculty of Economics through a general entrance examination.
In 2019, he served as the vice president of Economics Honour Society, one of the largest clubs in Keio. According to a member of the club, Mr. Goto has been gaining popularity and trust because of his cheerful, friendly and sincere personality.
Mr. Goto decided to run for the Student President of Keio because he wanted to build a relationship with many people who he could meet and get to know.
Back in high school, there was only a small number of people, and most of them already got to know each other.However, even though the university is large, the community tends to narrow unexpectedly. There must be a lot of people who can inspire you. However, if you don’t do anything, you won’t be able to meet themduring your entire four-year college life. I wanted to meet more of them,” says Mr. Goto.
In addition to his duties as The Student President, I asked himabout his plans for the presidency.
Mr. Goto said, “I want to show up at various clubs and organizations during my term of service and get to know many people, including the representatives of them.”
He said, “In order to support what students want to do, I would like to introduce groups and students that I have met and promote their interactions if necessary. I want to be a bridge between students.” He also claimed that he wanted to support the expansion of the range of student activities, by giving advices about how to act when they want to do something, how to spread it, and to introduce the best partner to them who can meet their needs.
At first glance, The Student President looks like a distant existence, but he wants to break the stereotype and become a president who is easier for students to consult with and rely on.
As for what he feels from his experience in entering PEARL, Mr. Goto indicated that the amount of information for international students and returnees is overwhelmingly less than that of ordinary students.
As mentioned above, the community at the university tends to be limited. Especially, international students and returnees who are not fluent in Japanese become minorities, and the tendency is strong.
By making use of his own experience, he wants to collect data and interact with foreign students actively in order to get mixed up with such a group of students.
“I love Keio. For example, college sports are extremely popular among students in western universities. At Keio, we are also talking about creating an atmosphere where we can support our schools by watching sports, but we want students from overseas to be valued and actively participate in school events.
I hope that international students and returnees can promote friendship with general students through watching college sports and so on. Surely the campus will be lively, and students will love Keio more.” he said.
In addition, the turnout in this election was likely to be as low as 11,9%. As for that, he said, “There is still not enough recognition and public relations. The all-school council of Keio is an organization closely related to students where they are empowered with the right to decide the distribution of the budget that are used to support club activities. Therefore, the election of the Student President is an important process in the university. I want to work on campus so that students can be more interested.”
He wanted to focus on advertising activities so that in addition to the general students, international students and returnees can participate in school events.
The Student President is young since it was founded, “the bridge between students” Mr. Goto aims at may be a new viewpoint.
It was an interview that I was able to know Mr. Goto’s thoughts as the Student President of Keio, and build up an expectation on his potential successes in the future.
Written by Yurina Shida
Edited by Kaiyuan Fei (David)