University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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New MSA At-Large Representative Wants You to #OwnYourAccent

Yaeeun Shin
Enoch Sun, At-Large Representative
Minnesota Student Association

Enoch Sun, an international student from China, was elected to be an At-Large Representative on the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) in 2015.

Q: Why did you run for At-Large Representative?
A: I want to speak up for a specific group of people—international students. International students are underrepresented and don't have equal rights to domestic students. I want to work with other international students in the team to raise awareness to work in multicultural environment and try to think about every situation.

Q: What specific issues will you want to address concerning international students as a member of the Minnesota Student Association (MSA)? 
A: I want to work on sexual assault awareness, mental health, and student engagement. I volunteer in The Aurora Center (TAC) [the University's resource for sexual assault advocacy and support]. I want to increase international students' awareness about sexual assault. Moreover, I hope by doing that, these students can help increase awareness in their own countries. The other issue I want to work with is student engagement. One thing that probably every international student may have a problem with is how to engage in the U. It's the important issue that is very hard to work on. I want to improve the situation, and I see helping students to know more about sexual assault and mental health as the first step.

Q: During your MSA campaign, you used the Twitter hashtag #OwnYourAccent. What does that mean to you, and why did you use it? 
A: I think maybe every international student experiences one question that is frequently asked: "Where are you from? You have an accent." I think one thing that we should all know is that the accent is our identity, and we should be proud of our identity. The accent represents our home country. Moreover, I think every accent represents every single voice in the world. I want to hear these voices. These voices will not jump out and shout at people. It's our job to hear these voices and try to do something for them.

Date Published: June 2015