Kenneth Sng Speaks at 2016 Debate

Student Union President Kenneth Sng, International Student from Singapore, Plays High-Profile Role at 2016 Presidential Debate

Washington University playing host to a U.S. presidential debate is nothing new. The university has hosted more presidential debates than any other institution. However, the 2016 debate marked the first time that a WashU international student has played such a high-profile role. Kenneth Sng, from Singapore, is WashU’s first-ever international student to serve as Student Union President. In that role he met with the presidential candidates and gave a brief speech before the debate in which he quoted former President Abraham Lincoln and spoke about democracy and the importance of “stay[ing] engaged in the democratic process.”

Kenneth Sng’s speech was viewed around the world, and his role in this important event has garnered particular interest in Singapore, his home country. The Straits Times, Singapore’s most widely-read newspaper, has published several stories about his involvement in the debate. The newspaper even quoted the International Voice’s last issue, in which Sng was mentioned.

The significance of having an international student play such a role in a U.S. presidential debate was not lost on local media. Prior to the debate the St. Louis Post Dispatch made note of the fact that Sng would be meeting with the candidates and encouraging political engagement even though he will be unable to vote in the election.

At the Office for International Students and Scholars, we take great pride in the accomplishments of our international students, and we congratulate Kenneth Sng on doing a great job of representing Washington University on this momentous occasion.