THE lack of candidates running for student unions in tertiary institutes failed to discourage Sean Lin from setting up one at the Hongkong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Sean, the newly-elected president of the HKUST student union, said: ''It is my dream to set up a student union. I think student unions are important. They represent the student body and help to promote the welfare of students.'' At an inauguration ceremony held recently, Sean and seven other executive committee members were sworn in for the first term of the student union. However, four other posts in the executive committee have yet to be filled. Sean came up with several reasons for the lack of enthusiasm in running for student union posts. ''Many students want to graduate as soon as possible because of the approach of 1997. Our workload is heavy and some students think taking part in student union activities might affect their studies,'' the second-year management student said. ''Also, some tend to see the student union as a radical body.'' Sean has been busily involved in the student union organising committee since he entered the university. While drafting the constitution for the union, Sean found that under certain circumstances, students did want to take part. ''If it is matter that affects them, they will care,'' he said. Therefore, the objectives and goals of the union will focus on students' welfare and current affairs. The four main objectives of the union are to organise activities for students, foster civic awareness among students, promote students' welfare and represent students in matters affecting their interest. The union will establish more channels for students to communicate with the university. It would also help students to co-ordinate activities related to current affairs. While setting up the union, Sean and his colleagues had a lot of difficulties. Funding was one of the major problems. Since most of the clubs and organisations in the university were not yet affiliated to the union, the union was unable to collect membership fees, one of its major source of income besides university funding. Finding office space and facilities was another problem. The first major project for the new union will be the university's open day to be held in October.