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By Whom Should the Practicality of School Facilities Be Defined?
Jeong Ju-won  |  juwon0511@hanyang.ac.kr
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[330호] 승인 2016.06.01  
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The College of Humanities announced the renovation plan on its basement. What originally was a floor that is currently holding a copy room and a library, is going to later be, after the renovation, a floor with cafés and extra space for students to use when doing group study projects. Although some students in the College of Humanities and other adjecent colleges might rejoice over that they will no longer have to travel all the way to get a decent cup of coffee or quick lunch, this decision has stirred an equal amount of confusion and worries among students because of the news about the advent of HYU’s CORE Project.

 

Correlation Between Reconstruction and CORE Project

Hanyang University(HYU) was chosen to participate in the CORE Project, a government-funded project created on the basis of wanting to save the Department of Humanities from their ultimate “doom” in our contemporary society on March 17th. In a high tech IT society like South Korea, most corporations strongly prefer employees who have thorough knowledge about IT technology, not someone who majored in humanities. HYU was one of the 16 universities chosen and has received a government grant of 23 million won to proceed with their own interpretation of the CORE Project.

Ironically, the first agenda that was decided, after HYU received the grant, was the reconstruction of the basement floor in the College of Humanities building. While the overall plan is still in its early stages, the construction is planned to continue until the start of the fall semester.

 

HYU: The Choice Was Both Practical and Beneficial

“Can we really say that increasing the convenience of getting a hot cup of coffee is, on any level, related to having a significant and unique learning experience? Does having more space for a convenience store really help us get a job after we graduate from university?” said freshmen in the Department of English Language and Literature who asked for anonymity.

HYU’s response to such concern was lukewarm. When approached, the school had chosen to ignore such inquisition. The only concrete information that they could provide was that the construction included the introduction of a new convenient store facility that is planning to open in late June of 2016.

The professors of HYU have also spoken about the correlation between the CORE Project and the basement renovation. A professor that teaches in the Department of English Language and Literature who wishes to remain anonymous, explained that such renovation was something that the students of the Humanities Department longed for. “This was a plan that was constantly demanded by undergraduate students over a long period of time.” He also shared his agreement with the fact that school facilities need to be built and managed for the sake of the students. “School facilities, should be built and managed for the sake of the students. What I’m trying to point out is that in this case, the students wanted a more convenient rest area.ˮ

He later added that the elimination itself holds more practicality than not renovating the basement floor. “The only time that the students actually used the library was during their mid-terms or final terms. And even then, there were still seats left for everyone. The same goes for the club rooms. There is always plenty left to spare.ˮ

 

The Definition of Practicality Should Be Defined By Hanyangians

One detrimental issue that has been raised by students, who take classes in the Humanities Building, is the lack of proper space for clubs. A member of Dasalnolae, a band club that consists of undergraduate students who all major in humanities, explained that there was always room for improvement when it came to club facilities. “We have a room with a sound proof wall but the lock on the door has been broken for some time. This is troublesome for us because there is a lot of expensive equipment in these rooms.”

The Student Council of Humanities also showed concern that the renovations were far from what the students actually wanted, which is a practical area where they can focus on their studies. “Our opinion is that instead of inviting extra commercial facilities, the school should have instead focused on expanding extra components that could amplify practicality for the students. Components like extra group study rooms or studying space f o r t h e L i b r a r y o f Humanities.ˮ In order to make sure that the school administration was aware of their opinion, the student council created a petition and received a little over a 400 signatures from students who usually take their classes in the College of Humanities.

 

School Facilities For Hanyangians

The radical change that the CORE Project brought upon the students not only shook their academic curriculum, but also the sole place of their learning. While they were some students who were indeed rejoicing over the fact that they could finally find a place to chill out with their friends, a significant amount of students stressed the fact that the school administration was missing out on a crucial point. School facilities should be reconstructed and maintained with the student’s opinions in mind.

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