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Student Council Goes Off-Campus for a Protest MarchStudents of Both Seoul and Gyeongju Campus Resisting to Jogye Order

   
 
  Photograph by Lho Hyun-jung  
 
   The school’s General and Graduate Student Council went on “Bul-Dong,” a protest march to inform corruption within Dongguk University during the summer break. Starting from Dongguk University Gyeongju Campus, the group visited total of six Jogye Order temples in a following order: Bulguk-sa, Baekyang-sa, Tongdo-sa, Naewon-sa, Beomeo-sa, and Haeunjeong-sa. Students from Gyeongju Campus, including the Chairperson of the General Student Council, as well as few Donggukians from Seoul Campus joined the march. Before visiting the last temple, Bul-Dong visited Pusan National University in order to show its condolence to a professor who committed suicide over school’s direct election system of school president. After the circuit of temples, the Student Council also visited Kyungpook National University and Cheongju University which are also suffering from a school presidential system.


   On August 14th, the night before a patrol on foot was held, Vice Chairperson the General Student Council Kim Geon-jung uploaded a short video clip on Facebook page. He said, “We arranged this in order to inform Jogye Order’s intervention in Dongguk University and injustice of the new school president’s selection regardless of plagiarism on his journal articles.” Kim added that despite numerous efforts by Donggukians to express their opposition to religious order’s interference including press interview, solo or multi-person demonstrations, and tonsure of the vice president himself, the school is showing no response. In order to bring out the school’s reply, the council notified the school’s current circumstances as well as corruption of Jogye Order monks in high positions, to Jogye Order monks and Buddhist devotees.


   Bul-Dong originally planned to end its temple circuit in Haeunjeong-sa and ask for advice from Jongjeog Sunim who is regarded as one of the most respected monks in Jogye Order. Unlike the students’ expectation, the Chairman of Buddhist devotees of the temple represented himself as a spokesperson of Jongjeong Sunim. He said that the Sunim was not in the temple at the moment and expressed negativity towards the students’ visit saying that it is rude to come, regardless of a meeting request Bul-Dong sent prior to the visit. Choi Jang-hun, the Chairperson of Graduate Student Council said, “Although we were rejected from few monks, including our final goal Jongjeong Sunim, during our protest march, we regard this as only the beginning and will continue to fight against the injustice of the school.”

Lho Hyun-jung  elenalho95@dongguk.edu

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