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The GSC Wound up the Assembly, Starts Sit-Down to Protest

 

   
 
  ▲The students at the assembly are protesting against the "Lifelong Education College Plan" with a singalong.  

/Photograph by Yang In-hyeok

   On August 13th, 5:00 P.M., at the front gate of the Main Hall, the General Student Council (GSC) announced that they will conclude the assembly held to oppose the “Lifelong Education College Plan,” which lasted for four days and begin the sit-down protest until the withdrawal is accepted.

   The assembly, started on August 10th, was formed by the GSC, student council members of different departments, and students who wished to take part in the protest against Dongguk accepting the “Lifelong Education College Plan.” Despite the hot weather, students kept their place in front of the Main Hall for 73 hours until the assembly marked its end. “Our will to take responsibility as the student representatives and responsibility to solve this case in our hands are what keep us going even in such a hot weather,” said An Dre, the chairperson of the GSC.

   In the beginning of the assembly, Chairperson An clarified the reasons why they object to the promotion of the “Lifelong Education College Plan” in Dongguk. He especially emphasized on the facts that the school has been lacking communications with the students and the time remaining before the 2017 administration starts is not enough for the new college to properly function.

 

   
 
  ▲Students and the GSC are preparing to start the people’s gathering to protest against the promotion of the “Lifelong Education College Plan.”      

/Photograph by Yang In-hyeok

   During the afternoons, cultural festivals were made by the students of the GSC to attract the Donggkians’ attention and to show their objection towards the promotion of the “Lifelong Education College Plan.”

   On the first day, for example, a sing-along was performed, with lyrics such as “Oh Bultong (No Communication) Dongguk University,” a parody of the 2002 national cheering song. After the cultural festivals, debating sessions took place in order to discuss further plans regarding the actions to  would be taken against the school’s decision.

   On the third day, the debate lasted more than three hours as the students tried to decide in which form they should continue the sit-down. “I think this three hours of debating was really worth our time because we made what the school could not make, which is democratic decision making,” said one student at the debating scene, who wished to stay anonymous.

   On the last day, a press conference was held at 4:00 P.M. in front of the Main Hall. Students took turns to make their final speeches of the assembly, and Chairperson An announced that they will continue the sit-down until the withdrawal of the “Lifelong College Education Plan” has been made. After he was finished with his announcements, he handed the documents stating the students’ demands to Choi Ho-jin, the section chief of the Office of Student Service. “I have mixed feelings, to be honest. I know that if the sit-down goes on for longer, it will be harder for everyone in this place to continue. However, I will promise that we will continue to fight, to achieve our goal; to make the school listen to what we say,” stated Joe Yoon-gi (Senior, Political Science and Diplomacy). Since the following week of the 13th, candlelight assemblies have been held every Tuesdays and Thursdays, in order to advertise and encourage more attention and participation from the students of Dongguk before and after the start of the second semester.
 

Yang In-hyeok  arhan373@dongguk.edu

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