The Female Student Lounge is not enough to accept all the female students.
/ Photograph by Lee Ji-won
The Female Student Lounge has been re-opened in Dongguk University, which is planned to be run from October 17th to December 18th. The running time of the Female Student Lounge is from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. on only weekdays. Up to eight people can use the lounge at once. It is on the ninth floor in Engineering Building 2. In the lounge, sink, doubled-beds and sofa are furnished. Straightener and dressing table are also equipped in it for students’ convenience. The user should write down their identifications to use it.
In 2015, the General Student Council (GSC) acquired a space from school and it was transferred to the 48th GSC, “Hashtag” in 2016. Therefore, the Female Student Lounge could be opened by using that space. However, in November, 2016, the foundered election made the lounge closed since there was no one to manage it. After by-election in 2017, General Coed Student Council (GCSC), “Dongteum” was elected and they re-opened the Female Student Lounge after discussing with the Office of Student Affairs on October 17th.
Donggukians expressed antithetical stances of re-opening the Female Student Lounge
When the GCSC announced that the Female Student Lounge would be re-opened, debates about opening the lounge went on among Donggukians. Some students expressed affirmative responses on the issue. Park Su-rim (Freshman, Department of Korean Language and Literature) said, “I agree with running the Female Student Lounge. As a ‘woman,’ there are some discomforts like menstruation. The Female Student Lounge can be a place where many female students can be comfortable to stay, unlike other facilities in school.”
On the other hand, there were negative responses to the opening of the Female Student Lounge. Some students opposed to it since they thought that making the lounge limited to only female students causes reverse discrimination.
They commented that not only females, but also males need a place to rest. Regarding this, Sung Im-eun, the chairperson of the GCSC, said, “The reason why the Female Student Lounge has been made is related to the fact that it is hard for many female students to use facilities in school comfortably because of the pain caused by menstruation or sexual objectification.” She added, “We acknowledge that there are some opinions claiming that making the Female Student Lounge is reverse discrimination. The reason they regard it as discrimination is because they think the lounge was made ‘only’ for female students. Actually, the reason why the controversy about the Female Student Lounge arise is related to fact that there are no enough facilities in school for all the students.”
Problems about using the Female Student Lounge arose
After the Female Student Lounge has re-opened, some students felt inconvenient when using it. Since the lounge does not have enough space, some of the inconveniences remain. Before the lounge was opened, the GCSC posted a statement saying that in the first semester, they tried to move the lounge to the first floor of the Student Hall to widen the space and make its management easier. However, they failed to do so, since the remodeling for it discontinued.
Jin Ah-young (Senior, Department of Japanese Language and Literature) said, “Due to the limited capacity of the lounge, I always run to get there by the opening time. There were several times I could not go into the lounge, since I missed the opening time. I think it is hard to use the lounge considering that the space is too small.” Lee Yeon-joo (Freshman, Division of English Language and Literature) said, “Most students take a nap there, so the lights are always turned off, which makes me hard to see the mirror of the dressing table. Also, I think the lounge is quite small, so it is hard to have personal space.”
Unskilled management led users to experience inconvenience
Problems about the carelessness of operating the lounge also arose. Some students commented that the running time is different from that of the notice, which is announced from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. Kang So-hwa (Freshman, Department of International Trade) said, “After finishing the first class, I used to go to the lounge to take a rest in the spare time. However, sometimes the lounge was not yet opened, even though the starting time already had passed. So I had to wait for it to be opened.” Kim Bo-young (Freshman, Division of English Language and Literature) said, “Since there are no managers to coordinate, the lounge is not regulated systematically. If a student makes some noise or exceeds the using hour, no one can control those annoyances. I think running the lounge would be managed orderly if the managers can stay more often.”
There are only few convenient facilities for students in the school. It resulted that having the Female Student Lounge became a sensitive issue in Dongguk university. In order to resolve the conflicts, the school authority and the GCSC should reflect students’ opinions to satisfy everyone. As the new GCSC was elected, it will be important to manage the lounge properly. Yoon Won-jung, the newly elected chairperson of the GCSC, said, “We will try to improve management of the lounge by demanding school to be the subject of managing it. Making the managers to stay there during the running time is important. Also. it is needed to educate the managers properly.” She added, “We are also considering to install emergency bell to assure safety matters of students. Furthermore, making the lounge to be divided into some sections is necessary to make the users have their personal spaces. We will try to discuss to make the lounge in a better condition.”
Yu Na-kyung , Lee ji-won firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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