Freshmen are listening to introduction of each department at the Freshmen Camp of the College of the Social Science.
/Photograph from Lee Seung-min
The freshmen talent show, Saebbom is one of the programs which are held during Freshmen Camp in most universities. Dongguk University also has held the Saebbom as an annual freshmen event. Recently, there have been some postings on the university online community sites such as “Every time” and “Dongguk Bamboo Forest,” regarding the freshmen’s negative opinions of the Saebbom. As some students of our university showed their unfavorable opinions, the College of the Liberal Arts, the College of the Social Science, and the College of Education have decided to abolish the show.
Controversy on the forcibleness to participate in the Saebbom
Since the Saebbom is not an autonomous event, freshmen who go to Freshmen Camp are usually worried on participating in it. Each year, many freshmen have questioned why they should take part in the Saebbom. A lot of students feel pressure about it. Kim Chan-hyuk (Freshman, Department of Media Communication Major) said, “I think it can be a burden to take part in the Saebbom to many freshmen. Usually, they are forced to particiate in the show.”
Moreover, there are some cases that male students from the College of Engineering in Dongguk University had to be dressed up as women in Saebbom. Lee Sung-hyeon (Senior, Department of Energy and Materials Engineering) said, “I have seen some male students dressed up as women in the Saebbom of the College of Engineering. It is wrong to make them ridiculous by overemphasizing sexual appearance. Freshmen should not be forced to take part in it.”
Jung Hye-in (Sophomore, Department of English Language and Literature), who supports the abolishment of the Saebbom, said, “The forcibleness arose from the Saebbom. No one can say that she or he does not want to take part in the Saebbom. Yet, people in the group have to do the same action. I think that there will be other programs that can replace the Saebbom.” Hong Ye-rim (Sophomore, Department of Chinese Language and Literature) mentioned, “I do not like dancing in front of other people. However, during the Freshmen Camp, I had no choice but to participate in the Saebbom because everyone did so.” Some say that during the Saebbom, they can make friends easily and keep it as a good memory. They also showed their support for abolishing the Saebbom. Song Pureunbada (Freshman, Department of Korean Language and Literature) said, “I believe that a voluntary talent show does not have problems and it would be good for them. However, when students have to join it against their will, it can be a problem.”
Heading Towards the abolishment of the Saebbom
Apart from Dongguk University, there are several universities such as Seoul National University and Ewha Womans University, which already have abolished the Saebbom. The College of Liberal Arts, the College of the Social Science, and the College of Education in Dongguk University also made the decision to abolish the Saebbom this year.
Lee Jong-min, the Chairperson of the College of Liberal Arts, commented, “We thought that Saebbom is not a suitable program for introvert students. It is an effective program, but we thought there is a better alternative for every student.” Also, he mentioned, “Therefore, the College of Liberal Arts prepares performances by small groups and more time to talk together in each department. Finally, I hope the Saebbom to disappear gradually in the other colleges, too.” Park Kyeong-gun, the Chairperson of the Emergency Planning Committee of the College of the Social Science, said, “Student council of College of the Social Science reflects the idea that we should recognize that the Freshmen Camp is uncomfortable for some students. So, the Saebbom was abolished in the process of trying to create a freshman camp without discrimination and compulsion.” He additionally mentioned, “The alternative program of the College of the Social Science is recreation for freshmen to get along well with their colleagues.”
Alternative programs for freshmen are needed
This compulsive show made some freshmen feel shameful and fearful of it. Alternative programs should give practical help for freshmen to form close friendships. Some students, who raised issues regarding the Saebbom, doubted whether practicing to dance together will be helpful to them. Many students agree that it is necessary to have another event that can be a guide for freshmen to know about each other and learn in advance of campus life. Abolishment of the Saebbom can decrease the number of students who feel uncomfortable. Park Kyeong-gun said, “To realize the meaning of learning place for freshmen, every program needs to be considered by the student councils of each college.”
Lee Eun-byeol, Han Ji-eun firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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