"You can't do any presentation activities here. We do not permit it. You should go away right now. You are disturbing the an academic atmosphere," said one of the staff of the Central Library (CL). Then a man of the group responded, “Why do you think putting posters on a wall is a noise? We can't accept it. We are doing this for Donggukians' welfare." The students and the staff members were already surrounded by my eyes and the situation was becoming more serious.
They have a different viewpoint on that matter. And they are trying to justify their actions with the same reason: "For Students' Convenience"...................................Ed.
Since the beginning of this semester using the space around the CL has caused trouble and is a hot potato among Donggukians. Since mid-Aug., the CL has banned all kinds of activities under the pretext of protecting its academic atmosphere. So CL banned putting up posters, commercial or noncommercial sales and assemblies on CL space. Although the decision was made in early Aug., but it was announced late in the month. Many students don't like this unilateral measure.
At one o'clock, on Sept. 13, a small quarrel broke out. The Student Welfare Committee (SWC) was selling cheap tickets to Donggukians who want to return to their hometowns. They set up a table and put posters around the CL. Some students was queuing to buy tickets. Suddenly, a CL staff member appeared and asked them to stop. Then the student director of the DU Cooperative raised an objection. This led to a physical confrontation. Now the General Student Council (GSC) and the CL are at odds over the issue.
The Central Library's Opinion
To heard the CL's opinion, we met the director, Choi In-suk, in the Library.
The Post: Why are you banning all activities in front of the CL?
Choi: The library is a place for studying, not a market street. Indeed, the academic atmosphere should be guaranteed by the CL. It is the first role of CL. I am just doing my duty.
-According to our research, 70 percent of Donggukians don't consider putting up posters a big problem. What do you think about this? Is there a possibility of changing the CL policy on posters?
-"No, there isn't. If a poster is on the library wall, students gather to see it. Then they make noise. There are no exceptions to the rule.
Why doesn't the SWC use the front of Dongguk hall, Sanglokwon, the Student Hall and so on. I don't understand why they demand the right to use the front of the CL."
-The GSC complains that there was no announcement before the ban on posters, etc. What was that?
-"We are here to help students. And we are always trying to seek better ways to encourage students to study. This ban is a result of our effort. So we didn't need to discuss it with the GSC. We will talk with them, but nothing will be changed."
The post need to hear student opinion: so we met with Lim Soo-wook, an ad hoc committee member.
-Did they ever call you about this problem before they made the decision?
-"No. This was an unilateral action."
-What do Dongukians' think about this problem?
-"Many students want to display useful information such as information about TOEIC and extracurricular lectures. We totally agree with the School Authority's effort to protect the CL's academic atmosphere, but posters don't make noise and we don't use a microphone or disturb passing Donggukians.
Now let's listen to other students' opinion. In My Opinion bulletin board, someone said, "The entrance area of the library was noisy until the CL's measure. Now the spot is calm." But an other said, "This is for oppressing students."
There were pros and cons among the students.
At issue is a conflict between two student rights. One is the right of students managing themselves freely, and the other is the right to study in silence.
Doing a commercial transactions or using microphones may interfere with students who are studying. So students should minimize the of noise of their activities.
But the CL made its decision without seeking student opinion. Its decision-making process is more of a problem than the ban.
The GSC and CL need to better communicate with each other.
Seo Yong-geun firstname.lastname@example.org
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