Kim Geon-jung, the former vice chairperson of the General Student Council (GSC) has been indefinitely suspended from school since July 15th, 2016. It was a disciplinary measure for destroying the list of students’ names who enrolled in the Students’ General Meeting on September 17th, 2015. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss about the resignation of President Han Tae-sik (Bogwang) and Ven Ilmyun Sunim, the former chairman of the board of directors. The former GSC needed the list of names to approve the meeting as an official event. However, students were worried about being punished by the school due to their participation in the meeting. To relieve such concerns, Vice Chairperson Kim took the list to his house, after the meeting, and tore it into pieces.
Choi Ho-jin, the section chief of the Office of Student Services explained the basis of the punishment. “Without the list of students’ names, the Students’ General Meeting cannot be officially approved since it became impossible for the school to verify whether the meeting was accomplished. Also, the act of destroying the list violates the regulations of school which are ‘Damaging school property is prohibited’ and ‘Personal information must not be leaked’.”
After receiving the letter of indefinite suspension, Kim and the GSC held two press conferences, one in front of the Main Hall on July 25th and one in front of Bosingak on August 4th. They claimed Kim’s actions were neither damaging school property nor violation of personal information protection. Since the list was just a copy of the original one, tearing the list can hardly be considered as damaging school property. In addition, the act of destroying the list has no relation to personal information leakage because what Kim did was not stealing the information but eliminating it. Kim Geon-jung made his point that he does not regret destroying the list. He stated, “I destroyed the list to relieve the anxiety of the students enrolling in the Students’ General Meeting. I thought it was my duty to protect students from any possible risk.”
Im Chae-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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