Architecture majors raised their voice on professors abusing their authority during classes. Anonymous students of the major formed Ewha Architecture Student Task Force who posted posters on May 21 to reveal the problems they had experienced. The professors were criticized for using vulgar language violating human rights, compelling students to take certain courses, and their constant tardiness of professors. This sparked the discussion to solve the ongoing problems of architecture major students.
The poster stated, “Professors ran ‘lotteries’ to decide which classes students will take.” The “lottery” system was the process of students turning in papers with rankings of architectural design classes they wish to take and professors assigning students into different classes based on those rankings. However, the process of allocation have always been ambiguous. Therefore, students had to change their classes regardless of what they chose during the registration period, which included changing other elective courses.
In addition, the poster claimed that an instructor was constantly late for classes and ended them early to be on time for the next one at another university. Not only constant tardiness, but also the problem of professors violating students’ freedom of speech to raise voice on existing problems was on the poster.
Overall, the poster mainly demanded professors to stop infringing students’ rights. It also urged feedback from the professors to hold a meeting between students and professors.
In response to the demand of Architecture students, students and Architecture professors held a meeting on May 29. It was open to all students and graduates of the school.
To guarantee anonymity of Architecture major students, Kim Sun-woo, the co-representative of ELTEC College of Engineering, led the meeting as a chairperson. The meeting started by Kim pointed out mainly four problems raised by students: “lotteries” to allocate classes, professors refusing to provide critiques to students, starting arbitrarily shortening class time and infringing human rights.
After Kim’s speech, Professor Kang Mi-sun made a speech on behalf of all the other professors of the major.
She stated that they wish to solve the problem by communicating with students and forming a student consultative body. She also mentioned that they would not track down the students involved in the task force.
When Kim asked how professors would improve the current registration process of classes, Professor Lee Dong-hoon gave a reply.
“We understand that students might raise questions on how we allocate students into different classes. From now on, we will provide the guidelines that we have and if students have any better ideas for the allocation process, we are willing to accept it.”
Even with such replies, students posed questions on whether professors will make changes in the future, saying they did not seem to express their sincere regrets at the meeting. For example, Professor Lim Suk-jae apologized for his statements in his class, but also made excuses by saying that he wanted to discuss social topics during class as architecture has a deep association with our society.
At the end of the meeting, Lim Hye-sook, the dean of ELTEC College of Engineering, shared her plans on how to solve the ongoing problems.
“We will directly make a student consultative body after this meeting,” Lim said. “We will also gather various opinions and make changes based on them starting from the beginning of next semester.”