The emergency committee of Korean dance department held a press conference on Aug. 20 demanding an apology from the school for hiring an instructor who was given disciplinary measures. The Student Government Association (SGA) and Central Operation Committee (COC) also took part in the conference alongside students of Korean dance major.
Mainly three things were demanded at the conference: receiving an apology from employment inspectors of the department, hiring a new qualified instructor in the near future and guaranteeing the rights to take the class assigned to the discharged instructor by hiring a substitute.
A total of seven speakers spoke at the conference including SGA president and vice president, co-representatives of College of Music and more. Speakers urged the school for their apologies and pointed out that the school should provide a safe environment for students to study.
“The department should have discharged the instructor before this issue was publicized,” said Kim Sun-woo, co-representative of College of Art & Design. “We had many problems regarding professors and instructors last year. We need to prevent problems before they happen, so there won’t be victims to begin with”
The newly hired instructor, who is now currently discharged, received disciplinary measures from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism last September for making sexually harassing and insulting comments. If on schedule, he would have started teaching students from this semester.
However, the issue was publicized through online school communities and on Aug. 9, COC sent an official paper to the Office of Student Affairs asking for measures on the instructor.
The office replied on Aug. 13 that the school will discharge the instructor and will hire someone different for the class. However, students still questioned why the discharging process was proceeding so fast, contrary the dean’s previous remarks that it would be difficult to dismiss the hired professor.
“We have not received any explanation from the dean for his comments,” the emergency committee said. “A meeting will be held on Sep. 5, so we plan to ask various questions on the day.”
According to the committee, the syllabus uploaded by the discharged professor has been deleted, but the department is yet to hire a new instructor. Students were initially notified that a visiting professor will teach the class, but because of schedules the department is still looking for someone else.