SGA Plans ?emocratic PaymentThe clash between the school administration and the Student Government Association (SGA) over this year? tuition raise is expected to continue this semester after an emotional summer full of confrontations between the two parties involved.
The summer? first confrontation took place when the tent in front of Pfeiffer Hall, which had been occupied by the SGA since May 12 as a part of its protest against tuition raise, was removed on July 30 by the school administration due to the hard rain and construction site nearby. According to the SGA, the order to remove the tent was made by the President.
As soon as the SGA found out that the tent was removed, they visited President Shin? office. An urgent meeting was arranged and the SGA could receive their tent back with President Shin? promise to discuss the tuition problem again.
However, it was not easy for the SGA to pitch the tent again. First, the tent which the SGA received from the administration was partly destroyed. Then, the members of the SGA had to go through physical conflict with the administration, who tried to stop them from pitching the tent again for about 30 minutes. Kim Kyung-hee (Health Education, 4), president of the SGA says, ? cannot believe that the administration tried to remove the tent during vacation while there are not many students in school. This is a clear violation of our autonomy.
Nonetheless, the Office of Student Affairs remains firm on its decision to get rid of the SGA? tent, which was pitched again. Choi Kyung-hee, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs says, ?s a matter of fact, it is against the school rule to set up any kind of tent inside the campus whether it is done by the SGA or not. Until now, we let the tent be pitched to respect the SGA? position, but we decided to remove the tent for the safety of the students.
During vacation, in addition to continuing its tent protest, SGA asked students to participate in ?emocratic payment of tuition to take stronger actions. Democratic payment means paying tuition not to the school, but to the SGA at the rate before the raise.
The SGA sent letters informing all Ewha students about ?emocratic payment, on the same day the tuition bill was sent. ? believe that democratic payment is the strongest action SGA can take in order to put pressure on the administration. A former SGA succeeded in freezing tuition for three years in 1996. Two thousand students paid their tuition through democratic payment at that time, says Kim. The SGA already collected signatures from Ewhaians for supporting the democratic payment plan in June.
Students have different opinions on the SGA? protest against tuition raise. Choi Chan-mi (International Studies, 2) says, ? hope we can freeze tuition this time. Ewha? tuition is too expensive, not only for the very poor but also for the average income families. On the other side, some students are skeptical about the SGA? protest and democratic payment. ?f raise is inevitable, I think SGA should ask for more scholarships or other support than just protest to freeze tuition, says Lee Eun-joo (English Lang. & Lit., 2).
Associate Dean of Student Affairs Choi added, ?he SGA should propose specific suggestions on student welfare through conversation instead of protesting against the tuition increase, which only leaves resentment on both sides. The SGA needs to cooperate with us for the improvement of student welfare.
The SGA and the administration had another meeting on Aug. 10, but did not reach any conclusion. Both sides are firm on their positions. The tuition protest is expected to continue throughout the semester.
저작권자 © Ewha Voice 무단전재 및 재배포 금지