Right before the semester began, Lee Su-bin (not her real name) received a phone call which threw her into a dilemma. Lee is a student in the Humanities College and was supposed to choose her major after completing the semester. However, the school told her that she would not be able to choose English Language and Literature, the department that she had always wanted to major in.
“I was on leave from school during the second semester of my freshman year. The school said that was the reason I cannot apply for the English major,” said Lee. The English Department has a regulation that prohibits students who were absent during one of the two semesters in their first year from becoming major.
Like Lee, students can suffer greatly if they are not fully aware of school regulations. Nevertheless, according to a survey conducted among 162 students by the Ewha Voice, 77 percent of students answered that they were not fully aware of school regulations. Moreover, 14 percent said they have faced problems from not knowing the school regulations and 22 percent said that they thought replacing chapel credits with reports was allowed. However, a staff member at the Office of the Chaplain said there is no such provision in the Ewha school regulations and that it is just a rumor among students.
“Students get into trouble because they do not check the school regulations thoroughly. Most of the regulations are posted on the school homepage,” said An Yoon-jin, the staff member at the Registrar’s Office.
However, students say it is too hard to comprehend the school regulations posted on the homepage. “I had to decipher the school regulations on the homepage. The enormous amount of rules in one file confuse students, so some of them fail to notice important points and even miss rules about taking required courses,” said Lee You-ri (English Literature, 4).
The 59 page file available on the homepage contains the full text of the school regulations and is divided into several sections. “Regulations and curricula differ in every department. Thus, informing students about the regulations is a job given to individual colleges,” said Kim Young-shim, the director of the Office of Ewha Planning and Coordination.
However, colleges and departments do no better. The homepages of various colleges are not often updated, post only the same version of the school regulation as the Ewha homepage or only a part of the regulations.
School orientations for freshmen are also a way to inform them about the rules on campus. However, students say they are told little. “At then, I just graduated from high school and was unfamiliar with the rules. Also, the notification at the orientation session was no more than a leaflet,” said Lee.
Still, some students have found ways to keep up to date on the regulations. “I did not participate in the orientation session for freshmen. But I know the school rules quite well as my department office sends me text messages whenever important issues come up,” said Moon Sae-in (English Education, 2).
“University students need to aggressively contact school offices to avoid getting into trouble because of ignorance about school regulations. The school is always ready to discuss matters with students to reduce their problems,” said Kim.
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