On the last mid-term exam period, Ewha students had to go through a fierce competition not only to get a high score, but also to take their seats. This is because of the 1,294 seat loss in the Centennial Library as its reading rooms in the fifth floor were converted into the office for the Graduate Law School. Unfortunately, this is more concerning as Ewha students seem to face the seat deficiency again for the upcoming final exam period, as the school has no plan yet to fix the problem.
According to the data from the Centennial Library, the ratio of the number of students who used the reading rooms to the number of Ewha Campus Complex (ECC) seats were above 100 percent for nine days (October 9, 13 to 17, 20, 21, 23). Especially from October 14 to October 16, the Centennial Library reading rooms as well as the ECC reading rooms were completely full. This literally means that there were no seats available in the ECC and the Centennial Library. During the mid-term period last semester, when there were reading rooms on the fifth floor in the Centennial Library, the ECC reading rooms were full for only three days.
Students’ complaints about seat deficiency arose. Huh You-jung (Social Sciences, 1) said that she had to go back home to study because there were already many people lining up to get a seat. “I did not want to study in the Centennial Library, because the air is too stuffy and humid to concentrate on what I study,” said Huh. “I feel very uncomfortable with waiting in the line to get a seat, because I was in a rush to prepare for a mid-term exam. I did not understand why there are not enough seats for students to study,” said Kim Ye-seul (Economics, 2).
However, as of now, the school says that it does not have any plan to make additional reading room seats. “We do not have space for extra seats for now. In addition to the reading rooms in the Centennial Library and the ECC, there are 660 seats available in branch libraries such as the International Information Center, Law Library, Theological Library and Music Library. Also, students can make use of the reading rooms in other buildings such as the Ewha-POSCO Building, Ewha-Shinsegae Building and the like,” said Chung Rack-choon, the director of the Centennial Library.
Ever since students are informed of seat loss in the Centennial Library, the Student Government Association (SGA) has been calling for extra reading rooms as well as 24 hour operation of the ECC reading rooms since last semester. Kang Jung-ju (Korean, 4), the president of the SGA said, “In response to the SGA’s urge during almost a year, the school kept saying that there is no room for that.” “Even if the school cannot expand the number of reading rooms yet, it has to solve the problem of seat loss in the long-term,” said Shin Ga-eun (Public Administration, 2). Shin added that the school has to come up with a temporary solution such as using lecture rooms or seminar rooms as study rooms for the increased demand during the exam period.
Kim Young-sim, the director of the Office of University Planning and Coordination (OUPC), said that the school is going to build a long-term plan to expand the reading rooms. “Also, regarding the opening of the seminar rooms or lecture rooms in the ECC as temporary reading rooms, we need to discuss it with the Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Office of General Administration,” said Kim.
In response to the school’s answer, students think that they cannot put up with the seat deficiency for a long time. “It feels like we cannot take the best from the school. Compared to the amount of tuition fees we paid, we are getting fewer benefits from the school than students in other universities,” said Lee Mi-so (Library & Information Science, 2).