Controversy over subsidy for independent clubs
Controversy over subsidy for independent clubs
  • 심수민
  • 승인 2009.09.01 21:38
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Five independent clubs which were subsidized under previous Student Government Association(SGA) were denied subsidy by the current SGA, Ewha We Can. The affected clubs were Metamorphosis Girls Fly to the Sky, (a club working for rights of lesbians), Living Library, (a lending library governed by students), Searching the Wrong Picture, (aimed at improving rights of disabled), Cinematheque(a gathering of movie lovers), and the Presidential Commission on Women's Affairs (a club working for women rights). The former SGA, Ewha to Basic, provided 20 percent of its budget (10,000,000 won) to the clubs.

A controversy over the subsidy has arisen after the current SGA approved a new rule, which requires the members of the clubs to submit the copies of members’ student cards and certificates of studentship along with activity plans to get a subsidy. The SGA argues that such a requirement is unavoidable to make finances transparent.

"The former SGA didn’t require anything for the subsidy. We regard that as a problem, "said Roh Jung-hyun (Business, 3), the financial manager of the SGA. A representative of the independent clubs criticized the SGA’s identification procedure, saying that it is an indirect form of suppression.

  "Since Metamorphosis Girls Fly the to Sky is a group representing lesbians, disclosing the club members’ identifications is directly related to announcing their coming out. The requirement is difficult for us to achieve,” said a representative of the independent clubs who wanted to remain anonymous.

  Although several meetings between the SGA and the independent clubs were held to reach mutual agreement over the rules, they failed to lessen the gap in opinions. The independent clubs have refused to submit student cards or the certificates of studentship, they have not being subsidized since last semester. Instead, the SGA granted the subsidy to eight other self-governing groups including Complete Byuntae, a group of students working in journalism for social minorities, and Wedding Project, which helps underprivileged people hold wedding ceremonies. Before giving money, the SGA carried out a preliminary inspection to examine whether the activity of the groups would benefit many Ewha students.

  Despite the criticisms that the changed subsidy plan has resulted in suppressing student activities, the SGA has no plan to retract its decision, arguing that Ewha We Can is just asking clubs to follow a reasonable procedure.

  “The SGA’s new plan actually encouraged club activities because diverse groups got the SGA’s subsidy, which had been monopolized by the existing independent clubs in the past,” said Roh.
Meanwhile, the independent clubs are facing a trouble.

  “We cannot even hold annual events because of financial difficulties,” said a representative of the independent clubs.

 However, the members of the units have no intention to follow the SGA’s rules.

  “Since we mostly represent social minorities against the corrupt groups in power, revealing our identities can bring social disadvantages to the members,” said a representative.





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