Top five news stories at Ewha, 2009
Top five news stories at Ewha, 2009
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  • 승인 2009.12.02 18:07
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   Looking back on the year 2009, Ewha has achieved much, including improvement in its online reservation system, broader ties with universities worldwide, and a more festive May festival to name a few. The Ewha Voice narrowed down the top stories of 2009 to 10 items then asked 245 Ewha students to select the five biggest news stories of 2009.

 1) Hillary Rodham Clinton visits Ewha (98 votes)


   Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State visited Ewha on February 20 for a town hall meeting with Ewha students. Clinton was awarded the title Distinguished Honorary Ewha Fellow in recognition of her efforts to promote women’s rights and status. She gave a speech titled “Women’s Empowerment.” An enthusiastic Q&A session with students followed, with the questions related to Clinton’s life and career. Students asked about her love life and how to manage love and a career at the same time, as well as about harder matters like the North Korea nuclear issue.

 The town hall meeting got the attention of foreign media including the New York Times, the Washington Times, and ABC news. An article published by the Washington Times was titled “Dear Hillary: Clinton opens up about love” mimicking the title of the well-known counseling column, Dear Abby.

 2) Controversy over subsidies for independent clubs (50 votes)

    Controversies over club subsidies have been a hot potato since the first semester and they heated up even more in September when the clubs went through hardships preparing for their annual festivals due to a tightened budget. The issue was triggered when the 41st SGA announced that it decided to grant subsidies only to student clubs that could verify each member’s identification. 

 However, five independent clubs argued that revealing member identification is too sensitive since some represent the rights of social minorities who want to stay unidentified, such as lesbians.

    The SGA, on the other hand, explained its decision was made to create a more transparent financing procedure on granting subsidies out of the SGA’s budget.

    In the end, subsidies were given to student clubs which satisfied all of the SGA’s criteria and the five independent clubs were excluded from financial support.  

 3) Ewha Girls receive Grand Prix at University Singing Contest (30 votes)


    The singing duet Ewha Girls, consisting of Oh Ye-ri (International Studies, 3) and Seo A-hyun (International Studies, 4) won the Grand Prix at the MBC University Singing Contest (USC). The USC which has 33 years of history has produced many renowned singers. This was the first time that Ewha students won the grand prize as well as the Special Prize, which is given by the previous grand prix winners to an artistically excellent group.

    Ewha Girls got the highest scores from the judges and one judge pointed out that Ewha Girls had philosophical lyrics well suited to university students. Ewha Girls’ song “Gungyemoohak” also satirized the lack of uniqueness among Korean youth.

  “What I treasure the most is that there are people who enjoy my song,” said Oh. Ewha Girls is spending its busy and exciting university days performing in various student events on and off the campus.

        4) Disputes over School of Continuing Education degrees (21 votes)

    Disputes over whether or not a degree certified by Ewha’s School of Continuing Education (SCE) has the same force as the bachelor’s degree heated up among students in August and lasted until September, pushing the SCE to hold a public information conference on September 9. 

 The dispute broke out when the SCE started to promote its degree course as a pathway to hold an Ewha bachelor’s degree on August 12.

    Furious Ewha students posted numerous online posts criticizing the SCE on Ewha's portal site and online community, Ewhaian. They argued that the SCE’s declaration hint the status of an Ewha degree because graduates of other universities could come and elevate their academic credentials using Ewha’s name. Phone calls and e-mails of protest to the SCE also followed.

 The SGA arranged a meeting with the dean of the SCE and demanded the university's official apology and cancellation of plans to grant the degree. However, according to the SCE, its degree does not have same as the purpose or legal basis as a regular Ewha degree. The SCE degree, based on the national Academic Credit Bank System, is a course for those who want to continue their education after their university graduation. It values open and continuing education for all people; whereas Ewha undergraduate curriculum exists to nurture young students.

 Professor Kwak Sam-geun, the dean of the SCE said in the Ewha Weekly that, even though Korean law puts the same weight on both degrees, based on social norms, only degrees of Ewha undergraduates will be recognized as respected Ewha degrees.

        5) Male students petition Constitutional Court to enter Ewha Law School (14 votes)

    Three male students preparing to enter law school filed a constitutional suit against the Ewha Law School on September 8, calling for the removal of its gender restriction.

 One of the three claimants, Song Yoon-sang said that, as the Ewha Law School is allocated 100 law school students annually, this limits male students' chances to enter law school.

    Professor Kim Moon-hyun (Law), the dean of the Ewha Law School said that the proportion of women in our judiciary is only about 17 percent, so, in such a male-oriented judicial culture, it is meaningful to have an educational institution empowering women.

 Kim also said that the female portion of this year's law school acceptances barely reaches 40 percent and, in this situation, Ewha Law School's restriction cannot be seen as a policy that excessively favors women.  

 “Considering Ewha’s uniqueness as a women’s institution, suing the law school for gender discrimination does not make sense,” said Lu Yao (Law, Master’s program).

    The Ewha Law School continued this year's recruiting process in October and will announce its final candidates on December 16.      Meanwhile the case is presently pending in the Constitutional Court but the date of the final ruling has not yet been fixed. 

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