An analysis of cell phone chargers around Ewha campus reveals that there aren’t enough chargers available, that students often waste time waiting for absent cell phone owners to return, and that there is no real accountability when it comes to the maintenance of cell phone chargers.
Last year when the Student Welfare Center installed 12 free cell phone chargers at the Student Union Building, the Human Ecology Building and Ewha Campus Complex, it was hailed as a solution for students whose cell phones would die during the school day. Other cell phone chargers installed by the colleges or by the Ewha Centennial Library were also intended to solve the problem. However, students alike complain about problems with the cell phone charger system.
“The number of chargers is insufficient compared to the number of students,” Choi Ji-hyun (Nursing Science, 1) said. Choi noted that not every building has free cell phone chargers and the number of chargers varies among buildings.
“Chargers should be installed in each building around the campus instead of installing more in one building,” Choi said.
Students noted that no one is truly in charge of maintaining chargers. Except for the free chargers which are under the control of the Student Welfare Center, it is difficult to find out who or what institution is in charge of the management of the chargers.
“Lots of free chargers located at the Ewha-Shinsagae Building are out of order but nobody in the administration noticed and tried to fix them. They are just left alone and no one can use them,” Jeon Young-min (International Office Administration, 4) said.
Even when cell phone chargers are occasionally repaired in response to complaints, students should not expect any consistency. When Jeon learned that only one out of four chargers was properly working at the Ewha Centennial Library, she informed the administrative office of the library. A few days later, they were fixed but broken again and were left unrepaired for a month.
“It’s hard to report breakdowns because there it isn’t clear who or which office is responsible for repairs and management,” Jeon said.
According to An Yoon-jin, a Student Welfare Center staff member, the center does call manufacturers for repairs once they hear from students. In addition to technical and supply problems of the free cell phone chargers, students are negligent in retrieving their cell phones in a timely manner.
Han Kyu-young (Molecular and Life Sciences, 1) said that many students fail to return within 30 minutes of leaving their cell phones in chargers. Cell phone chargers work in 30 minute time blocks, with access permissible when the user inputs her own password. A problem occurs when students fail to return, thereby blocking others from using cell phone chargers which were intalled to make not the few but the overall students convenient.
“It may not happen on purpose but there is no way for others who have to use chargers urgently,” said an Ewha student who chose to remain anonymous.
It isn’t just students who are frustrated.
“We are aware that not everyone is thoughtful enough to retrieve their cell phones in time. We are operating ‘unmanned’ free chargers so we strongly urge students to be more considerate of others,” said a staff of the Student Welfare Center.