Despite its positive role in breaking the ice between the freshmen and seniors, the decadent MT culture has become one of the major social issues. Tremendous amount of food waste is disposed during the MT, causing environmental problems. Monotonous and meaningless programs of MT also brought social criticisms.
“Normally, we just have drinks and do some games during the MT. I was so disappointed when I realized all I did during the first trip in college was to drink and throw up,” said Kim Jung-eun (Economics, 3).
To improve current MT culture and settle desirable MT programs, alternative MT appeared, getting ardent responses from students who seek for some changes in the conventional MT.
Roots and Shoots, which is a student club of Ewha that pursues for the eco-friendly society, went “Eco-MT” in December 2010. Instead of following the typical MT programs, it introduced the new and environmental program to make the MT more meaningful and eco-friendly.
“Many students dispose a lot of waste during the MT, which harms the environment badly. So we tried to buy only the needed amount of food when shopping and tried to avoid using disposable products,” said Lee Jung-hyun (Life Science , 4), the head student of Roots and Shoots.
After having the dinner prepared with the organic vegetables that they cultivated on their own, the members also shared time to discuss current environmental issues.
While Roots and Shoots introduced eco-friendly MT programs, some universities focused on ways to share meaningful time with underprivileged people outside the campus.
Special Physical Education Department of Baekseok University has been taking MT with physically challenged children since 2004. Since then, the MT has been providing a great opportunity for students to practice what they learned in class as theory in the real world.
This year, 105 students in the department and 31 disabled children participated in the MT, and have done various activities, including wheel chair relay and pair soccer game.
“I feel very lucky to have this special trip in my university life. Especially, the time I spent with disabled children was very precious. I was touched to see positive character of those children and decided to be a good teacher for those after graduation,” said Seo Sun-kyou (Baekseok University, 2) who participated in the MT.
Department of Visual Design in Keimyung University also took a special MT in April 2010. Instead of a typical overnight trip, it held “Sharing field day” with children from community welfare center. After the field day, students made an album with the pictures of children taken during the day.
“I felt great to help those children with things I have learned. Now that I know my knowledge in visual design can be used for good reasons, I will volunteer for many other programs from now on,” Jung Tak-jin (Keimyung University, 2), a participant of the event, said.
As people’s interest in alternative MT is increasing, voice of Ewha students who wish to participate in meaningful and memorable MT has been raised as well.
“I heard about some meaningful and enjoyable alternative MTs and I thought I should suggest it to my friends. I hope I would be able to welcome the freshmen in a more meaningful way this year,” Kim A-young (Economics, 3), a member of the economics academy of Ewha, said.