An anonymous posting on the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Cyworld Web site in mid-September said the site is hard to find because there are no direct links from Ewha’s official homepage. Cyworld is a Korean social networking site.
An SGA member replied, promising to notify the Web site’s address in eye-catching size on future posters and post more links on the sites often used by Ewha students.
While this course of action may alleviate the problem of a lack of awareness of the SGA site, it misses the core reason the SGA has to advertise its Web site in the first place. Ewha is one of the few universities among neighboring schools that lack an official Web site for its SGA.
Ryu Ea-seul (Political Science, 4), the current president of the SGA, explained that this absence is in part due to the school’s administration.
“The SGA is operating a Cyworld site because the school did not provide an official homepage to work with. As far as I know, the use of an official homepage has never been discussed between the past SGAs and the school.”
The student who posted the above complaint is not alone in finding it hard to access the SGA Web site.
The address to the Cyworld Web site is not officially listed anywhere, and some students are not even aware of its existence.
“Even though I already knew the SGA did not have an official homepage established, I did not know they had a site in Cyworld,” Oh Hwi-gyeong (Liberal Arts, 1) said.
The missing homepage also makes it harder for students to communicate with and access notifications from the SGA.
The current SGA Cyworld Web site has only 1,106 members out of a total of 19,000 Ewha students. The SGA now advertises plans and activities using posters at various places around campus. Students complain that only when they go by places where notices are put up can they be informed of the SGA’s actions.
“I noticed that some SGA announcements are posted only in places like the Main Gate and the Ewha Centennial Library,” Park Eun-jung (Liberal Arts, 1) said.
“So students who either come to school through the Back Gate or do not go to the library often inevitably miss out on the SGA news.”
This situation differs significantly from other universities, whose official homepages all offer a direct link to the SGA Web site. Students at other schools whose access to the SGA Web site is readily available, say that such convenience plays a key part in keeping them connected to the SGA.
“I can access the SGA Web site anytime I want easily, and that helps me keep up with what the SGA is doing,” Yang Bo-ram (Sungkyunkwan University, 1) said.
This problem does not affect Ewha Graduate School’s SGA, as it has own homepage. In reply to an inquiry about why the undergraduate SGA doesn’t have a site, an employee in charge of the school homepage at the Office of Advertising and Public Relations explained that those matters are irrelevant to the school administrations’ responsibilities.
“It is up to the SGA to come up with its own homepage, not the school,” she explained.
Despite some inconveniences, Ryu pointed out the benefits of using a Cyworld site.
“The Student Councils of all the other colleges within Ewha use sites from Cyworld, so it is easy for us to connect the SGA Web site with other Student Council Cyworld Web sites. In addition, allowing students to easily post replies to our notifications seems a good way to encourage interaction between the SGA and the Ewha students,” Ryu said.