Complaints arose when the ECU’s request for the participation of the vice president of the OSA was declined. The general meeting for club members was planned for May 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in front of the OSA office on the second floor of the Student Union Building.
The purpose of the meeting was to fundamentally solve several problems students face while doing club activities such as lack of space and funding issues. As the ECU students had planned to hear an explanation about the disciplinary action against the president of the ECU, the participation of the vice president of the OSA was requested one week prior to the assembly.
“The vice president of the OSA has a significant amount of workload as there are six departments in the OSA,” said an official from the OSA. “The vice president already had a fixed appointment at the time of the meeting and could not adjust the schedule to match that of the students on such short notice.”
Demanding a responsible explanation from the OSA, members of the ECU waited for the vice president for almost 20 hours, from 12:40 p.m. on May 29 until 8:10 a.m. the next day.
“The attitude shown by the OSA could only be interpreted as ignoring students’ requests and attempt of communication,” said Hong Suk-young, the president of the ECU. “The OSA is an institute that should work for the interests of students, but it irresponsibly neglected our demands, for which we demand an apology and proper solutions for our requests.”
On May 30, 10:20 a.m., the members of the ECU visited the Main Hall joined by some members from the labor union in an attempt to deliver their list of demands to president Kim Sun-uk in person. People from the Office of General Administration and the OSA along with the security guards stood outside watching, with the guards blocking the students from entering the building. As President Kim was occupied with business reports, the OSA took the list of demands instead, promising a quick reply.
Later that day, the ECU received an official correspondence from the OSA. In the reply, the OSA first apologized for making the students wait, saying they were sorry for not being able to respond immediately for the students’ meeting request.
In addition to the apology, the OSA promised a proper second conference between the representatives of both the students and the school.
As for the disciplinary action against the president of the ECU, the OSA said it is not a definite disciplinary charge and would be willing to withdraw it if the president turned in a proper explanatory report.
However, for the ECU, this struggle is not over yet.
“Although the OSA apologized to us for the incident, this is not an ultimate solution,” Hong said. “We are hoping that the second conference will work out. The ECU will constantly work and try until all of the issues on hand including the requests of students are solved completely.”
On the other hand, the OSA wishes that the students would understand the position of the school.
“The officials of the school, especially high-ranked people such as vice presidents and the president, are extremely busy and cannot immediately meet the demands of spontaneous requests,” the official said. “Students should be considerate of these situations and take less drastic actions against the school. The OSA is always willing to communicate with students and be flexible about their circumstances.”