University freshmen orientatio​n generates safety issues on campus
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University freshmen orientatio​n generates safety issues on campus
  • Chung Che-yoon
  • 승인 2014.03.16 12:23
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Tragic accident regarding BUFS's freshmen orientation warned other universities to focus more attention on the safety of the participants. Illustration by Jeong Hyun-joo.
Following the recent freshmen orientation crisis in Busan University of Foreign Studies (BUFS), other universities recognized the need to place more importance on safety in their orientations for freshmen.
 
The incident of BUFS took place on Feb. 17 in Mauna Ocean Resort located in Gyeongju. During the orientation, the ceiling of the building collapsed due to the heavy snowfall which caused 10 students’ death and 31 students’ injuries. 
As the accident occurred in late February, when most universities had been planning on their freshmen orientation, worrisome voices have been raised. 
 
In response to the issue, universities and the Student Government Association (SGA) have collaborated to minimize the  potential damage. 
 
Some universities even decided to cancel their freshmen orientation. Konkuk University, Dongduk Women’s University and Soongsil University have retracted their prearranged outdoor occasion and preceded the orientation inside the campus instead.
 
“The SGA received numerous phone calls from parents and students, mostly worrying about the safety of the freshmen orientation,” said one of the members of Yes Dongduk, the 47th SGA of Dongduk Women’s University who wishes to remain anonymous. “Weather warnings had also been issued due to the heavy snow. After going through long discussion with the school, the SGA finally decided to cancel the event.” 
 
As most freshmen orientations take place far away from the Seoul district and those provinces such as Gangwon-do are vulnerable to natural disasters. 
 
Therefore, the school authorities and the SGA have cooperated to guarantee the safety of students during the orietation. For example, Chung-Ang University has postponed their freshmen orientation and posted the notification regarding the issue on their official SGA Facebook page on March 7. 
 
According to the notice, Master Key, the 56th SGA of Chung-Ang University, explained the reason of the delay and declared the future plan of the orientation. 
 
“Numerous safety issues have been raised by the media concerning freshmen orientation due to the tragic accident of BUFS,” said Kang Dong-han (Chung-Ang University, 4), the president of Master Key. “Even though the SGA reviewed all aspects in advance, the school authority proposed to minimize or postpone the orientation. The SGA accepted the offer to assure the participants and make the event 100 percent safe.” 
 
The universities who did not cancel or postpone the orientation adopted their own safety regulations such as staying alcohol-free or having a student guard. 
 
Sungshin Women’s University did not bring any alcohol during their freshmen orientations for safety reason. 
The students also appreciated the school and the SGA’s effort to guarantee their security. 
 
“At first, I was a bit surprised  about the fact that orientation would be alcohol-free,” Cho Yoon-ju (Sungshin Women’s University, 1) said. “However, it is totally understandable that the school and the SGA are paying full attention to our safety. My parents and I were all relieved after I returned from the orientation with no harm.” 
 
In the case of Ewha, it is one of the universities that did not change the original schedule of freshmen orientations. No safety accidents happened during the event.
 
Synergy Ewha, the 46th SGA, also delivered their opinion on the issue through the official Facebook page. 
 
“The government proposed to ban the orientation run by the SGA solely as a solution to the problem regarding the accident,” said Seong Hee-yeon (Geography Education, 4), the president of Synergy Ewha. “Lessening the impact of student organization on such event will not prevent future incidents from occurring. Instead, the school authority and the SGA should collaborate to create a safer environment for students.”

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