The recent introduction and adoption of an unmanned security system is steadily replacing on-campus security guards. Contrary to the existing security system, the new unmanned system works using high-tech devices. The central control center monitors situations on campus through installed CCTVs and sensing devices. If any problem or accident is detected, the staff moves to the spot immediately.
Such a system is devised to reduce the cost of maintaining security on campus and provide a more efficient security service. Many universities including Seoul National University, Sookmyung Women’s University, and Seoul Women’s University have adopted this new system. However, some concern exists about the decrease in the number of security guards on campus due to the introduction of this new system.
On April 1, Seoul National University began to operate an unmanned security system on 25 buildings, including the buildings of the College of Humanities, College of Natural Sciences, and College of Education. Previously, one guard was responsible for patrolling three to four buildings. With the school adopting the new technological system, there will be no new guard recruits, and the school will wait until the number of the guards naturally declines through regular retirement. The guards of the buildings that have adopted the new system will be repositioned to other buildings.
Meanwhile, Sookmyung Women’s University has experienced tensions with the security guards and the students since adopting the new security system in March, 2016. When the school announced that it would dismiss 15 security guards with the adoption of the unmanned security system, students protested the decision. About 4,500 students participated in a campaign against the dismissal. The campaign spread through social network services, especially through a Facebook page titled “Dae-namoo soop [Dae-Namoo Soop].” Students communicated through this page and worked together, and eventually prevented the dismissal.
Ewha has also adopted an unmanned security system and is planning to expand it. The system is currently in operation at places such as the ECC, where students use their ID cards to enter the building. The reactions and thoughts of Ewha’s students vary.
“I have never heard of this new security system, but I do think it is useful for the school and students,” said one English major student. “It will definitely help reduce the personnel expenditure.”
“Although I’d never heard of the system, I don’t want to see it on campus ,” commented another student. “I don’t think the system is reliable yet, and there will surely be problems related to the reduction of jobs. Also, I feel more comfortable when security guards are on the campus.”