Some 78 percent of Ewha dormitory residents are dissatisfied with their room allocations, claiming that the school has c o n s i d e r e d t h e i r l i f e s t y l e preferences “a little” at best, according to a survey by Ewha Voice. Ewha dorm residents have been complaining that the school has not honored their preferred living arrangements ever since the dorms opened. A post on Ewha’s online platform, Everytime, asked: “Why did the school make us mark our preferences on our dormitory application forms if they wouldn’t consider it?”
S t u d e n t s a p p l y i n g t o s t a y in Ewha’s three dormitories – E-house, I-house and Hanwoori House – are required to fill out an application form detailing their preferences on various issues that could cause conflict with roommates such as sensitivity to noise, tolerance of phone calls, hygiene levels, whether they sleep early or late and religion. Reflecting such preferences in assigning rooms is important to prevent arguments between residents in shared dorms.
H o w e v e r, a c c o r d i n g t o a survey of 112 dormitory residents conducted by Ewha Voice on whether their preferences stated in their applications were reflected in their assigned dorm rooms, 51 respondents did not think that their applications had been considered and a further 37 students said that their applications had been “little considered”.
“My roommates and I think that our applications were not considered at all,” said Lee Soomin, a freshman English student who lives in E-house. “Since it is hard to accommodate all of the students’ preferences, I think the school just assigns rooms at random.”
“It is also hard for students to follow what they wrote on their application as preferences. For example, even if a student wrote that they prefer low levels of phone calls in dorms, when she gets close with her roommates, she might make loud phone calls herself,” Lee further commented. “Marking preferences on application seems to be a mere formality.” Many students have complained on Everytime that visitors are gaining access to areas around Ewha Residence late at night. Students have voiced their discomfort and concern regarding the safety of dormitory with some visitors overstepping the rules on when they should vacate the campus.
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Complaints over visitors’ access to Ewha Residence
Each of Ewha’s student residences has a designated visitor’s area and visitor access is prohibited after 10 p.m. in all three buildings. However, some students claim that non-residents remain in the building after the designated time. “The dormitory is a place where students reside and relax,” said Jo Nahyeon, a freshman who lives in Ewha dorms. “If there are outsiders in the building while we are only wearing pajamas and making ourselves at home, it creates a feeling of discomfort. Apart from allowing friends in after 10 p.m., bringing boyfriends near dormitory buildings is also a problem. Students can be seen in their dorms through windows.”
Jo noted that dorm residents were particularly wary of visitors following recent suspicions that intruders had hidden cameras in restrooms on Ewha campus and uploaded the videos online. “Frequent visitor access can lead students to see the problem as trivial, but regarding the recent hidden camera issue, it is also related with our safety,” said Jo.
Students have said that having other students’ boyfriends around their private place of residence is disturbing. Some benches near E-House directly face the windows of one of the dorms, prompting students to complain that people sitting on the benches can see into the dorms.
Ewha Residence is a place for its residents, although some places are opened to visitors for limited periods. Students claim that in a place where many people live together, abiding by the rules is important, not only for comfort but also for safety in the dorm.