More identity card readers have been installed on Ewha campus amid rising concerns over security, as the school plans to install 400 more readers to establish an unmanned security system by 2021, according to university president Kim.
A total of 53 card readers have been installed so far, and the Student Government Organization (SGA) is working on the final steps to rearrange unnecessary installments and omissions. 11 of the readers were fitted in shower and locker rooms and 42 in student union rooms.
Starting from Nov. 14, gates 11 and 12 of Ewha Campus Complex(ECC) will also require an ID card to enter.
Students have frequently complained about outsiders entering restricted areas on campus, with
numerous student bodies denouncing the school’s loose control of visitor access. Recent cases on and off campus have heightened anxiety over safety on school grounds.
On August 27, a delivery man was booked without detention for intimidation after threatening
to “kill” two students with a box cutter inside Ewha Law Building. Following the incident, the school announced that all students are required to receive deliveries outside or at the entrances of each building.
On September 27, a man in his 50s illegally entered Ewha-POSCO Building and molested a student. According to Seodaemun Police Station, the trespasser was booked without detention for sexual harassment. After the incident, Office of General Administration(OGA) said that it would install more CCTV cameras in currently uncovered areas and will move chairs and tables from CCTV blind spots to more visible spaces.
Outside of school, netizens discovered a Twitter account of a man who photographed himself naked and committing sexual acts inside Dongduk Women’s University classrooms and several other public spaces. On October 15, police arrested the 28-year-old for trespassing and circulating obscene materials online. This was followed by an almost identical case a few days later at Gwangju Women’s University, and the intruder was arrested on the spot for indecent exposure.
Ewha’s student consultative group, the Central Operations Committee, met with school officials
and university president Kim Heisook on Oct. 11 to discuss ways of enhancing campus security, among other agendas.
The school accepted the committee’s proposal, and has set up identity card readers on shower
rooms, locker rooms and student council rooms.
“We hope to implement 400 more card readers around the school campus to establish a non-manned security system by 2021,” said President Kim at the meeting.
“Through the non-manned security system, we expect to tackle the problem of outsiders trespassing into vulnerable campus areas,” head of OGA said.
The SGA have officially welcomed these recent measures, while some students expressed wishes for stronger action.
“This may be a sign that school officials have realized the seriousness of this matter, which is good,” said a junior from Ewha’s College of Liberal Arts, who wished to remain anonymous. “But securing student council rooms isn’t going to comfort students who are asking for card readers at all building entrances.”
Many students also pointed out that the most severe security problems occur at ECC. The building has 12 entrances, and floors B1 to B3 are restricted for Ewha students and staff only. An ID card is needed at the building’s entrances 1 and 2 after 7 p.m. and on weekends. However, B4
is open to anyone through entrances 3 and 4.
“Unidentified visitors and tourists are entering restricted areas and taking photos of students,” said Jeong Ga-min, a freshman from the Department of French Literature & Language. “We need a stronger and customized security plan for a building like ECC.”
In addition to the measures agreed at October’s meeting, OGA also announced that more card readers will be installed at ECC. Starting from Nov. 14, all students and staff will need an actual ID card to enter Gate 11 and 12.
Other than card readers, the school has promised to install additional “No trespassing” signs on classrooms and restricted areas by next March. OGA also said that it would strengthen public relations with Ewha’s situation room, and make sure they act immediately upon student reports of security threats.