Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul has ramped up its security after a male intruder recorded himself naked and masturbated in the school’s empty classrooms and hallways on Oct. 6. He posted the videos on Twitter and it has been discovered that it was not the first time that he had taken such actions.
The following week, the police arrested the suspect following an investigation into the incident. Dongduk students campaigned under the slogan: “We want a safe Dongduk Women’s University” on Oct. 13. The students called for stronger controls on campus access, enhanced security measures and greater transparency on the hiring process for campus security guards. On Oct 15, a public petition was posted on the Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) website, which received more than 88,400 signatures in less than one month. Dongduk students also marched around the school and held candlelight rallies for four days.
Dongduk has taken measures to avoid copycat crimes and ensure the safety of the school. On Oct. 29, the school posted a sign at its front gate informing that outsiders (including food delivery couriers) are banned from entering the campus without security clearance. Visitors must now pass security guards to get on campus, and the restriction has been newly extended to taxis and delivery motorcycles. Starting from November, those wishing to enter school buildings must use an entrance pass.
Dongduk students have said that they are satisfied with the school’s actions, and students of other women’s universities are calling for similar measures at their schools amid growing fears over frequent crimes that are often targeted to women. However, some online comments on articles denounced the university’s security measures as “stupid” and an overreaction, even amid increasing fear of outsiders on women’s university campuses.
“I don’t understand why some people are upset with the measure – they don’t have a just reason to enter the school anyway without getting approval from security,” an anonymous female student from Inha University commented on the article.
Another student named Lee Jang-hyeun, who did not name his university, refuted the negative comments and supported Dongduk, saying: “I think it is justifiable that Dongduk took such actions and it does not seem so extreme. They are just strengthening their vulnerable security starting from this point.”
Along with stronger controls of entrance to the school since the incident, Dongduk has changed its security provider from C&S Corporation and ADT Caps to KT Telecop (KT), which the school believed to have the best technology for the campus environment. The school has also increased its oncampus CCTVs from 100 to 300. The new KT security provider has installed Artificial Intelligence cameras that detect and trace potentially suspicious actions.