Ewha has definitely changed. Wait. No, actually, let's make that into a present progressive: it's in the state of change. It has been in the transforming phase ever since the Globalization project began. According to a professor at Ewha, "Ewha has been under construction ever since I first came here. They're always building something." It's true: first the Ewhakyo (Ewha bridge), then the foundation work for the Underground Campus project, then the renovation of the Ewha Museum and so the list goes on. Some may look at this as a sign of development: a significant step embarking to be a global university, both in insight and foresight. However, as a student who is attending the university at this moment, I would like to ask Ewha to take a step back from its globalization fervor and reflect on the most basic yet the most crucial issue. Has the well-being of Ewha students improved over the years? Are the students, not the prospective students, not the alumnus, not the exchange students, but the students attending the university right now: are their needs and wants satisfactorily met from the series of ambitious changes initiated by the university?
Take a look at the construction that's taking place right now. Many students begin their morning stuck in a mob underground to take the notorious Ewha subway escalator. Next they are bombarded with the ajummas from hair salons, but this time, even the streets are not cooperating. The two side streets from the subway station to the university have been stripped bare since summer 2005 and covered with thin carpets soaked with mud and putrid unspecified substances. The battle to attend Ewha has only just begun: after they successfully arrive to the front gate, what students see is not a beautiful campus but complete barricades made of white and green windpanes.
While it is good to build new buildings or new underground campuses for the long term vision of our school: perhaps it's time that Ewha looks within herself. How will agitated, tired and frustrated students be happy or even inspired to become the global leaders that Ewha so eagerly seeks to cultivate? What makes a university is not reliant on how fancy or large their campus is: it's the quality of the curriculum that matters, it's the well-being of the students that matters; it's about the students, not about the number of facilities.
Are we so caught up in the process of sugar coating the exterior that we forget what makes Ewha truly worthwhile and legendary? It is the students of the past and of today who are in charge of building a stronger foundation for Ewha to launch from.
Remember, the frosting is worthless without the cake.
by Koo Mee-hyoe (International Studies, 2)