Conflict over student activity fees between students and student council
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Conflict over student activity fees between students and student council
  • 김아현 기자
  • 승인 2008.09.27 17:54
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      Every semester, students contemplate whether or not to pay their student activity fees. The basic activity fee, paid to the student council, is 7,000 won per each semester. But, in addition to this fee, the student council in every college collects an additional fee ranging from 30,000 to 130,000 won. Many students simply refuse to pay them. But student councils worry that, without student activity fees, they cannot raise enough money to hold events at the school festival.
      According to the Ewha Voice survey of 158 students, 88 (about 55.7 percentage) paid student activity fee to their college when they were freshmen, while 70 (44.3 percent) did not. Most students said they paid their student activity fee because the president of the student council in their college insisted that they pay. Some students also said that they paid the fee because they wanted to support the events held by their colleges. Most of students who did not pay the fee responded that they did not want to pay the fee because they usually do not participate in college’s events. Some students also said they did not pay because they did not know how the student council was going to use the funds. “I did not pay the student activity fee because I did not know where my money is going to be used,” said one Korean Literature major who wishes to remain anonymous.
      Some students (18 out of 88) also claimed that the fee is too high for students to pay. “At the time when I was asked to pay the student activity fees, I was a freshman from a different city trying to get used to life in Seoul. So, I did not have enough money for another fee in addition to textbooks and housing fees,” said one sophomore Sociology major.
      However, the student council president of the colleges stated that they felt hardships when holding events. “When the College festival is just around the corner, I get concerned a lot because of financial need. To raise funds, we sometimes sell ddukkochi (skewered rice cakes) to raise funds but it is not really helpful,” said Park Kyung-hwa (Public Administration, 3), the president of student council of the College of Social Sciences. “I think low participation rate makes events held by student councils less interesting. As a result, students are not willing to pay the student activity fee. It is a vicious cycle,” said Park.
      The student council cannot force students to pay the student activity fee. Instead, they must persuade students to do so. “We try to advertise the student activity fee as much as possible. We usually put a notice on the Cyworld club made for our college and also tell about how we use the student activity fees during freshmen orientation,” said Yang Na-rae (Law, 3), the president of student council of the College of Law. “We raised the amount of student activity fees from 40,000 won to 60,000 won because of financial problems. But students who pay the student activity fee get advantages over other students. We gave them a 5,000 won discount when we went on a Membership Training,” said Yang.
      “I don’t think forcing students to pay the student activity fees is a good idea. I want students in the School of Music to pay the student activity fees voluntarily,” said Kim Min-kyoung (Composition, 4), the president of student council of the School of Music. “But because our 128,000 won of student activity fee is high enough for students to be concerned, we made a brochure that thoroughly accounts for the use of the fee and sent it to the students’ houses. Thanks to the effort, we were able to raise a lot of student activity fees,” said Kim.
     According to the Ewha Voice survey, most students said that the student council in each college should thoroughly notify them about the way their money is used. “Before the student council asks students to pay the student activity fees, they should tell us where the money is going to be used. Also, if there are more advertisements about events held by a college student council, students will know about the student council’s effort and will participate more in the events,” said Oh Hyun-kyo (Korean Literature, 2).


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