Many people expect Ewha Womans University to be comprised of only female students and faculty. To the dismay of many, however, it is not uncommon to see male professors, male workers and even male students at Ewha. In this issue, the Ewha Voice takes a look at the chronology of males on Ewha’s campus.
Easing of restrictions prohibiting males at Ewha
In the past, it was easy to find male students, perhaps an admirer of a student or someone waiting for his girlfriend, outside of the Ewha main gate. During the 1980’s when male students were not allowed to enter Ewha campus, it was not a rare scene.
Until the 1980’s, men who wanted to enter Ewha campus had to go through a complicated process. They were required to show their identification, record their address and purpose of visit, and attach an access permit on their clothing in order to visit campus. All men except students of Ewha middle school and male faculty of Ewha were officially off limits to Ewha’s campus.
Once a year, during the school festival, male students were allowed to enter Ewha campus with a ticket to the “couple dance party.” Ewha students could bring a male partner to school to the party to participate in games, a campfire and folk dance events.
In the early 1990’s, Ewha eased the regulations to adjust to the liberal social atmosphere of the time, according to the Office of General Affairs.
The easing of restrictions that prohibited males on campus began with the opening of the school field to the public.
“During the 1980’s when there were many student movements, there were efforts to reform the exclusive characteristic of a women’s university,” said emeritus professor Choi Young (English), who graduated Ewha in 1967.
Many incremental changes have been made since then. For example, in 1994, a credit exchange agreement with other universities was signed; students, regardless of gender, were allowed to come to Ewha and take courses.
And twenty years later, Ewha has gone so far as eliminating the rule that men could not serve as the president of the university; previously, that position was limited to female graduates of Ewha, but now male candidates may be nominated.
Despite the relaxed regulations regarding male’s entrance to Ewha, the school still restricts visitor access after 10 p.m. due to safety concerns.
Regardless of the safety issues, professors and students alike seem to have positive attitudes regarding the presence of men in Ewha.
They are especially positive about the increased number of male faculty and male exchange students in Ewha.
“I do not believe the difference of gender matters at all. Having male students in class is positive in that we have an opportunity to hear diverse opinions of a bigger range,” professor Lee Ok-joo (Chinese) said.