In recent months, the underlying problem of the offensive and inappropriate demeanor of foreign tourists and the school’s nonexistent countermeasures have aggravated the current situation, increasing student complaints. This issue was further scandalized by the outside media which brought the attention of many on the conflict.
After some prolongation, the school finally responded in practical ways to act toward a solution beginning from this semester.
The Ewha Campus Guards operated experimental patrol sessions around the ECC during weekdays in August. Fifteen student guards actively participated and monitored the ECC inside-out three times a day in teams of three or four. Whenever they spotted a foreign tourist displaying inappropriate behavior, the student guards warned them with a placard with instructions written in foreign languages. If any of the tourists’ behavior is out of the student guards’ range of control, they will immediately report the situation to the Safety Supervision Center.
The school also installed placards with “No entry: Please, no tourists beyond this point” signs on the main entrances of major buildings including the ECC, Student Union building, Main Hall, Ewha-POSCO building and Welch-Ryang Auditorium.
“After a number of ‘no entry’ signs were posted, foreign tourists who used to thread their way on campus noticeably decreased,” Gwon Ye-been (Social Sciences, 1) said. “But I think more specific measures should be taken other than this because yet a great number of students are expressing discomfort in the endless crowd of tourists swarming over campus buildings.”
Pertaining to student protection issues online, the Student Services Center is said to be in the process of exchanging diverse opinions with the Seodaemoon Police Agency.Pursuing a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Seodaemoon Police Agency will allow the Cyber Investigators to officially inspect tourist issues.
Some students, however, do not think such actions are adequate.
“It is good that the school is signing a MOU with the Seodaemoon Police Agency, but I feel such measures are only temporary,” Yang Ji (Economics, 4) said. “I think the bigger issue is that foreign tourists think of Ewha simply as a tourist resort, not a school.”
The school plans to strengthen and reinforce practical solutions toward the issue.
“The school has been taking big and small measures in dealing with this issue,” said Chung Soo-Hyun, an official from the Student Services Center. “On a larger scale, we have been consulting the Korea Tourism Organization, which recently held a Focus Group Interview with Ewha students. As such, the school will continuously strive to implement serious measures in the future.”