On May 18, Be Ewha, the school’s 47th SGA, held an official demonstration against the construction of the Pavilion. During the demonstration, Be Ewha posted protest banners in front of the building site, read the protest letter aloud, demanding for the suspension of the construction, and led a protest. The demonstration ended after delivering the protest letter to the president’s office along with the results of a student survey conducted by Be Ewha, which showed that 78.6 percent out of 1,709 respondents were against the construction. The survey continued until May 25, and the final results showed that 81.9 percent out of 2,020 respondents are against the construction of Pavilion. The protest letter and the student survey were meant to be given directly to the president, but due to the president’s absence, her secretary received them instead. An official reply from the president is yet to come.
The second demonstration took place on May 29 at 11 a.m. Be Ewha as well as other students against the construction gathered in front of the construction site. Students chanted slogans expressing their protest and went on to tear the bottom half of the tent covering the construction site. The latter action was intended to reveal the construction site to students.
Be Ewha also conducted a sticker-posting event during the Daedong Festival. Students wrote their opinions regarding the Pavilion on stickers and posted them on the tent covering the construction site. The event was carried out on the first and the last day of the festival.
In the beginning of the construction, the school explained that the purpose of the Pavilion is to provide a resting and socializing area for students. However, Be Ewha worries that the Pavilion will turn out to be just another tourist attraction.
“The situation concerning the uncontrolled influx of tourists on campus is problematic enough without building yet another tourist-friendly building,” Be Ewha said.
Be Ewha also argues that the school did not properly notify students of the construction, nor did they ask for students’ opinions beforehand.
“The school began the construction on the very day the announcement was posted in the Ewha Weekly, not allowing any time for students to digest the news and form opinions,” Be Ewha said.
Many students seem to share Be Ewha’s sentiment regarding the Pavilion. Some students also expressed strong support for Be Ewha and its demands.
“Many students are unhappy about the construction of the Pavilion, and Be Ewha is speaking on behalf of all of them,” said Choi Jun-jong, a freshman in the Division of Social Sciences.
Meanwhile, the school remains disconcerted by such strong and unexpected opposition.
“The SGA argues that the Pavilion will become a place for tourists, but the essence of the Pavilion is to be a place for students and faculty at the Main Gate, where there is no place to sit down currently,” said Lee Oe-sook, head of the Office of Financial Affairs. “We won’t block tourists or outsiders from going in, but they’re not our main concern. Regarding the accusation that we didn’t ask for students’ opinions, students must know that it wasn’t our intention to deliberately hold back any information.”
The conflict between the students and the school over construction of the Ewha Pavilion seems far from reaching an agreement. Demands for suspension of the construction are coming from the SGA and other students and show no sign of ceasing. So far, the school has held back on an official reply.
The Pavilion is due to be finished by the end of June.
저작권자 © Ewha Voice 무단전재 및 재배포 금지