Won Jeon, (Freshman, Dept. of Architecture, Jukjeon campus) was getting ready to play the guitar on the sixth floor of Hyedang Hall, but his plans were halted as the guitar was damaged due to water leakage. Although the building’s security
officers have inspected the damaged area many times after that, water continues to leak from the ceiling. Has our university recognized the water leak? Ji-Yoon Geum (Freshman, Dept. of Chinese Language and Literature, Jukjeon campus) who lives in the dormitory has had some trouble using her smart phone because of 3G (Third Generation) network problems. One of her friends experiences a worse situation. He cannot use his smart phone in his room, so he is forced to hold the phone outside of the window to use it. Maybe he is not the only one who has this problem.
There are 14,722 students in Jukjeon campus and 12,873 students in Cheonan Campus for a total of 27,595 students enrolled at Dankook University (DKU). Most
students have some degree of dissatisfaction regarding the facilities and equipment established in our school. At the very least, the weakest of the aging facilities should be improved as soon as possible. The following is a story of the daily life of a student in Cheonan campus.
Student A (Junior, Dept. of Spanish, Cheonan campus) went to a classroom on the fifth floor of the College of Humanities for a lecture. The class began, and the professor started to write an explanation on the blackboard, but the blackboard was in such poor condition that it could not be written upon. The professor said, “It is just the beginning of the semester, but what is wrong with this board? Next time, we should move to another classroom,” as he smiled bitterly. In the next class, there was no problem with the blackboard, but the screen for the projector was not clear, so the students were not able to clearly see the contents on it. Student A was forced to squint to read the slides even though she was wearing glasses. After class her friend said, “Do not you think the mobile phone communications network of our school is bad? For years, only some network services have worked well, but others did not work well!” She was
grumbling. At the end of the day, Student A returned to her dormitory. She talked with her roommate about school facilities. Her roommate said, “You know, in my major class, there are so many experiments. So we use a variety of lab equipment. You don’t know half of the problems we are suffering through from lack of equipment. What is worse, the equipment we have in the lab does not even work properly.”
How about another recent case at Jukjeon Campus? Many students felt uncomfortable about the cooling system. Air conditioners are installed in all classrooms, but some of them work and others do not. Some students expressed that it is sometimes better to open up the windows and turn off the air conditioner as the temperature controls are problematic. Moreover, the school provides wireless Internet access via “Wi-Fi” and “DKU_1,” but the service works well in only some classrooms and not so well in others. Students have also felt bitterness toward the hygienic conditions of shower rooms, the gymnasium, water leaks at Hyedang Hall, drink vending machine problems, etc. Recently, ‘West Hall’ has opened this semester, but there was no information regarding this building’s opening on the homepage, nor were there any signs about this new building, especially pointing out where classrooms are. As a result, a lot of students were late for class or even marked absent in their first classes there. Indeed, there were many inconveniences as well at Jukjeon Campus. Overall, it seems that the most cited inconvenience in both campuses has been the network agency (3G) problem.
DKH : What do you think about the 3G access problem at the dormitory and around campus in general? And is there any solution?
Center for Information and Communication (CIC): We know dormitory students have some complaints about that, but it is out of our hands even when students complain to us. When students put forward this problem, we contact the network agency. The agency checks the problem, and they just make adjustments to some equipment, like installing antennas. Lately, we have added some supplemental facilities to solve this problem, but we know it is not enough. Therefore, students should report it to the network agencies directly and proactively, exerting their rights as consumers!
The CIC from Cheonan Campus provided a similar response: Service does not work well because too many smart phone users access the Internet at the same time, so the voice bandwidth decreases a lot. If the school had its own communication service and students used it, we would have the responsibility to improve the service. However, those of us who use mobile phone are mostly individual users. Students use their own devices and pay for service individually, so network agencies should upgrade their service, not the school.
When students contacted a network agency (SKT) about service complaints, the network agency responded, “We cannot install a repeater because the school has denied us permission.” Related to this, the CIC manager said, “We did not deny it blindly, but network agencies have tried to install repeaters that do not match the
school’s budget and plans. We said that the installation should be done according to the school’s plans. So we sent official documents to three companies (SKT, KT, LG) in the president’s name. All three companies have agreed to the terms of the
official documents (to be cooperative in extending communication networks by December 31).
DKH : Does DKU give consideration to controls for checking the regular inspection of school facilities?
Facilities Management: We carry out a monthly regular inspection to minimize discomforts experienced by students in school life (classroom lights, bathroom conditions and so on). We cannot frequently inspect larger facilities like elevators, lab equipment, fire safety equipment, etc. To do this, we conduct a ‘Special inspection’ annually.
Most students post suggestions on bulletin boards on the DKU website. However, there were no answers posted regarding their suggestions. Facilities Management at Cheonan campus said, “Even though there is a bulletin board dedicated to issues with facilities, most students post messages that have little or nothing to do with our job (the Internet is slow, blackboards are not in good condition, there is a lack of seats in the library, mobile phone service is worse than ever, etc.). Our tasks are divided into construction, landscape maintenance, building maintenance, building inspection and so on. In other words, we are in charge of a big part of the entire school’s maintenance efforts. Therefore, our scope of responsibility shows a wide distinction with students’ suggestions.” The manager continued by saying, to solve students’ dissatisfaction, we have created a “Repair Request Board (online service - administration - Repair Request Board). When students post suggestions on this board, we check the suggestions and take them into consideration.”
In conclusion, even though there are students’ requests on the bulletin board, the school does not give consideration to those requests because there is a specific division which is responsible for management of each type of issue. While it would be expected that in the case where all the requests are posted on the bulletin board for facilities, the complaints would be solved soon, this is clearly not happening. From the school’s point of view, students’ requests might be some ‘Trifles,’ but the school has to know that these ‘Trifles’ are very important to us. It is inevitable that students are more directly affected by school facilities than the faculty and staff. Indeed, the classroom environment is vital for those of us who attend lectures. Fortunately, nowadays, the school is making efforts to focus on students' opinions. However, we believe that these efforts need to develop into to longterm improvements.
Ka-Yeon Kim,Hyeuk-Ku Kim firstname.lastname@example.org