When you returned to Dankook University (DKU) this semester, did you notice any changes? New facilities for food and others designed improve student welfare opened at both the Jukjeon Campus and Cheonan Campuses. At the Jukjeon Campus, a KT mobile agency opened in the International Hall. At the Cheonan Campus, a variety of new snack bars and restaurants opened and existing welfare facilities were remolded.
|▲ Students in cafeteria enjoying new store in the Cheonan campus.|
At the Cheonan Campus, new restaurants such as Mr. Pizza, Bobby Box, Popeyes,
Ediya Coffee, Quiznos, Addal, and Kimbabnara, were added to the Student Union building. A number of existing campus stores changed to CU franchise convenient stores. Dankookians at the Cheonan Campus had complained how the previous facilities on campus were unsatisfactory for them. DKU undertook a survey researching student preferences. The survey was taken last Nov. and 949 out of 12,620 Dankookians at the Cheonan Campus participated. However, student recommendations were not necessarily reflected in the recent changes.
The Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed The General Affairs and Procurement Team about the process. They told us that bidding for the new facilities in the Student Union building was a competitive process. Shops and stores that were not included on the survey sheet or that were perhaps preferred by students could have made it through the bidding process by offering up the highest bid. However, they did not and as a result students do not have access to their preferred shops and stores. Despite the fact that DKU didn’t favor facilities preferred by students, they did make some improvements which benefit Dankookians who work for the facilities.
First, DKU made it a condition that store managers must hire Dankookians as a priority. Second, DKU also received a promise from the convenient store operator that those, who work for them for over 6 months and wish to join affiliates of the CU mart, will receive a free pass on resume evaluating.
DKU also came up with some benefits for Dankookians who do not work for them. DKU requested special discount offers on some of the merchandises and they requested they open a store in every college building. “Workers at the new facilities are mostly Dankookians and could be your friends, so we should be nice to them and relieve their work burden by properly disposing of waste,” Kim Jae-pil (Team leader, The General Affairs and Procurement Team) said.
|▲ KT agency in the Jukjeon Campus.|
The opening of the KT agency at the Jukjeon Campus was a controversial issue. At first, DKU announced that KT would be built in Leegongchil (LGC) a meeting and resting place in Hyedang Hall. However, after much student discontent, DKU changed their decision, opening the KT agency instead in the International Hall.
DKH interviewed Joe Chan-hong (General Affairs and Purchasing Team). First, DKH asked why KT opened in the International Hall. “LGC had already undertaken a contract with Shinsegae Food and the Student Council opposed the proposed location decision, so we accepted their opinion,” he said.
“KT, however, submitted a business proposal to us. If we accepted the proposal, we would have use of free Wi-Fi at DKU. KT also endowed us with a scholarship according to the proposal. Although the law restricts phone subsidies, the scholarship help students save money. Therefore we wanted to find a way to accept the proposition because it benefited our students,” he explained.
DKH asked if there was any kind of a discussion between DKU and the Student
Council on the proposal. “When we explained the proposition, the Student Council did not oppose our opinion. After the location was agreed upon, they complained. They mainly questioned the site and not the proposal. Moreover, we contracted KT just for three months. We will re-examine the proposal during that period,” Joe Chan-hong said as he answered the question.
DKH, however, heard a different version of events from the Student Council. DKH interviewed Moon Jong-hyeon (President, The Student Council). First, DKH asked if there was any discussion with regards to the opening of the KT. “I never heard any mention of it. When I went to LGC, I found the room under construction. I asked why it was under construction to General Affairs and Purchasing Team. The deputy of the team said the KT shop was being opened there,” he regretfully said. This is when the Student Council took action against the planned opening.
DKH also inquired about his opinions regarding the advantages such as free Wi-Fi or scholarship which are caused by launching the new KT agency. “Free Wi-Fi is provided only when 1000 students sign a contract with KT at the agency on campus and the scholarship is only offered to students who buy cell phone at that KT store. I think these advantages are very limited. They are not useful. I am not sure whether the school authority is actually interested in student benefits or not,” he explained.
Finally, although they were successful in moving the KT location, DKH asked if
there was any possibility that LGC remain an autonomous space for students. “There has been a tacit agreement that it is an autonomous space for students between the school authority and us. The contract which Shinsegae Food has made with the school in regards to LGC will expire next year. Then the council will strongly demand that LGC remain an autonomous space for students,” he adamantly said.
Too many stores have opened up on the Cheonan Campus. It has caused some dissatisfaction with students. However, at least there was a survey conducted before constructing the facilities. The Jukjeon Campus didn't even try to conduct a survey. The school authority should inquire about the opinions of students when new stores are planned for campus next time. It needs to remember the university, is a space for students.
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