Whenever exam period comes around, students have to deal with reserved, yet unoccupied seats, all around campus. A lot of students struggle to keep their seats at the library during exam period, but this is also a problem in the classroom. Many students line up in front of their classroom door, waiting for the prior lecture to finish, so they can secure their favorite seat by putting a book, a bag or even a sheet of paper on the desk. Not only do they save seats for themselves, but also most students do it for their friends too. As the seat availability issue is currently overheating, some greater problems are resulting.
The Dankook Herald (DKH) did a survey of Dankookians (students of Dankook University) and followed up by interviewing two student respondents. According to the data, 98% of respondents prefer the front seat and 83% said that they prefer front seat in order to see the screen well. Moreover, 70% of students admitted they saved seats in an unfair manner. This data shows that many students will suffer from the reserved seating plan as it results in an inconvenience for most students and conflicts with others.
Lee Sang-eun (Senior, Dept. of Chemical Engineering) said students lining up outside a classroom are a distraction for the students sitting in the class. “The noise from outside keeps students and professors from concentrating on the lecture. Moreover, some students save many seats at a time. So I cannot sit in the front, even if I arrive an hour early. What is worse, there are students who keep seats in advance, regardless of whether they have a class in the room at that time,” she stated. She also mentioned that the problem is particularly serious at the beginning of the semester so they made a rule to deal with it. They agreed to only keep seats by putting a bag or smart phone on the desk, instead of notes and paper. They also agree to occupy one seat per one person.
“I want to sit in front in order to communicate with professors and to concentrate on his or her lecture. I think making one student take up only one seat will be helpful in addressing this problem. I can’t understand this unreasonable behavior. Many students want to achieve good scores and make an effort to do so, including me. However, these selfish students need to consider others more,” she added.
The DKH interviewed another student, Lee Hee-ju (junior, Dept. of Public Administration). “Sometimes I have to take a large class, in which there are 80 to 90 students. If I fail to secure a good seat, I am forced to sit in the back of the room, where I can’t hear clearly,” she said. Miss Lee also has large lectures and experiences the same inconveniences.
|▲ The seats are reserved by books.|
Meanwhile, the DKH wanted to know whether the student council understood this situation. The DKH interviewed Hwang Da-Hyo (Vice President, College of Education), to see if she was aware of the problem, and what solution she might suggest. She said “I know that many students want to secure a good seat before the lecture begins, especially in the case of a major lecture. I think, students sitting in the front make an effort to study hard. However, saving seats for another person is unfair.”
She mentioned two solutions. “First we could give the professor control over seating. However, this can’t be applied by force. The consideration of students is most important. My second suggestion is to assign a reserved seat on the first day of class. This makes students react more reasonably. Actually, I always apply these two solutions in my class, and they work well. However, I cannot be sure if they are being done in other classes,” she explained.
As a result of a passion for studying, many students want to secure a good seat and they struggle to keep it in the class. Sitting in a front seat helps students learn better, so it is somewhat desirable for them. However, students should consider one thing. Studying hard is important, but is it really important enough to obstruct others from doing the same? While you and your friend concentrate on the lecture, ‘some people’ may have to make a fierce effort to hear the professors’ voice or to see the screen due to your unreasonable actions. Moreover, you may also be the one in the bad seat someday.
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