|▲ Dankookians' locker in Business and Economics Hall.|
Dankookians (Students of Dankook University) pay their registration and student union fees each semester. The money is used to help make the lives of Dankookians more convenient, as well as cover operating expenses. In other words, Dankook University (DKU) takes responsibility for providing for student welfare by collecting these fees. However, some students are being asked to pay out more, for the use of on campus lockers. Lockers are provided by the university for the convenience of students, however each college takes responsibility for the management of the lockers in their own buildings. There are no campus wide rules governing the use of lockers, so each college administers them in accordance with their own policies and preferences. As a result, some colleges require students to pay a small usage fee. The Dankook Herald (DKH) investigated the college requirements for locker use in order to see just how different the rules are between faculties.
Dankookians don’t know how other colleges manage lockers, they simply do as they are told by their own faculty. Therefore, the DKH surveyed each major and department at both the Cheonan and Jukjeon campuses and we found that most have different administration methods and costs associated with locker use. In Cheonan, the Department of Foreign Languages charges students 5.000 won per semester for the service. On the other hand, the College of Medicine does not collect anything for the service. Some other colleges required a deposit that is returned at the end of the semester.
At the Jukjeon Campus, the Department of Philosophy, Department of Business Administration, the College of Education, and the College of Music didn’t collect fees for the service, but the College of Engineering required 5,000 won per year. The College of Architecture only requires a fee from students who have not paid their student fees. The DKH asked each department or college the reason behind the fees for lockers. Most replied they used the money to buy their equipment for their department or spend it on sponsored events such as membership training.
The DKH wanteds to know whether the locker fees awere inspected by the audit committees at in DKU. We interviewed the audit committee Baek-ui at the in Cheonan campus. We were told that many departments were not logging their locker fees in their account books and the only records of the cash collected was from bank account deposits. We also learned that the responsibility of managing the lockers is unclear. Some departments manage them by themselves while others are managed by the department office. For this reason, the committee said, it is hard to administer each account expense at the Cheonan campus. However, the Jukjeon campus revised their regulations this semester and now every department and college has to inform their audit committee Cider about the use of their fees.
The DKH also interviewed the Student Affairs Team about locker management. They admitted, “We don’t supervise every locker. We buy some lockers, but most were purchased by their own college. We repair the DKU lockers if they have problems or are broken, however, if the students buy the lockers themselves, they should fix it. We are not responsible for their lockers.” They also have no idea how the locker fees are managed as they do not collect for them.
So far we learned that every departments and college has responsibility for their own lockers. Therefore, the DKH interviewed the student departmental representative implementing the policy to pay or not to pay.
Park Jin-ho (Senior, a student representative of English), has been collecting locker fees a few years. They charge 5,000 won for a locker. They have only 80 available, so not everyone can get one. Therefore, paying locker fee is the only one way to solve this problem. We were told that each student council of the departments or majors who collect fees, use that money to buy or repair the lockers. They also use these funds for membership training and other events. They open their account book to the general assembly at the end of the semester and students are welcome to check out where the money was spent.
In contrast, Kim Hyoung-seok (Junior, the student representative of Business Administration) said the Department of Business Administration doesn’t collect money for locker use. They have many Dankookians in their college and the student council cannot administer every locker being used. Also, Kim believes students do not abuse their locker privileges and they clearly feel a sense of responsibility for using it. Students apply for lockers and can get one immediately for free. If students apply in the first semester, they get priority for the second semester, too.
In the case of the College of Humanities, the student council also does not collect money for lockers. The DKH interviewed Kim Ha-young (Sophomore, major of history) Student Council Representative who said students in their major can apply for a locker and they get one on a first come, first served basis. They have only 48 lockers available, so only the first in students qualify. However, according to a student representative in one major of the College of Humanities, locker fees are a kind of deposit. It is an agreement for using the locker, keeping it clean and intact. They use the money collected to buy cleaning supplies and hire a cleaning service. The rest of the money comes from student union fees.
As you can see, several majors and departments have an open accounting record of the locker fees collected and most expenses involved the repair of lockers or school events. But some departments don’t keep open records of these fees and some departments and colleges rejected the DKH interview request or didn’t answer at all. Locker are offered by the school for the convenience of students. Some people feel that ‘5,000 won’ is too little a fee to worry about it, so they don’t, however we should keep in mind that little drops of water make the mighty ocean. Students have a right to know how they use the money and each department should be required to make its use more transparent.
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