Easier and Faster Way to Donate
Station 208 and Choi Gyu-seon (Economics and Finance, 3rd yr)
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Hanyang University (HYU) students recently installed what is called ‘Detris’ under the HYU metro station. From September 20th to October 20th, Detris will operate to collect donations for Korea Food for the Hungry International (KFHI). It is a machine developed by an HYU student, Choi Gyu-seon (Ecnomics and Finance, 3rd yr), and six other students from his start-up company called ‘Station 208’. Mainly targeted at HYU students, it allows people to donate 300 won every time they touch the machine with their deferred-payment T-money cards. T-money is originally a payment method to use Korea's public transportation. Station 208 collaborated with the HYU Volunteer Corps, the LINC Foundation, and the University-Industry Cooperation Center to bring Detris into physical form.
The idea for Detris originated from an assignment of a lecture called ‘Social Entrepreneurship’. The assignment was to develop a social enterprise. Choi and six other members first met one another then to form a team that became today's Station 208. The name Detris is a compound word- 'de' from daehak, (meaning 'university') and tetris. “The concept of Detris derived from the common saying that individual drops can fill an entire ocean. We thought a small amount of money gathered would help those who are in need of it,” said Choi. “I always thought donating was something people can easily do if there is a simple and accessible method. Detris, therefore, was designed to be easily approached and used.” Another feature of Detris is that it offers a kind of treat for people who donate. “It displays probes or sayings to people who donated, but we are working with a game company to implement a game inside the machine to let people enjoy donating more,” said Choi.
Currently, approximately 150 to 200 people a day stand in front of Detris to donate. Choi stated that feedback from users will have to be reflected to further promote Detris, even after when their first project ends on October 20th. “There was both positive and negative feedback from people. We are thankful for the people who left positive remarks, but we also are trying to improve Detris further based on various different comments, too,” said Choi. One of the most frequently asked questions from students and faculty members is why pre-paid traffic card cannot be used to donate money, which is due to technical issues that the team will work on.
Besides technical problems that only require more time to be solved, Choi said that Station 208 has to focus on creating more fun and enjoyable programs or advertisement methods to continuously gain attention from students. “After our first project, we are planning to let students choose subjects for gathering donations. It can be any single individual, from any institution or community. We will also select subjects from different fields such as environmental studies, human rights, education, and many others in terms of our donation project.” To raise more awareness, there will be also projects related with different departments within the school.
Seo Jin-seok of Hanyang University Volunteer Corps worked on the administrative affairs of Detris, such as gaining approval to install the machine inside the station by contacting the Seoul Metro. Seo got in touch with Station 208 to develop on the idea of Detris as he saw the project's potential. Detris is meaningful in the sense that it is an idea orginated from students, and that it promoted cooperation of different groups within HYU. It also delivers the message that anyone can donate, and that even the smallest amount of donation counts,” said Seo. He emphasized how universities, as important social institutions, should bear social responsibility. “I believe students of Station 208 will get a priceless experience from working on their own projects, from start to end. Their work reflects HYU’s motto, 'Love in Deed'.”
Station 208, as a newly-born social enterprise, will continue to work on Detris to further expand its number and scope of influence they can exert in society. “I want to build 100 more Detrises in places such as companies, city halls, and schools other than Hanyang,” said Choi. “I hope the continuous growth of Detris can impact numerous people- the ones who donated, as well as those who will receive the donations.
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