Not Helpful, HELP
Issues related to the required course, Hanyang Essential Leadership Plus
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Finally, another semester has ended, and the grades are all out. For the second and third graders, A HELP score is also included in their GPA this semester. And as usual, HELP is once again at the center of confusion due to the massively miscalculated difficulty by many students. Let us look into issues related to HELP in detail.
What is HELP?
In order to better understand the controversies and issues, first, a reader must understand what HELP is at Hanyang University (HYU). The series, of course, was developed in 2007, in order to prepare Hanyangians to become leaders in society. Professor Song Young-su, chief officer of the Leadership Center mentioned: “The Leadership Center developed a textbook for leadership and tried to integrate such leadership processes into the culture of HYU” in the 171st issue of College Education.
The HELP curriculum consists of four respective courses: HELP 1 through 4. Each course is mandated to the students in according to grade and included in the graduation requirement. Each course has its unique focal point and contents. For instance, HELP 1 is also known as ‘Value Leadership’. The course focuses on the values of Hanyang University, induce ‘Pride in Hanyang’, and the core value in the contemporary society and business. From the official description given by the school, it almost makes the curriculum look perfectly reasonable or even beneficial for Hanyang students. However, there is a wide disparity between the idea and the reality.
Issue number one; HELP 4 (self-leadership)
In May of 2016, two pictures that were irreverent to the lecture were shown in the ninth week of the HELP 4 lecture. The pictures were both implying that women are materialistic, which seemed to promote sexism, materialism, and lookism. The contents instantly provoked rage among Hanyangians and the General Student Council. Han-ma-di handled the issue in a quite satisfactory way.
First, they openly required the school to instantly delete the problematic pictures and apologize with a promise that a similar incident would not happen to the students. The school did accordingly after six days, guaranteeing they would form a task force to review the whole contents and notify the student body about the revision made, if any. Second, Han-ma-di did a survey among 3443 Hanyangsians asking whether HELP should be canceled or excluded from the graduation requirement, of which 73.8% responded yes. Therefore, the General Student Council demanded the school to lift the requisite of the entire HELP curriculum. The school countermanded only the troubled course, HELP 4. Furthermore, they granted a full revision of the content along with the name of the subject starting in 2018.
Although the due date has yet to come, it seems like the anti-discriminatory texts they have promised have not been realized up until today. Here are some statements provided during the lecture in lesson 13 of English HELP 2, fall semester, 2017.
Before going to a meeting, check if your makeup is too thick. Do you have an extra pair of stockings? They should be in apricot or neutral color. Is your outfit or accessory too showy?The above-stated comments are bluntly discriminatory towards women, and it is a shame that in the year of 2017, Hanyang University is mandating such materials to all of the students.
Issue number 2, HELP in English
HYU is proudly known as one of the most global schools in Korea, aiming to have 2500 full-time international students by 2020. There were 2247 international students in HYU counted until 2014, which is a substantial number. These students, because they are also full-time students like the domestic students, are also subject to the HELP requirement for graduation. Thus, they take the English version of HELP along with some domestic students who feel English is more comfortable or for some other reasons.
Another problem lies in the translation of the course. Personally, I would consider it not to be done. Here are some example sentences taken from this year’s English HELP 2. I would like to mention that these are the exact words.
When we usually look for a book regarding science, we only find a book written by the scientists, or a book by the philosopher of science who wrote about the scientific method, or a book written by the science historian writing about the history of science after thoroughly mastering the history of science, I shall say that his book generalized those three methods.
Firstly when we think of science and technology, we don’t have any ideas about the background or any knowledge even though we are in a hurry to implement the technology such as TV media, internet, car, or trains we know the convenience.
In fact, even when we drive a car, we don’t know well about the mechanism, so, like Korean, when they have to become familiar with machine civilization, people get confused, and people often face the various problems when using state-of-the-art science and technology especially when they are in pre-modern mental attitude, so in order to overcome those problems, we need to know how we get science and technology while relishing it.
The translation that seems to have been done by Google rather than a person gives confusion to the course takers who cannot understand the Korean lectures given in the course. Considering that this is part of the essential courses and that they have to take a test with the materials, the situation is lamentable. As the promised deadline of the full improvement on the text is coming up, I look forward to the leap.
Kim So-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
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