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2017-09 25

[Special][Op-ed] Sometimes, Too Much Is Poison

“I don’t want to go to an academy, but my parents force me to. How can a sleepless day full of studying be happy?” In South Korea, young students heading straight to private academies after school is a familiar sight, often caught on the street. Often times, elementary students, barely taller than a height of a meter, are spotted on a street with heavy backpacks. What emotion does this scenery convey to you? Despite the fact that South Korea provides a 12 year long public education, demand for private academies is rising annually. What caused Korea to cry with pain and is there any cure for this illness? Play by the rule like AlphaGo Facta, non verba. Here is the time schedule of a 17 year old me: OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) suggests a teenager to sleep at least eight to ten hours a day. However, eliminating the time for public school, private education, assignments, and personal studies from 24 hours of a day, only 6 hours remain on the table. Surprisingly, this is a common schedule of a South Korean student. What led Korea here? As a country lacking resources, land, and capital after the Korean War, South Korea was a rare, but successful case of democratization. Without anything to trade, human resources were the only resource to export. Arduous efforts to educate people continued, and the young generation of the mid 20th century left their motherland to earn foreign currency needed to develop their country. However, efforts became habit. Back in the days, chosen people with intelligence got the opportunity to receive advanced education provided by the penniless Korean government. In the process of the selection, students frequently took examinations and were lined up according to their grades. 60 years later, students today still get report cards with their ranking on them. According to the survey: 1,955 teenagers answered that the major reason for their stress was going to academies everyday, followed by grades, tiredness, and more. Competition intensified, and more exertion to outrun classmates festered over time. Private education helped individuals overtake one another, and both parents and students were strained if they were missing out on private institutes that their classmates were attending. The result was all students having the same timetables of a day, like AlphaGo, trying not to lag behind by each other. In order to line up all students by ranking, the yardstick of the CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test) had to be objective, in other words--thoughtless. Memorizing well like robots became a primary strength in South Korean education. Private tutoring expanded students’ capacity to remember what they learned in their grade and prepare for upper grade level lessons. Can students be rescued from this robotic education? According to the data presented by the Ministry of Education, 18.6 trillion Won was spent annually on private tutoring, bringing about an individual spending of 240 thousand won on average. Considering the polarization of private education expenses, there was a ten times difference in the budget between the bottom 20 percent and top 20 percent of the income group. Believing that more tutoring in elementary school will lead to a better middle and high school that will eventually consolidate a rigid route to a prestigious university, the new trend of the private kindergarten arose. Little kids that barely know their mother tongue now learn a foreign language, in addition to math, science, and art. If nothing is done, this situation will get worse and this should not be the future of Korean students forever. Among various solutions that experts suggest, I do believe that two cures will work out, though time and effort will be material to gradually amend these problems. Alternation in the CSAT format The proportion of setting exam questions in the multiple-choice type should be reduced. Objective style exams are effective in grading and ranking the answers of students. However, it does not necessarily allow students to show their critical thinking process and opinions. In the era of the fourth Industrial Revolution, memorization and multiple-choice are the not the tasks of humans anymore. Students should be given the opportunities to think and forge their ideas and realize them. Thus, increasing the subjective examinations will mark the starting point of both reduction in private education and magnification of creativity. Improvements in the non-academic sector Despite the efforts to increase creativity in students utilizing subjective tests, the South Korean education system may not change. Perhaps, academies such as ‘idea generation’ or ‘creativity augmentation’ may proliferate. What Korea needs to know is that academic intelligence is not the only way individuals can become successful. Taking the non-academic road should also be regarded as a great career option. In the case of Germany, industry, technical, and art schools are all equally treated and managed as academic schools. Figuratively speaking, technicians and professors have few difference in pay and honor. Freedom of choice in occupation and school are then automatically provided for German students. South Korea will become a more blissful country if such a policy and cognition change could be adopted. Picture of South Korean students finishing their assignments given from school and academy (Photo courtesy of Teen On Generation) Kim Ju-hyun

2017-09 18

[Special][Card News] A volunteer group, ‘Welcome Handae’, “Can I give you a hand?”

▲ Click to read the English article - The Power of International Students

2017-09 18

[Special]The Dark Side of Teenagers

Teenagers in Korea are often called--‘the future of their country'. Most students study hard to achieve their dreams and to become a proud member of their country. However, recently, the eyes of Korean citizens were focused on a few teenagers. Crimes were made by those who were not even adults. Students of age 19 and under have shocked the whole country through their cruelty. However, through the juvenile law, their sentences have been, and most likely will be, asked for a reduced sentence. Therefore, the public is currently requiring a modification in the current juvenile law, so that they could properly be punished. The attention towards Busan and Gangneung According to the police, two middle school students living in Busan requested an arrest warrant, one on the 11th and another on the 15th. They announced that five students including the two were suspected of the crime. It was told that they assaulted a fellow school student with construction materials, chairs and glass bottles for around an hour and a half. A resident notified the police, but the students pretended to be onlookers and turned themselves in three hours later. An even more shocking fact is that this assault was not even their first incident. They had assaulted the same girl two months ago. However, as the girl reported their wrongdoings to the police, they retaliated on the girl again, this time calling a lot of attention to the whole country. A capture of the CCTV of the Busan assault incident. (Photo courtesy of SBS) Due to this incident, another that occurred in July came to the surface. It was reported that six students from Gangneug, who were middle and high school students, assaulted a middle school student for seven hours. Their reasons for the assault was that the victim had not given them the money she needed to give, and told rumors about one of the perpetrators to others. For these reasons, these six students chose not to have a conversation, but to spit, punch and threaten her with scissors. They had also tried to undress her along with sexual harassments. The assailants were indicted without detention, and the victim was diagnosed with a two-week hospitalization, and is currently going through psychotherapy for two months. Both incidents have a lot in common. All incidents had numerous perpetrators which included them posting their actions on the SNS. The ages of these criminals are getting lower, resulting in growing concerns. A judge who specializes in juvenile crimes, Cheon Jong-ho, also emphasized the current status of teenagers’ SNS. “The students revealed their own crimes in an open space. This shows a huge problem in the characters of the students, and furthermore, the dissolution of their family and society.” He explained that these crimes should be related to other issues of the society as well, not only in the crimes themselves. Teenage crimes these days include numerous assailants. (Photo courtesy of Monday News) Teenage crimes and the juvenile law The current criminal law prohibits punishment of children under the age of 14. Therefore, an alternative was made to the judge that these children are under the juvenile law. Through this law, juvenile protective disposition can be made for a maximum of two years in the juvenile reformatory. For the teenagers over 14 and under 19 are feasible of a criminal punishment. However, also through this juvenile law, their possible maximum sentence is 20 years. The assailants of the Busan and Gangneung assault incidents, therefore, will not end up in a prison as a result. However, two different developments are possible. First of all, through the juvenile law, they could be on a teenage trial and result in probation or sent to a juvenile reformatory. In this case, they would not have a criminal record since the juvenile reformatory has a purpose of correcting the actions of a teenage criminal. In another case, they could go through a criminal trial, and end up in a juvenile prison, which is a prison for teenagers between the age of 19 to 23. This is just a prison made to separate them from adult criminals and has the same force as a normal prison. They would, therefore, be sent to a normal prison when they are over the age of 23. A picture of a juvenile prison. (Photo courtesy of Segye News) These serious teenage criminals have caused a lot of citizens to protest to modify the juvenile law. However, this problem is a matter that requires a lot of consideration. First of all, we need to clearly identify that the cruelty in teenage crimes is increasing, as it just might be the matter of citizens finding out these crimes more easily because of the SNSs. Second, we also need to find out if teenagers are making critical crimes because of weaker punishments. Nevertheless, an effective solution must be made. Blindly lowering the age of severe punishment can cause problems to the overall legal system since the age of 19 indicates allowance of new legal activities. Therefore, small adjustments, such as the change in maximum sentences, should be made in order to give the judges more discretion. Teenagers, as the future of our country, should be protected and be led into the right path. On Jung-yun

2017-09 18

[Special]Lounges, Where Are They?

Every student of Hanyang University (HYU) might want to pay attention to what this article is about to unfold: the collection of lounges throughout the campus. There seems to be a lot of students who do not know what to do during their not-too-long but not-too-short time between classes. For those who need a place to pass their time before their next class, for those who think cafes are too loud and libraries too suffocating to lock themselves for assignments and studying, and for those who are tired--consider the following options! Rest & Information 501- Paiknam Library; 701- HIT building Located on the first floor of the Paiknam Library, the Lee Jong-hun Lounge awaits students with open arms. Accommodating divided spaces for group projects, rows of desktops, mini cinemas, and big open spaces with various shapes of chairs and desks, students are free to use the facilities as they please. DVD CD’s can be rented if a student brings the CD case from the shelf and presents his or her student ID card at the renting desk. Those who need to write a paper could do so on the desktop, and those who want to read could pick out a book from the shelf or even go upstairs and borrow a book and read it in the lounge. Do not miss the piano by the window with headphones waiting for those who want to enjoy music! Divided spaces and desktops are next to each other. (Photo courtesy of Paiknam) Eight mini cinemas and a DVD CD room are next to each other. (Photo courtesy of Paiknam) A big, open space with sofas and an undivided table are in one area, with a piano by the window. (Photo courtesy of Paiknam) Just behind Paiknam, HIT (Hanyang Institute of Technology) building offers two lounges: HIT Lounge and Yang Min-yong Lounge. Located in the lobby of the HIT building, the Lounge displays innovative products and inventions created by students and others and VR (virtual reality) machines. Students could try the VR device; please make sure to put on the face mask! Taking up some space by the wall are an exhibition of figures made with 3D printers. Figures made with the 3D printer and the VR experiencing machines are available. Inventions made by students are displayed. Moving on, to the left of HIT Lounge, Yang Min-yong Lounge welcomes its visitors. Providing students with spaces to work, either individually, or as a group, the open space with a window-walled lounge gives warmth to the students who come. The inner part of the lounge, divided into the A,B,C,D zones (Action, Bridge, Challenge, and Design, respectively) allows students to have consultation with counselors of various corporations and obtain information about employment. Different shapes and sizes of tables and chairs are arranged. ABCD zones are in order. Alone & Together 212- Engineering Building 1 Going over the hill into the Engineering Building 1, Noh Young-baek Lounge is situated on the first floor of the building. Those working on a group project or looking for a comfortable space to read with their shoes off--this place is ideal. Harboring divided spaces with the tables for multiple people, Noh Young-baek Lounge looks like a perfect place for group projects and discussions. In addition, when not only your mood feels suffocating but also your feet feel the same, give them some break in this lounge. The staired space in the innermost part of the lounge allows students to relax with their shoes off, even lying down if desired. Groups of students are studying together, while some others are reading individually with their shoes off. Art & Technology 208- Fusion Tech Center Chung Seung-il Arts Space is a space presenting the harmony of art and technology, as its name indicates. Located on the first floor of the Fusion Tech Center, the lounge provides an open space for students to chill out and chat. The sun-embraced space harbors round tables and chairs, parasoled tables, and the individual research room. The big window creates a warm, bright mood. Business & Global 706- Business Building; 108- International Building Next, going to the Business building, there is the Shinhan Lounge on the second floor. Featuring group study rooms, debate rooms, and a reading room, the lounge offers more of a quiet and focused mood for those who need to get down to business with their assignments and study. If there is no space in the Paiknam Library, Shinhan Lounge could be another option. Lastly, entering the International Building, the Global Lounge is the first thing in sight. Fitting to its name, the lounge has a walled-time of various countries, with each time fixed on the spot of the corresponding country. As one big open space, no privacy is guaranteed but students could get together and work on their tasks, either individually or together. Both international and Korean students can be seen in the lounge, using multiple languages. The time-map wall and several different languages make the Global Lounge more global! The open space of Shinhan Lounge outside the study reading room. Small and big tables and sofas are in the Global Lounge. Coming Soon Yet to be constructed are the Hanyang Startup Town and the Hanyang Theater, each located in front of the HIT building at the back of the Olympic Gymnasium, respectively. Both are currently under construction, which are planned to be finished in October this year. Their names indicate new and different places from the lounges previously mentioned! See you in October! If you are wandering around because you do not know where to kill some time, or if you want to take a break before your next class, visit one of these lounges. They are perfect for resting, studying, and working on group projects. What better places are there than lounges when you have an hour or two on campus. Jeon Chae-yun Photos by Oh Sang-hoon, Choi Min-ju Design by O Chae-won

2017-09 11

[Special][Op-ed] Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover

While walking down the streets in Gangnam, one of the biggest districts in Seoul, it takes no effort to find women with bandages all over their faces and around their heads, completing the look with sunglasses attempting to cover the fresh bruises and swellings. What happened to them? Certainly not a traffic accident, as indicated by their intact body--plastic surgery is what happened. Then the question is, why would they get plastic surgery? Obviously, because they want to be “prettier.” Beauty and charm are considered absolute in Korean society where lookism predominates and overrules all other supposedly more valuable factors. Let us zoom the issue in. The social norms: are you pretty enough? Is lookism bad? Or is it justifiable? Some people argue that it is next to impossible to deny lookism because being attracted to beautiful things and people is an instinctive tendency that everyone has, no matter how hard they try to deny. Others, on the contrary, assert that it is an unfair and inexcusable revolver that massacres those who are not “lucky enough.” It is almost an accepted, yet unspoken fact that attractive, good looking people have small and big perks in Korean society. “When I was a teenager, my teacher used to indoctrinate me that the only way for me to become successful is to enter one of the top universities. However, even after graduating from one of the most prestigious universities in Korea, I was nowhere near successful,” revealed Park Ji-sun, a famous female comedian. “Dear teacher, the answers were right in my face, not in the books!” added Park. This confession was made during one of her shows, which seem to be highly related to lookism. What she meant is that her success was achieved through becoming a comedian, far from studying, because her humor comes from her face. This made a lot of people laugh, instead of puzzled. "My high school teacher emphasized studying hard exclusively to me." (Photo courtesy of breaknews) ‘You need to study hard because you are not good looking’ is something that most people would nod to without negating. Could this be interpreted that those who are deemed unattractive need to be superior in academic achievements because they are “inferior” or behind the game than the others in the race of being handsome or pretty? ‘Same clothes, different look’, ‘the finishing touch to a look is a good-looking face’, ‘worth the face’, ‘it’s okay because they are handsome or pretty’, or ‘appearance is competence’ are all lookism-rooted sayings that people accept as facts in Korea. An article from 2015 reported that a 17 year old girl committed suicide because she had too many insecurities about her appearance, not to mention others that report school bullying is based on lookism, as well as workplace bullying. “Why is she dating him? Oh, maybe he is rich.” is a common logic applied to a couple behind their back when one of the two is judged to be better looking than the other. From an unidentified moment, Korea became a place where everything is evaluated essentially by how it looks on the outside. Where is all this leading to? Lookism plays a major role in school bullying. (Photo courtery of sedaily) Yes pain no gain As some people argue, lookism is undeniable—perhaps, it is something that everyone is aware of but is afraid to go against, because they have all accorded to it before, either consciously or unconsciously, or it is too true to deny. Under societal pressure, one may come to the point where plastic surgery is obligatory. Without plastic surgery, an “unattractive” person may be discriminated and be marked as inferior, or even be criticized if worse. But the thing is, getting plastic surgery would not let that person escape from criticism because plastic surgery is another perfect element for further criticism. The word sung-gwe is a newly coined term referring to those who had too much plastic surgery, often resulting in a face that looks exactly the same. Nonetheless, people choose to go through all the physical and mental pain, only to have more criticism waiting for them. A famous illustration of sung-gwe, implying that they look like clones. (Photo courtesy of timeforum) Plastic surgery clinics are seen in a cluster. (Photo courtesy of sportschosun) There may not be a clever solution for lookism besides the cliché “love yourself” or “inside is what matters the most.” People consider them as meaningless clichés and do not realize the changes they could bring into their lives if taken into account. Rather than changing the outside, reforming the inside would be much more effective. This could sound too optimistic and idealistic because we all secretly admit that lookism may be inevitable. With no choice, appearance could be a means of happiness. However, it should never be the means to misery. Being ugly, going through plastic surgery, being fat, being different are all targets of negative eyes in a lookism-oriented society. Then, what is the use of trying so hard to cram oneself into the fixed standard of beauty and succumbing to the society’s invisible but present demand? What is the honest reason for getting plastic surgery? (Photo courtesy of ohmynews) Jeon Chae-yun

2017-09 07

[Special]Historians of Hanyang and Their New Page of the Book

In the 21st century when the passion for history is decreasing among students due to its utility in employment, there are true historians trying to preserve the value of history at Hanyang University. The heroes are alumni Han Sang-hyeop and Cho Soo-yeon, Ph.D student Lee Seung-ah, and a third year student Jeon Yae-mok. With the passion to learn deeper on history, the four Hanyangians gathered to introduce their career. Cho has been funded by the South Korean government for her mastery degrees at Canada. Winners of the KGSP South Korea has been sponsoring university students from various fields to augment their educational strength. Since the early 2010’s, the government has decided to increase its sponsor on humanities sphere through the KGSP-Korean Government Scholarship program. Two alumni of the Department of History- Han Sang-hyeop and Cho Soo-yeon, have been chosen as the winners to grab tickets abroad for the in-depth studies aborad. Han’s advancement in China Han has received the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the Department of History at Hanyang University. Throughout the 10 years of achievements at Hanyang, Han is now mapping out his career at Tsinghua University for his doctoral degree. “There are several areas you can apply for the KGSP, but I selected comparative history for my doctoral degree. Luckily enough, I was chosen as the beneficiary of the governmental sponsor, which I owe my gratitude to my professors,” said Han. More specifically, Han’s comparative history refers to the difference in the Nationality Act between the late Qing Dynasty, Netherlands, and Japan. Through intricate studies and comparison, Han is planning to discover the origin and meanings of the term “People.” “I wish my fellow juniors at the Department of History will feel pride in their major, since history is such a special subject that allows us to reorganize the past with given documents,” emphasized Han. Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) provides financial support for students studying overseas for intellectual researches. (Photo courtesy of KGSP) Grafting history and education at Canada After her graduation this February, Cho decided to achieve her mastery and doctoral degrees on education related to history. “My attention on history concentrated on the cases produced outside of Korea, which influenced my decision to study abroad,” said Cho. However, studying overseas requires substantial burden on financial ability which motivated Cho to apply for the KGSP. “It was a great honor for me to be selected as the only student sponsored by the government heading to Canada,” described Cho. Cho is currently studying historical education on multi-culturalism and the world citizenship. “While I was full of questions learning history at Hanyang University, I thought that the answer to all the questions was in education which led all the way here to Canada,” mentioned Cho. The most imperative factors to Cho’s success are HY-WEP (Hanyang Work Experience Program) internships, knowing specific field to study, and patience while studying. “Department of History is a great start for sprout historians to grow upon. I recommend all Hanyangians to use all the opportunities that our school is providing!” Toward the completion of research task by NRF National Research Foundation of Korea, also known as NRF, has been running the Global Ph.D. Fellowship program that supports students pursuing a Ph.D. degree in a Korean university in order to foster the nation's core human resources. Lee Seung-ah of the Department of History at Hanyang University has been selected as one of the winners of the program despite the intense competition. The task Lee decided to research on is China’s changes of agricultural technology and social disparities in accordance with the global market. “When I first began my doctoral career and realized that this research needs financial support, I decided to apply for the NRF program for funding. Fortunately, I was drafted for this task and I’m planning for my research presentation on January at Japan,” said Lee. For preparation, Lee picks Hanyang University’s Industry-University Cooperation Foundation’s English interview for the NRF program the most helpful. “Utilizing school’s help is extremely valuable. If students of Hanyang are planning for their research funding, I recommend them to practice continuously with the aid of our school!” National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funds various majors of South Korean universities. Junior of Hanyang toward the brighter future Jeon in his junior year at the Department of History has recently received 100 Years Humanities Scholarship by Korea Student Aid Foundation. Currently studying in his intensive major courses, Jeon has revealed his ardor for history. “I began learning history to understand humans. Deeper I study the past of humans and their events, I start to grasp why different kinds of human beings with various actions are around me,” explained Jeon. Jeon also expressed the special gratitude for his parents and professors. “I was grateful that my parents were proud of me. Also, without the great teachings of my professors, I would never be able to take this scholarship,” said Jeon. For the farther college education and beyond learnings, Jeon is excited to step ahead for deeper lessons at Hanyang. Kim Ju-hyun Photos by Lee Jae-oh

2017-09 04

[Special][HY Talk] Smoking Areas of Hanyang University. What Do You Think?

HY Talk is a series which opens a chance to listen to the opinions of Hanyangians on various controversial issues. This second article deals with the smoking areas within Hanyang University (HYU). Currently, the whole campus is designated as a non-smoking area except for the specified smoking areas, including three smoking booths within the Seoul campus. However, there are unceasing conflicts between smokers and nonsmokers on different positions they stand. We have therefore gathered two smokers and two non-smokers, to find out the intrinsic reasons of these conflicts and also to exchange opinions of smoking booths set up within the campus. ▷ Click to see the first article, Sexism in Online Games, What Do You Think?’ Problems of smoking areas Chairperson: Hello everyone, thank you all for participating. There are various opinions on smoking areas between smokers and nonsmokers. What do you think about the smoking areas within HYU? Smoker A: I feel that there are too few designated smoking areas. There are a lot of people who smoke in places they’re not meant to such as Haengwon Park and the Engineering Building Ⅱ, but I believe there is a reason why they continue their actions. One is because the university is reducing the number of smoking areas, and another is because of the different opinions between the students and the school. I think the students aren’t fully aware of the existence of official smoking areas. Smoker B: I also feel that wee need more areas for smokers within the school. There should be a way for smokers and non-smokers to coexist in the campus. However, smoking areas are unilaterally decreasing and people who smoke eventually need some space to smoke. For example, there are no smoking areas near the Engineering Building Ⅱ even though a lot of courses are taking place in the building. I think that’s why a lot of people tend to smoke in front of the building. Non-smoker C: Since I don’t smoke, I simply hate the smell of cigarettes. There are people smoking between the Social Science Building and the Policy Building even though it is a non-smoking area. I always have to smell cigarettes when I pass by this road. I think more smoking booths or smoking areas should be made in the right places so that people like me wouldn’t have to feel unpleasant. Non-smoker D: I use the music building very often, but there are people who smoke in its basement. This smell, starting from the basement, fills the whole building that is five stories high with the smell of cigarettes. Ventilation isn’t made properly so the smoke stays within the building. Signs in front of the Engineering Building Ⅱ are indicating it is a non-smoking area. A solution made by the school; smoking booths Chairperson: As one of the solutions of the conflicts, HYU invested a lot of money to construct three smoking booths within the campus. These smoking booths are simple booths that are made to block the smoke, in order to give less harm to the nonsmokers. What do you think about these smoking booths? A: Other than just being small, no ventilation is possible inside the booth. The difference of smoking in the booth and out of the booth is enormous. The smell remains for a much longer amount of time with much more pungent smell. That’s why I tend to smoke out of the smoking booth most of the time. B: I heard that around 30 million won was required for each smoking booth. Despite the amount of money they've spent, I personally think it is ineffective. People can’t use this booth since it’s stifling even to the smokers, due to the impossibility of ventilation. This booth gets too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. Other effective solutions should be made instead of the smoking booth. C: I didn’t know a lot about the smoking booth since I don’t smoke. However, after listening to their opinions, I think it’s urgent to change the current status. I thought there would be at least some kind of an air purifier since it was so expensive. Chairperson: How do you think we can make better use of the existing smoking booths then? A: I believe a modification is most needed. As I know, a smoking booth in Gangnam has an open-roofed smoking booth. By accessing 4m of height to this booth, there is a less threat of second-hand smoking. D: If the booth can be wide open during a time period when there is little floating population, ventilation might become possible. C: I also agree. By improving the booth to be a little more pleasant, smokers would be able to willingly smoke in the smoking booth, provoking less conflict. The rights of both smokers and nonsmokers Chairperson: A lot of the conflicts put an emphasis on the rights of both smokers and nonsmokers. What do you think is the right of smokers and nonsmokers? A: I think the school should at least try to communicate with the smokers. They shouldn’t just make smoking areas in random places that is hard to go to. It should be an area close enough, but also an area that could separate smokers and nonsmokers. B: It is if course right to reduce non-smoking areas. However, I believe consideration is also required for the smokers. The school should be able to arrange a certain area that is close to the building but not in the way of the people passing by. D: Even though I am a nonsmoker, I think the word ‘right’ fits the smokers more. They pay a lot of tax to smoke, so I believe that nonsmokers should also listen to the smokers to protect certain rights of the smokers. C: I also agree to D, but I really hope people wouldn’t smoke while they’re walking around. It’s just an attack for us when we have to smell the smoke of cigarettes while we’re walking around. Solutions to the problem The opinions of A and B, who are both smokers. Chairperson: What do you think should be done regarding the problems of smoking areas? A: First of all, locations of smoking areas should be changed and widened. A lot of the smoking areas are located in places with a lot of floating population. Moreover, I sincerely hope our school would find some channel to communicate with the smokers on issues regarding smoking areas. B: I fully agree to the change of locations, since the smoking booth in front of the International Building is also located on the path of other students. Moreover, there are a lot of visitors smoking in non-smoking areas, not only students of HYU. I believe firm fines should be given to the people violating the rules, regardless of students and visitors. D: I believe the biggest problem is the smell. Nonsmokers react to this fiercely not due to their health, but since it evokes repulsion. If a certain program could be made so that the smokers could also feel this stench, they might be able to understand the non-smokers. Moreover, I believe there should be opportunities for discussion between smokers, so that everyone could reach an effective solution. The opinons of C and D, who are both nonsmokers. On Jung-yun Photos courtesy of On Jung-yun and Yoo Hye-jeong Designed by On Jung-yun

2017-09 04

[Special][Op-Ed] Right to Have Safe Periods

"Hey, do you have it?" "What?" "The thing, you know." "Oh, that thing. I have some." This conversation is likely to happen not only between illegal drug dealers but also ordinary women referring to feminine hygiene products. Mentioning about women's cycle or products related to it has been considered as not careful or virtuous. However recently, many women along with men are voicing out for the right to have ‘safe menstruation' after the fact that one of the best-selling sanitary pad contains toxins was revealed in March. Volatile Organic Compounds found in sanitary pads In the safety test conducted by Korean Women's Environmental Networks and Professor Kim Man-koo of Kangwon National University, 10 types sanitary napkins and panty liners were found to have more than 200 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), including benzene, styrene, and Trichloroethylene. VOCs are organic compounds that can easily become vapors or gases. Not all VOCs are harmful, but some are known to cause cancer or sensory irritation. One of the toxins found in the pads, Styrene, is classified as a carcinogen by World Health Organization and a widely known reproductive toxicant, which can affect the menstrual cycle and volume. A protestor is requesting a full investigation on sanitary pads. (Photo courtesy of Money Today) Kim later unveiled that three items among the 10 are Kleannara's Lilian pads and panty liners. This made the public outrageous, requesting a full refund of the products. Kleannara initially denied the credibility of the test and announced that Lilian pads are authorized by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, therefore safe to use. Nevertheless, after being included in the list of investigation of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Kleannara decided to refund the problematic items on the 23rd. As the complaints grew steadily, the company also announced to fully stop the production and sales of Lilian products in the following day. Should manufacturers disclose full ingredients of feminine products? One of the main controversies around the current situation is whether consumers have a right to know the full detail of what makes menstrual products. Existing law does not require the manufacturers to fully disclose the components because the products are classified as sanitary aid. A revised pharmaceutical affairs act was passed last December to reveal all ingredients of sanitary aids in its package or bottle. However, sanitary pad, tampon, mask, and bandage were excluded from the revision because the products are not directly absorbed into the human body. Lilian pads and the Kleannara's announced that the pads are safe. (Photo courtesy of Kleannara) Many feel that the current legal system did not reflect the reality so well, as the outer vulva of female genital is vulnerable to contaminants and moist, being able to absorb some substances if regularly affected. Another revision that mandates feminine hygiene products is proposed in July, waiting to be passed in the National Assembly. I feel like this amendment being passed is not going to be the end of the story. Even if the sanitary products come with the full ingredient, it would be hard for the consumers to tell which product contains toxin or not. Also, the toxin standards of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has been left not updated for the past two decades. The chemicals in the center of the issue are not listed as toxic chemicals and have no standard whatsoever. This means that Lilian pads and other products in veil could still pass the safety test if the list is not going to be updated soon. Panty liners are also in the middle of controversies as some liners are not even classified as menstrual products. They are industrial products, and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is liable for its credentials. Panty liners, in this case, are not required to pass any specific test to be sold in the market. Some even say ‘do not use this product to absorb menstrual blood', which makes less sense. Members of various feminist organizations are having a press conference. On the right, the description on a panty liner says not to use the product to absorb menstrual blood. (Photo courtesy of Kyunghyang Shinmun official Twitter account) Conclusion Through the tragedy of toxic humidifier, the recent egg issues, and the present-day toxic feminine products, the life of Koreans are constantly in threat through the use of daily products. Although almost half of the nation's safety was and is being threatened, the size of the issue seems to be smaller than usual. Is the social atmosphere hushing on ‘magic' to blame? Or is it just we who are used to hearing such news about toxic daily items? I guess we have to wait and see. Kim So-yun

2017-08 27

[Special][Op-ed] Accommodation, Ready to go?

Logistical problems and accommodation issues have always been a huge concern before large multinational events like the Olympics. With time ticking down, Pyeongchang Olympics is scheduled to start from February 9, 2018, which means that a lot has to be done within five months’ period. 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics is the largest scale in the Winter Olympics history with the highest number of participants, countries, events, and medals yet the thought of something being missing is hard to dispel. After some thorough research about the accommodations of Pyeongchang province, agreements have reached that there is a lot to be done about the issue. What is the main problem? According to Pyeongchang province, estimated number of accommodation facilities needed during the Olympics period is over 54,500 rooms with the number of visitors being 140 thousand per day along with directly related people (IOC committee, media, national teams) being around 50 thousand. During the Chef de Mission Seminar Pyeongchang 2018, issues have been raised about the accommodation and transportation around venue cities. Although the construction of the venues has impressed the committee, the problem was that since Pyeongchang is a mountain cluster, vital team officials and coaches would have to move to coastal cluster around Gangreung province or even further. As for the transportation, although KTX trains are scheduled to run on 20 minute intervals during Olympics period from Seoul to Pyeongchang, lack of shuttle bus within the city has been one of the problems pointed out by the officials. During the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation World Cup held in Pyeongchang from March 17 to 19, the shuttle buses were available at 30 minute intervals uphill towards the stadium, but the audience had to stop at mid-point for a safety check-up and must walk the remaining distance. Getting back to the main point of accommodation, due to the hotels being fully booked in Pyeongchang, the price of the room charge has skyrocketed to 5 to 10 times compared to regular season. It is estimated that motels and 3 star hotels would charge about $700 to $800 or even more per night for double-bed standard rooms. Some of the Airbnb studio flats around Gangreung demanded $5 thousand for 20 days of stay. Gangreung province tourism officials have stated that it is hard to control the charge rate set by individual accommodation businesses due to autonomic price policy. The cheapest fee for media teams are set at $250 per night which is higher than 2010 London Olympics ($100 per night average), 2014 Sochi Olympics ($180 per night average) and similar to 2016 Rio Olympics ($254 per night in average). In addition, the parking fee for all Olympic facilities for one-month period costs $4,715 which is about $900 more expensive compared to 2014 Sochi Olympics parking fee. Some of these fees are set for appropriation of expenses by the organization committee and they are at about $2.6 billion deficit in budget. It is hard to say that the costs would be rational for international visitors staying in Korea during the Olympics season. From top left to clockwise, speed skating, ice hockey, short track, and bobsleigh stadium. (Photo courtesy of Wikitree) What are the solutions? A lot of experts have agreed that it would be a waste of budget to create huge hotels which will be less of use after the Olympics. It would be wiser to consider creating simple facilities that would be more efficient considering the costs needed to build large hotels. One of the solutions could be the caravans. In 2015, Mungyeong International Military Sports Council World Games has been held in Korea with 7,045 representative squad participating from 117 countries. Although it has not been as large scale as the Olympics, they have provided 350 caravans as the provisional residence for the national team members. The overall cost needed to provide 350 caravans was only $3.1 million which could have been $70 million if the committee had decided to provide proper building facilities. Looking at Germany’s Octoberfest, the largest beer festival held in München for 2 weeks, 14 huge tents accommodate six million visitors with only three months of preparation. This is a highly efficient festival with low costs and Pyeongchang would have to focus on it in order to be the main city. Obviously it will be hard to provide huge tents as accommodation in Pyeongchang considering the weather, but it is highly possible to create camping facilities with big tents providing a glamping experience for the visitors at the same time. Cruise hotel used in 2014 Sochi Olympics (Photo courtesy of Samsung) The last solution could be to provide cruise hotels around the eastern coast of Korea as they have already tried during 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics. During the Vancouver Olympics, three large vessels have been used as accommodation and during the Sochi Olympics, 100 thousand tons weight of cruise has been used as a provisional residence. As the Pyeongchang Olympics is to be the largest scale Winter Olympics, huge expectations lie ahead of it. Although the solutions suggested so far may not be the only ones, it seems quite reasonable and highly efficient considering the fact that these solutions have already been used during diverse national events. Since Olympics is the global festival for all, I hope that all accommodation problems and pricing issues are solved to provide a positive appearance of Korea towards the visitors. Pyeongchang Olympics official mascots, Soohorang and Banabi (Photo courtesy of Ohmynews) Kim Seung Jun

2017-08 27