▲ Students playing a game at the Freshmen Orientation
Freshmen Orientation is losing its ground as an official introductory event to university life for safety reasons and is at the risk of ceasing to exist as a school event. The Freshmen Orientation of 2015 may have been the beginning of its disappearance.
This year, the Student Council could not come to an agreement with Office of Student Affairs on how to hold the event and decided to hold it as an independent event among students without the school’s budget. As a side effect, he attendance fee almost tripled to 90,000 won per student which resulted in only 15,000 students joining the event, a considerably smaller number compared to 26,000 of the last year’s Orientation.
The Office of Student Affairs stands congruent with the one they gave to the 2014 Student Council: The main purpose of the event is supposed to be educating and giving information to freshmen, but now it seems it only consists of entertainment. With growing concerns about safety, disinclination toward the Orientation that the Office of Student Affairs holds is not groundless. However, how the Office persisted only on holding the Orientation as a one-day event or on cancelling it at all and did not show willingness to negotiate options with the Council made it and UOS students feel ignored.
To worsen the matters, assuming from what the president Cho Chang-hoon (Dept. of Philosophy, ’10) of the Council posted on Gwangjang regarding this issue, the school is reluctant to hold the Orientations at all even in the future. One silver lining to students is that the position the new administration by President Won Yun-hi may be different from that of the old one.
Two questions remain: Can the Orientation be sustainable if it becomes an independent event with an expensive fee? Will the 2015 Office of Student Affairs have a different stance from the last one? What will happen to the future Freshmen Orientations remains to be seen.