Just a day before the 2006 Fall Semester, the atmospherein the University of Seoul (UOS) is busy with the soundsof moving. Students couldn’t hide their trembling heartbehind their smiling faces.
The UOS held orientation for thenew dormitory (SaengHwal-Gwan) and students moved intothe dorm from August 21. The UOS dormitory has two storiesbelow ground and seven above, and all of the 586 students willlive in shared rooms. The dorm was destroyed by fire in 1975,but has now appeared anew after 31 years.
There are also subsidiaryfacilities: a guest house for foreign visitors, an Internetroom, a fitness room and laundry rooms.There are about 1,500 students of the 13,000 at YonseiUniversity living in dorms, 900 of the 14,000 at KoreaUniversity and about 600 of the 7,000 at the UOS. That meansabout 10% of students at each university live in a dormitory.
Like the UOS, other universities provide students withmany conveniences. The dorm in Korea University has a seminarroom for special events that can accommodate quite a numberof people. Kyunghee University provides a study room toencourage students to study.
The UOS recently remodeledfacilities for the special class of the Civil Service Examination;there was a high pass rate at various Civil ServiceExaminations. Better facilities will help students to developtheir awareness and attitude. Although the new equipment willget old someday, the tradition of the dorm will be handeddown for decades.
It is more important than equipment.Now the UOS is starting to build our own tradition. Theschool and students are expecting rules and regulations and ourparticular self-administrative structure will work well.
Dormlife is like a small society within the university. Therefore weshould strongly concern ourselves with its development andtraditions for the future.We did a little survey of 58 UOS students who are livingin a dorm right now to hear their opinions. We asked themthree questions.
The first was ‘What is the most important wayto create and maintain the right dormitory culture?’ 58.2% ofstudents chose ‘consideration towards other people’, 35.8% students selected ‘using facilities with care’ and 4.22%answered ‘respect between men and women’.
Min Dong-jun,a freshman of the Dept. of Public Administration, said“Because a dormitory is where many other people live, wehave to think about others first.” “Even though other thingsmay be essential, consideration is key.”said Kim Go-eun, afreshman of the Dept. of Business Administration.
Accordingto the results of this survey, more than 50% of respondentsthought consideration towards other people is the most overridingvalue of all.
A director of the dormitory in the University of Seoul and a chairman of the PreparationCommittee also have a similar opinion.Kim Jin-won, a professor of the Dept. ofEnvironmental Horticulture and a directorof the dorm said “The dormitory is aplace for us, not for the individual. Weshould establish an upstanding systemby keeping the commonsense rules thatanyone can sympathize with.” He considerskeeping the rules to be one of theways to show consideration for others.
Hwang Sue-bok, a sophomore of theDept. of Public Administration and achairman of the Preparation Committee,said “Living in a dormitory is a betterchance to get close to people rather thanin the department or clubs.
We can putin place an upstanding culture if weshow respect, have a cooperative attitudeand at the same time, not invade others`privacy.”There is a principle in the medicalservice, “Are we doing our best forpatients?” We need to apply this principleto daily life. It means we have to seethings from the other’s point of view.To practice consideration of others, weought to build reliance on each other.This can be done by doing simple things:not making a scene at a late hour orsmoking in a nonsmoking area.
Furthermore, it is important to createa friendly atmosphere to associate andhave exchanges with students at the dormitory.Every autumn, Korea Universityholds the ‘HoRangJe’ that strengthensunity among boarders by performing aplay, singing and preparing entertainment.Yonsei University opens the‘Language Exchange Program’, somany foreigners who come from Japan,the USA, Russia, Germany and Chinacan contact with Korean students.
The UOS needs to hold an event to improverelationships between students. As relationsintensify, the dorms will have afriendly atmosphere, and they can learnattitudes to respect others.We can lead both interesting andcomfortable lives by considering otherpeople.
If we act conscientiously, notacting rudely and not using the dormitorylike it’s your personal space, we willhave a good opinion of each other. Alsowe can enhance the university’`s honorwhen a warm atmosphere is established.“Dormitory culture can be made by students.After a strong culture has beenbuilt, evaluation of students will turn outwell.
This will give high credit to thedormitory and honor to the university.”Kim Jin-won, a dormitory director, said.Students will come into close contactwhile they live under the same roofwith others; as the proverb says,‘connections are made by breakingbread with each other’As mentioned,dormitory life is a small society withinthe UOS.
Students in the dormitorymight be selfish, not caring for others. Itwill be a great chance for them to learnhow to concede to other students andrealize their unthoughtful behavior canhave bad effects on the others. That willbe a little step for them in learning a littleabout society and how to get alongwith others.
The minimum of rulesshould be laid down and kept by dormitorystudents for this.Kim Jin-won, a director of the dormitory,said “There have been no specificrules until now. Instead, studentsought to keep commonsense rules.” Weneed to make a considerate atmosphere,to equal our great new facilities. Theywill sometimes experience having tomake a personal sacrifice for the greatergood.
As a result, they will naturallylearn how to suppress their self-centeredtendencies when there is a conflictbetween individuals and society. Let’sthink about what we can do for school,not just asking school what they can dofor us.