Freshman Orientation: A Go or No Go?
What do you look forward to the most during your life on campus? Freshmen are filled with fantasies of their years to come in university. Whether it be becoming a CC (Campus Couple) or pulling an all-nighter at the school library or going out for drinks with friends after class, there are many things that you might want to do. Another event that many freshmen and even sophomores look forward to is the Freshmen Orientation. Although participation is not mandatory, most students try to attend if they can so as to make new friends and to socialize with fellow schoolmates. Though it sounds to be all fun and games, despite everyone being of age, unsupervised drinking leads to problems that make the headlines each March. Due to the various incidents that arise, people’s attitudes towards it are becoming tarnished.
Why Do We Go to Freshmen Orientations?
If you are a freshman, what was the reason you participated in this year’s Freshmen Orientation? Whatever the reason is, attending it to foster good friendships is a strong contender among the list. Do you remember your first day of elementary school? With butterflies in your stomach and a sense of unfamiliar awkwardness in hand, going to school might have been something you were both excited and worried about. The first day of university is not so different, yet can be much more exhilarating. It is a gateway into society as well as a venue for students to get acquainted with one another. With this in mind, freshmen students wait in eagerness for their Freshmen Orientation. Despite its non-obligatory attendance, many students participate as they feel the need to do so. Otherwise, they could be left out in the cold and miss out on the chance to meet their soon-to-be fellow schoolmates. With this being said, then why is it that students cannot attend their own Freshmen Orientation without any worries?
The Reason behind Our Reluctance
A 4-question survey was conducted on a total of 101 participants, all of whom were newly-admitted freshmen at Chung-Ang University. This survey was carried out to find out the cohort’s attitude towards attending the Freshmen Orientation and concerns regarding it. Out of the 101 students asked, 95 (94.1%) of them answered that they had attended this year’s Freshmen Orientation with only 6 (5.9%) of them opting to not attend due to other plans or various concerns regarding it. Almost two thirds of the cohort questioned answered that they have certain concerns regarding the Freshmen Orientation with the top concern being pressured to drink (46.3%) followed by safety and accidents (40.3%). Other than that, 11.9% of them were concerned about inappropriate behavior of their seniors with the remaining 1.5% worried about sexual assault. In conclusion, this survey points out the growing issue of the dangers of Freshmen Orientations. Though the majority of students participate in this event, they still depart with concerns that have not been dealt with properly
What do you think about our school’s Freshmen Orientation after having come back from it? CAU has not specifically been reported on the news for any big incidents regarding the Freshmen Orientation, unlike a few other schools. However, that does not imply that it is all fun and games. Rather, there are probably matters that haven’t been revealed to the public and thus, the serenity. There was much talk regarding this year’s Freshmen Orientation as well. According to “CAU Bamboo Grove,” an online community that shares information anonymously, posts criticizing the behavior of the student council were plenty. One department’s Freshmen Orientation was even likened to a middle school camp in that, besides overseeing their duties, control over the students was too strict and regulated. Acting as if they were military sergeants, the student council members took advantage of their status as supervisors.
In Other Schools
Just a year after the sexual harassment controversy in Konkuk University, another round of accusations has broken out this year too. During a “Freshmen Planning Group” after-party, a male student is said to have touched a female student’s breasts. However, the harassment did not stop there. The school even contacted the female victim individually to keep the incident from getting any bigger. Besides problems like this, incidents due to heavy drinking and safety and accident issues are frequent too. One student who attended his school’s Freshmen Orientation was found intoxicated with three of his fingers severed. The student, who was said to have been drinking with his friends on the 5th floor of a building, was discovered unconscious in the mechanical facility room on the 6th floor of the building with his fingers cut off. Likewise, there have been many cases in which students have fallen to their deaths or gotten severely injured after drinking heavily.
How Do We Solve These Problems?
Then, how are we to tackle this incessant problem? What is the school doing to prevent these incidents from occurring? In fact, it is not the schools that supervises the Freshmen Orientation, but rather the Student Councils that takes charge of all the matters regarding them. This applies to CAU too. So then, what has the Student Council been doing? The Female Student Council at Yonsei University distributed “A Manual to Taking Action against Sexual Violence” in an effort to prevent further incidents that could occur at events like the Freshmen Orientation. In addition to that, most schools have strengthened their sex education, making it an imperative factor to the Freshmen Orientation.
Ever since, the collapse of the gym at Mauna Ocean Resort in Gyeongju back in 2014, many schools have been on high alert when it comes to the safety of their students. At that time, schools put the matter into their own hands by postponing or even going as far as to cancel their school Freshmen Orientations in order to lessen the worries regarding safety.
For a freshman, university life comes as an award for years of painstaking hard work and will become their second home for the next few years to come. However, if one were to become a victim to one of these horrors, their coming years would be miserable. Although the plight of these problems has slightly improved over the years, there are still many obstacles left to overcome. If we don’t take a stand in tackling this issue that is at large, there may no longer be any Freshmen Orientations left for our future freshmen. Change begins with you.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >