On September 4th, the 35th Business administration Students' Council ‘I-EUM’ had a problem during the process of forcibly disposing of locker contents prior to assigning lockers for the second semester. The problem was that a proper notice had not been made. Of course, there was also criticism that the student council, under the offence of document destruction1, did not comply with the law. Lost properties could be disposed of only after six months of statutory retention and three months after the gain of the finder’s ownership. But the biggest implication of the incident is the lack of an "official" notification system at the student council level. Currently, many of the student council's announcements about events inside and outside the department and school notices are given through Kakao Talk group chatting and Facebook pages. But the two can never be major public notification systems as these are not run by the school. Adversely, Chung-Ang University’s (CAU) official notification platforms such as 'Text Alimy', 'departmental online homepages' and 'Department Bulletin Boards’ are not operated by the student councils. What are the problems with these official methods?
1. The Problems of Informal Note Systems
The most commonly used public notification system in student councils is Kakao Talk and Facebook. The fact that the number of Kakao Talk users in Korea was 44.417 million in the second quarter of 2019 shows that the majority of CAU students are also likely using it. For this reason, most students are invited to group chats at the time of admission. Therefore, there is no denying that Kakao Talk is a platform with good accessibility. But the problem is that students are added only when they first enter the university. As the school year goes up, many students change majors, take time off school, and fulfill military duty. In such cases, they are forced to leave the group chats. In particular, the larger the departments are it is less likely that group chat rooms will be used, or all students will be included in their senior years. The problem with Facebook Group/Page, on the other hand, is that notices are buried in other posts, and the number of students using Facebook is decreasing. Consequently, the current notification systems aren’t able to reach all students. Of course, students can easily access these platforms. However, Kakao Talk and Facebook are "unofficial" platforms that are not run by the school. Therefore, the failure of students to receive notice cannot be justified on the fault of student lack of effort.
2. The Problems of Formal Notice Systems
a. Text Alimy
You may have received several messages from the department office. It's a ‘Text Alimy’ from the school. Through Text Alimy, many students receive important notices (class cancel or lecture room changes, etc.) about their lectures. It is the most accessible public notice system in that smartphones are seen as a necessity for people today and are owned by most college students. But there are two main problems with Text Alimy. First, it is difficult to deliver enough content. Currently, the notification texts from the department office are converted to MMS if the content is more than 80 bytes. For the MMS texts, the price is 162 won per message, which is relatively expensive compared to ordinary texts. Therefore, the current text notices send the content broken up into 80-byte parts. During this process, the order of texts has often been reversed, making it difficult for many students to understand the notices properly. Therefore, student council notices, which often exceed 1,000 bytes, will have difficulties using this system. Second, the use of the Text Alimy for the student council is institutionally blocked. Currently, the system that sends text messages to students through the department office can only send class-related information to students who are on the computer list among those who are taking the major in the department. In other words, the current reality of Chung-Ang University is that the use of the texting system at the student council level is impossible.
b. Departmental Online Homepages
Chung-Ang University has a site for each college. And you can access the department's homepage through the college site. And there is a notice/announcement sector on every department site. However, the notice sector only uploads notices that are posted by the department's office. In fact, there are no notices posted that are close to the real lives of students. Currently, the number of public notices posted on the majority of the department's website in a month is less than three posts, and information closely related to students' real lives is relatively small. Of course, the notice section on the department's website is run by an assistant professor of the department. However, through interactive communication between assistant professors and the student council, the online homepage notice section can be activated by posting more diverse notices on the website.
c. Department Bulletin Board
While all of the notification systems which has been introduced previously are done online, the bulletin board is an offline announcement platform. In some cases, the department bulletin boards are plastered with unofficial posts, so it is hard to find any notice of departments official postings. In addition to these extreme cases, many department bulletin boards are useless. In fact, on most bulletin boards located throughout the university, student council notices are not able to be found. Moreover, there are cases that the notices from the first semester of 2018, which are over a year old, are still present. As such, most of the department bulletin boards do not receive notice of their departments, and of the notices that are currently attached, many are out of date. The current bulletin boards are not properly managed and have lost much of their original purpose. Therefore, many students never use bulletin boards, and, in severe cases, there are even those who do not know where the bulletin boards are located.
3. Survey Results
Notices from the student council are very important, as evidenced by the business administration student council’s scrapping of the lockers on September 4th. As one can see student council notices are directly related to the lives of students. On present notification platforms, there are the problem of the blind spot of information being respected and the problem of ‘informal’ methods. In addition, there are many problems with the formal notification systems. CAH is hopeful that the formal notification systems will be improved in the future, providing smooth information delivery to more students.
A crime committed by demining or removing other people’s documents without authority