More than 500 students at Dongguk University on Wednesday demanded the elimination of the school’s women’s student council, the only active association of its kind at any of Seoul’s universities that limits its membership to women students.
The university’s board of student representatives held an open debate over the proposal to scrap the association, and broadcast the event live on its official Facebook page.
Some students criticized the council’s denial of voting rights to male students, despite the fact that its funding comes from both male and female students. But defenders of the council argued that misogyny and discrimination still exist on campus, creating an ongoing need for a women’s student council.
Following the debate, the board of student representatives delivered to the school’s Central Committee 500 offline signatures requesting a vote on the abolition of the women’s student council.
The women’s student council issued an official statement Thursday, saying more discussion was necessary about the role of the council and how to improve it.
“Most people who participated in the open debate acknowledged that discrimination still exists on campus. People were mainly divided on the council’s function in terms of representation and communication, which is more the reason why we should discuss its reform, not its abolition,” the council stated.
Though controversy surrounding the existence of a women’s student council is not new, recent complaints have centered on banners placed on school buildings with feminist slogans that other students considered “radical.”
By Kim Jee-min (email@example.com)