Yonsei’s Membership Training Arises Anger Among Students

Posted on April 13, 2011


by Aram Jackie Jong

[Only surnames are mentioned to protect students’ identities]

From March 31 to April 2, two hundred freshman students at Yonsei University-Wonju attended Membership Training (MT). MT was originally created with the purpose of forming unity and comradeship between students. However, the first impression when most students think of MT is drinking alcohol or having an accident after binge drinking. Students are also being forced to pay for the outing.

“I don’t understand why this MT is compulsory for every freshman. It used to be voluntary to pay the Student Association fee, but they are forcing us to pay it all,” said Woo, a 20-year-old freshman majoring in Business and Administration.

The association fee was 150,000 Won and this will hold until students graduate. Those who paid the association fee need to pay an additional 35,000 Won for the MT and those who did not pay the association fee must pay 70,000 Won to participate.

According to an interview, one-third of students did not pay the fee at all and it is expected that many students will not turn up to MT this year.

“We respect the students who did not pay the fee and do not want to force them to pay it,” said Joo, a member of the Student Association. “Though as an association, we hoped everyone to participate in every school activity.”

However, perhaps money is not be the only reason that students are avoiding to attend MT, even for students who paid the association fee.

Kim, a 19-year-old Business and Administration student has religious concerns for drinking alcohol. “I’m Christian,” said Kim. “Even though the school does not force us to drink, there is some pressure from others at MT which will make me feel uncomfortable.”

As a student of the Business and Administration department, I hope our new Student Association leader, Yong-Suk Jang and his fellow members will wisely solve this issue for next year.

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