SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — Controversy looms over university authorities requiring students to obtain ‘pre-authorization’ for putting up posters on university campuses or taking them down arbitrarily.
Recently, students at Dongduk Women’s University put up posters throughout the campus criticizing professors and instructors who made sexist remarks, as well as the school’s ‘repression of the school media’.
The school advised the student organizations responsible for the posters to ‘move them to a designated board inside the campus or they will be taken down’.
The school explained that the request was based on school regulations that require posters to be put up in designated areas with clear expiration dates when they are to be taken down.
When one student organization asked school authorities for a solution after the designated board could not accommodate any more posters, the school responded “there is nothing we can do.”
Students argue that the current school regulation that requires prior authorization before putting up posters is an infringement upon freedom of expression, which amounts to censorship and repression of student autonomy.
Dispute between administrators and students over putting up posters on campus has been rampant at other universities as well.
Recently, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was met with strong criticism from students after taking down several posters put up in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong for ‘student safety’.
Last May, Hongik University took down posters remembering school guards who passed away.
“Ensuring posters and boards on college campuses is essential for maintaining the culture of public debate at university,” said professor Kim Yun-tae from Korea University.
“Schools should ensure that students can bring up important public issues on campus.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)