On August 26, the 2019 second semester began. As courses were opening, a quiet university campus became crowded with students again. Banners that student council made to celebrate the semester opening were hung all over the CUK campus, and posters promoting clubs recruitment drives or performances that had been prepared during the vacation were also posted on walls throughout the campus. Students could also see that many structural changes had taken place around campus, as repair work was proceeding and new spaces and facilities were open to students. Let’s look closely at how CUK changed during the summer vacation.
1. “International Hall (국제관)" becomes “Kim Su-Hwan Hall”
The name of the International Hall at CUK changed to “Kim Su-Hwan Hall,” which includes the dormitory, lecture rooms, Sung-sim convention center, and the Humanity community lounge. Kim Su-hwan was the first Korean cardinal. According to a CUK website announcement, before the name change, there had been a lot of complaints because this building complex was called many different names like International Hub Hall, Kim Su-Hwan Cardinal Hall (김수환 추기경관), and ‘International Hall (국제관). Therefore, the facilities management team of CUK decided to use a unified name, Kim Su Hwan Hall (abbreviation K).
However, some students are still using the former name, International Hall(국제관), and there has been much confusion due to the name change. For example, the name of the building that was formerly known as ‘IH’, the abbreviation of International Hall, is used in notices about event locations in GadaeTalk (official application of CUK) or for changed lecture rooms. 171 posts using the name of “International Hall” were uploaded after August 1 in EVERYTIME, the main online community for university students. By contrast, there are only 23 posts using the name of “Kim Su Hwan Hall” and five of the posts are about the name changes. As the old name of the building was used widely, more time is needed for this change to sink in among the students and staff of CUK.
2. Repair work continues in the dormitory
This summer, repair crews resumed the unfinished dormitory repair that had begun in the winter vacation. Last year, many students strongly demanded that the university respond to their complaints about the building’s poor construction and start repair work. The dormitory has many problems, including large cracks in the walls. In response to students’ demands, CUK started work to repair the dormitory starting last winter. This time, the work was proceeding on the fourth floor (there are room for disabled dormitory students and lounge), seventh and eighth floor (for male students), and the 12,13, and 14th floor (for female students). According to the progress schedule posted to the CUK website, chips and cracks in the plasterwork were repaired and the floors were replaced. At the same time, painting work and interior finish work was done. Repair work in dormitory B, often called the guest house, will be finished during the next winter vacation.
3. Replacement of “squat toilets” in CUK Hall
One of the oldest buildings at CUK is Nichols Hall. Many students and faculty complain about the outdated facilities in the building. In particular, people avoid using the “squat toilet (화변기)” remaining in restrooms in many CUK buildings, including Nichols Hall. According to the Facebook page of CUK, the student council “Bom-bom”, many suggestions related with restroom construction came in online to the suggestion box made by the Policy Bureau of the CUK student council. In early June, responding to students’ criticism about the need for improvement of restroom conditions, the student council focused enterprise about improvement of bathroom conditions as urgent request at conference with the president of a CUK. After repeated requests, they conferred about improvements to restroom conditions. During this summer vacation, facilities management team of CUK replaced the squat toilets with toilet seats and completed part of plumbing replacement work in Nichols Hall, Veritas Hall, Virtus Hall and Concert Hall.
4. New tables & study areas in Veritas Hall
Through “CU Challenge” and official supporters of the club “Gadae Sarang(가대사랑)”, a flat table in the central library browsing room on the second floor of Veritas Hall was replaced with new a table. For reference, “CU Challenge” is a fund-raising project to change tables at CUK library. Three hundred fourteen people participated in the project and 68,369,070 won was raised. Since the new table has table lamps and electrical outlets, students can now charge cellphones or laptops. However, increased noise problems from users’ laptops has become a problem because the use of laptop was restricted before. Therefore, the library conducted a survey among students about using laptop in the library browsing room on September 5. The results of the survey of 1,713 students revealed that an overwhelming 67.6% agreed to the proposal of “assigning of seats where people can use laptop in special zones.”
Students’ responses to the improvement of study spaces was positive. “It feels like being in a study café,” said Kim Dong-gu (department of social science, 19), who used a new flat table. He can feel the difference from the previous tables. “New chairs and bright lamps are also good for a better study atmosphere.” He added, “But I am little worried that the table will become untidy in midterm period when all people will plug cords into outlets.” In addition, Individual lights will be installed per seat in a browsing room on the fifth floor later.
At the same time, the Multimedia Room on the second floor of Veritas Hall with laptop seats and DVD seats were newly adapted into “The Idea Lounge,” where collaboration, cultural interchange, learning and relaxation coexist. Many tables and soft chairs were placed in this area. All CUK students can use this place to study or rest. Also, there are seminar rooms that can conduct group study inside the place for more than 6 users. They can reserve this room by calling lending department of library at least five days before using. To create new name fit for the new purpose of this place, library conducted survey students about name of the place from August 26 for a week. There are four options like “Learning commons”, “Idea commons”, “The idea lounge”, and “The link”. As a result, new name of Multimedia Room was decided for “The Idea Lounge” that 46.9% of the 641 surveyed students chose.
5. 3D printers, plastic cutters, and sewing machines installed at “Maker Space” in Sung Sim Hall.
There is a new place called “Maker Space” in Sung sim Hall (Educational-Industrial Cooperation Hall) unit 306. Maker Space is not the only place in CUK. Originally, It means work space that consumer can makes products they want with 3D model files and various materials on the spot. “Responding to the trend of individual manufacturing businesses and start-ups, we started preparation for this place from last semester in order for students to easily make prototypes.” Business Incubation Center manager Bae Hye-mi, who take charge of Maker Space in CUK, said she hope many people come and use the place.
Maker Space at CUK is equipped with 3D printers, thermoelectronic printer, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) plastic cutter. In addition, students who prepare start-up related with clothing can make sample of clothes using equipped industrial sewing machine and house sewing machine. More necessary equipment that student want will be purchased on the basis of demand surveys during this winter vacation. Due to the complicated nature of the equipment, students have to be well-acquainted with the technology before using the equipment. Therefore, people who complete education program that will running from October can use Maker Space in CUK. In addition, Business Incubation Center held an open event to introduce students to this place through special lectures and experience programs.
CUK greeted students with new changes throughout the campus during the vacation and there have been many positive responses to these changes. However, many students might feel the touch of people who endeavor continually to make CUK a better place. This kind of effort that acknowledges users’ complaints to improve the university will contribute to an all-around better perception of CUK by the students and the public. Therefore, many students also need to try to live up to the effort by giving their opinions and feedback to university officials. The Catholic University Forum (CUF) also cheers students’ fresh beginnings at CUK.