From 2001, O.B.F was providing beverages and a place to talk freely in English and on December 6, 2019, it was last day of O.B.F. O.B.F explained the rational behind its closing and expressed regret in an announcement on the CUK (Catholic University of Korea) website on December 3, 2019. In the announcement, there is a brief introduction of the O.B.F mission, what it did for students, and why it is being abolished by university officials.
O.B.F was an acronym for one of CUK’s student organizations, standing for “Of the students, By the students, For the students.” O.B.F manages an English cafe located in the Global-lounge of Kim Sou-hwan Cardinal Hall and O.B.F members are called O.B.F masters. In 2001, it started with the aim of providing a place and exercises where students can use English freely. It planned and organized many events such as the Halloween party, a Global Xchange sports event and generally provided a venue in which foreign and Korean students could meet and make new relationship.
O.B.F promoted “25 minutes of free talking” with CUK students through ‘an O.B.F visit' as part of a Global Communication class. The Global Communication class is a speaking and listening class, and it puts emphasis on students’ participation in class. Its goal is to improve English skills such as grammar, using the appropriate expression, pronunciation, and to increase confidence and fluency. This Global communication class as one of every student’s core requirements was recently discontinued. Therefore, O.B.F was also abolished on December 6, 2019, according to O.B.F’s announcement.
University faculty said CUK plans on opening and managing a new Global Lounge, where O.B.F was located. They said if students make a request for a place for speaking English, CUK officials will judge its validity and will not make a decision concerning removing the Global Lounge unconditionally. In addition, foreign language education courses such as Global Communication class will shift from being a general education requirement to being an elective in the first semester of 2020, when a total of nine English classes will be offered, they said.
As for O.B.F’s abolishment, some CUK students find it regrettable. CUK students Choi ○ ○(19) said, “Beverages in O.B.F were delicious and I love O.B.F café so much. Also, it was almost the first time that I spoke English for ordering, except the time that I was in English village, so I think it is good that I had opportunities for speaking English in O.B.F. Using O.B.F café in between classes time was great, but now O.B.F is abolished, I really miss it.” In Everytime, which is a university community application, there are many comments:
“Is O.B.F really abolished? Then, what appears in that place?”
“Oreo shake is my favorite. I am sad about O.B.F.’s abolishment”
“O.B.F is abolished because Global communication class is abolished, I really sad about it. My place that I rest in between classes disappears now.”
From 2001 to now, O.B.F provided many delicious beverages such as Oreo shakes, and it was the place where students could speak English freely and have opportunities to meet foreign students. It tried to provide the place and activities for Korean and foreign students to communicate. Below is the letter from Lee Je-in (Human ecology, 19), who is one of O.B.F members, to CUK students: