What are the YU Keepers?
The YU Keepers are an independent student organization that has been implemented since 1998. The main purpose of the YU Keepers help students return home safely and support an academic atmosphere by patrolling a dark places late at night (20:00-24:00). If you want to join the YU Keepers, you have to submit an application form at the One-Stop Service Center in February and August. Members of the YU Keepers are selected through an interview process that is conducted by students. They work 5 days per a week, patrol one’s round in a group, and receive 28,000 won per day. You can see a group of students who wave their light batons around the school bus, they are the YU Keepers.
Controversies about YU Keepers
The YU Keepers were organized for a good purpose. However, some controversies were raised up by some students because they saw some members of the YU Keepers who don’t patrol the campus or they received pay without working. The biggest problem happened in June 2014. The problem was that a member of the YU Keepers received money while working as a keeper during the first semester despite that fact that she was not a YU student. It became a debated topic in the free bulletin board and the anonymous bulletin board of YU.
Handling Process of the Controversies
After finishing the 2014 member selection, a student who was selected as a member suddenly left the YU Keepers. The process to select members had finished and there was some hardship to interview for a replacement student, so the chief of the YU Keepers told his sister to fill the vacancy, temporarily. The YU Keepers were implemented during the first semester of 2014. However, this was a big problem. The problem was the sister of the chief was not a YU student, she was a Pukyong National University student, and it became a hot debate. As the chief registered his sister into the YU Keepers, he introduced her as a student of the Department of Cultural Anthropology of YU. The main problem was that, in spite of the basic qualification that a member of the YU Keepers must be a YU student, another university student’s received YU work scholarship. After this controversy, YU students who knew about this problem were upset because their tuition was used to pay another university’s student and also criticized the responsility department that didn’t identify this problem during the 4 month period.
Punishment of the Chief of the YU Keepers
After this controversies, the chief admitted that he selected his sister in a wrongful way and the Student Office imposed some penalties such as, a letter of apology, 60 hours of community service, and the surrender of his scholarship. Some students said this punishment was not enough compared to the infraction. The reasons were there were only two punishments; the surrender of his scholarship should not be considered a part of the punishment. Student Office replied they considered the student’s rights and reduced his punishment but only after he showed remorse when the scandal became public.
Why are student corruption scandals happening repeatedly?
Then, why do various frauds by students reoccur every year at the university? First, it would be difficult to give the sanctions legally. Also there is a general recognition that it is too immoderate to punish the student as a criminal who commits a crime in society. In this view, weak punishments implemented to students who commit these infractions are one of the reasons why student corruptions keep reoccurring. In addition, the Student Office said that the purpose of punishment is to prevent a recurrence of the incident, not to ruin the life of a student but some opinions about the punishments is that they are weak. However, it is hard to say the current punishment is effective to prevent recurrence, also university students should be responsible for their actions as an adult so the proper level of punishment is necessary. Second, a weak awareness of students is also a problem. In society, some corruption scandals, like the YU Keepers controversies, are a criminal act corresponding to embezzlement. However, students tend to consider the corruptions too lightly because it is among students and not society. It is necessary for students who belong to the independent student organizations to hold responsibility because they do volunteer work for other students and also represent students.
Changing of the YU Keepers
1. This controversy started when the chief filled a vacancy with his sister.
→ From now on when the YU Keepers select their members, they should select candidate members to fill the vacancies.
2. In the past, eventhough members of the YU Keepers did not work or were late for work for personal reasons, they would still take pay for their work scholarship. They enforced a system of monetary penalty autonomously and they used the penalties for operating expenses.
→ They will keep their time cards at the university headquarters information office so it is expected that attendance, time off, lateness and absence through identification and autograph will be checked.
In addition, there are new regulations to solve other bad habits. YU Students can see stipulated regulations at ch.yu.ca.kr or yukiki.net. The YU Keepers will be more downsized than before and they will make an effort to operate well through stipulations regulations and manuals.
Images that student organizations of the university pocketed money because of repeated corruption, are not made in a day or two. Though the YU Keepers must make an effort to change their image as one of student organizations, the negative images are enhanced because of this controversy. This means the purpose of school organizations (which is to represent the students) will lose their respect because of their declining image. Therefore, students who are active in the organizations must use the funds given to the organizations properly and fairly rather than satisfy their individual greed taking advantage of the poor management. Also, the Student Office needs to create an exact system that monitors student organizations to operate in the correct way.
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