The Observer surveyed 145 students about the student fee. Among the students who answered that they paid the fee, 34% of the students paid it because they thought it was a common practice for students to pay the fee and 24% paid it without thinking about it. Also, 17% paid it to participate in the YU programs, and 21% answered they wanted to be assigned the lockers. Students said the student fee should be used for installing more lockers, management of student welfare, and establishing facilities. YU Central Audit Committee notifies details of the student fee by publicizing their records and posters. However, among students who were surveyed, 70% did not know these things existed.
Present condition of YU student fee
About 15 years ago, all students had to pay the student fee, but there were a lot of complaints. Therefore, around 10 years ago, students could pay the fee optionally. Nowadays, about 65% of students pay the student fee every semester. The student fee is deposited into YU account and then the Central Steering Committee of the General Student’s Association examines each share of General Student’s Association, Union of Female Students, Central Audit Committee, Club Association, and each college’s Student’s Association. At last, the university decides how much of the student fee they will receive to each group.
Corruptions and doubts about the student YU
Last year, a General Student’s Association of College of Engineering aroused controversy. It used 10,410,900 won of the student fee for dining expenses from March to May in 2013. After realizing this situation, students got angry and it was reported on the news. The Observer extracted the records of the Central Audit Committee.
Q) Dinning expense – March: 1,670,500 won + April: 1,319,800 won + May: 7,420,600 won = 10,410,900 won. You used about 10,000,000 won, a half of the student fee, that was assigned for your college for the dinning. It should have been used for the students instead. I think this price was too high for just dinning.
A) This year, we held more events than previous years. The result was great. It means all the staff members worked earnestly compared to previous years. Therefore, we thought the dinning was necessary to increase solidarity and camaraderie. The staff from all of the departments took part in the dinning, so, the expense of dinning is a little high. The reason why we used more money on the first semester is to increase solidarity easily, and then it it helpful to hold the best and various events during the second semester.
It is not understandable to use the student fee of the College of Engineering for only staffs members and not for the students. Also it was not the first controversy. In 2006, the Student’s Association of this college used the fee for the dinning at a night club.
There was another controversy at the College of Liberal Arts. According to the rules at YU, students who do not pay the student fee cannot run as a candidate. However Mr. S and Mr. L ran for an election as President and Vice President, respectively, at the College of Liberal Arts and they won the election. Therefore there was a controversy because they could not fulfill the requirement for election. After the Central Steering Committee’s discussion, the election was invalidated.Despite the invalidation, Mr. S and Mr. L still pretended to be in power. The Observer asked how this situation was happened in the General Student’s Association, but the union handled this problem by saying they still have to find out why.
The evening class (college) had a similar controversy, too. This year’s Economic (evening class) student president did not pay his 2013 second semester student fee but is working now. The General Student’s Association said that it will investigate.
There was a posting about the student fee on the Yukiki.net. The content on the website stated that the person also received the locker though he did not pay the student fee. As you know from the survey results, many students pay their student fee to get assigned lockers.
We called the Office of Student Affairs to receive some explanation. After making students pay the student fee optionally, the General Student’s Association worried about the low rate of the student fee. So, the General Student’s Association asked to add a sentence on the tuition paper that student fee will be used for assignment of lockers and giving a chance to participate in school programs. The Office of Student Affairs said that the problem about the assigning the lockers is under General Student’s Association’s management.
Central Audit Committee and about its doubts
Central Audit Committee is an independent institution that audits Student’s Associations at YU. It does audit three times a year; the first half year audit, vacation audit, and the second half year audit. The result of the audit is reported in the form of hand-written posters and records of audits. Especially, records of audits include audit of pledge, projects, and accounts. However, as you know from survey results, many students did not know about the existence about the hand-written posters and the records. The Central Audit Committee said that it tried to promote itself using pamphlets and the Central Audit Committee board on Yukiki.net. Through this process, it helps students understand and increase awareness of itself. After reading the 2013 second half year audit records, it arouses some doubts. Some Student’s Associations was poor at managing the student fee. There is a basic principle that a receipt of card payment or estimate must be submitted. However, some associations did not keep the basic rule.
Those Student’s Associations said they had an excuse that they did not know these facts. Other doubt is that the Central Audit Committee did audit autonomously. Therefore, we don’t know if this is a 100% clear judgment. Also, each department collects departmental fees but the student fee is a separate thing. However reading the records of audits, we could not find where the departmental fees are used but we only know that the student fee was used.
Other university student fee reporting system
Kyungpook National University’s General Student’s Association is writing their usage of student fee on a HWP document and uploading onto ‘Sound of Bokhyun.’ The usage of student fee is under discussion at the student representative conference which consists of all the student presidents and the vice students president of the student departments.
In case of Kyungil University, they completely removed departmental fees which collected from freshman a one-time fee for four years. And then, Kyungil University manages the departmental fee system. This system is that the university collects the departmental fees. That is, each Student’s Association cannot collects the fees from the students. If departmental fees are lacking, then the university supports the department by school funding. They set the school support budget for about 100,000,000 won after examining thoroughly the school department’s events. It is a good case that school improves the student fee system.
In case of Ajou University, the Student’s Association of the engineering college posts the student fee on its Naver cafe. It includes total expenditure, amount for deposit, copied bankbook, copied receipt. It can be seen by anyone, even those who are not members of the cafe.
At Chosun University the Student’s Association of Department of Physics, the spending of student fees which includes a copy of the bankbook and excel files can be found on Facebook.
Korea University makes audit about student fee on a HWP document. It includes detailed reasons for student fee allocation and detailed written charts which include General Student’s Association, Student’s Associations, club association, independent institution usages.
We investigated embezzlement of Student’s Association of Engineering college and student president’s doubt in College of Liberal Art and the incident of the evening classes with the Economic student president. All of these incidents are related to student fees. However, students do not know where the student fees are used and how it is managed. Approximately only three out of ten students have ever heard about the records of audits. If students’ attitudes do not change, it is hard to develop our university culture. Students who did not know about the former incidents should try to help solve the problems from now on.