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Crisis of the SBST: Students and Faculty Together to Regain Their Status생과기부 비상대책위 인터뷰
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승인 2013.04.10  17:33:37
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<Interview>
 
Crisis of the School of Biological Sciences and Technology
Students and Faculty Together to Regain Their Status
 
By Lim Seon-young, Tribune Reporter
Hwang Jae-hyung, Cub-Reporter
 
Members of the Emergency Measure Committee (EMC) of the School of Biological Sciences and Technology (SBST) held a candlelight vigil in front of the university administration building last April 8th demanding the return of the SBST to its original place under the university presidency. The Chonnam Tribune was able to meet SBST professors who are participating in the demonstration in cluding Soh Jae-mok (Genetics), Yoon Chul-ho (Functional Proteomics) and Chae Ho-zun (Biochemistry). Professor Soh was in an on-going hunger strike where he shows his determination to be communicated by the university administration. Professor Yun and Professor Chae talked on behalf of the party.
 
Chonnam Tribune(CT): What do you think are the reasons that escalated the events to a candlelight demonstration? 
Chae: With the decision of the past CNU president, under various reasons, the School of Biological Sciences and Technology went through reconstruction and was relegated from being under the direct supervision of the university presidency to be placed under the College of Natural Sciences. In protest, a few professors were in unison to file a lawsuit that will prevent the relegation to take place. With a court judgment that states the illegitimacy and illegality of the reconstruction process, the students have maintained the position that seeks for proper dialogue with the university administration. However, the university administration has not been open to dialogue. The faculty of our department believes strongly that things should be put back in where they were because it is proper to do so. Being moved from the university presidency which allows the department to maintain an independent administration to the College of Natural Sciences and even income issues, this is a procedural problem. With the decision of the past CNU president, under various reasons, the School of Biological Sciences and Technology went through reconstruction and was relegated from being under the direct supervision of the university presidency to be placed under the College of Natural Sciences. In protest, a few professors were in unison to file a lawsuit that will prevent the relegation to take place. With a court judgment that states the illegitimacy and illegality of the reconstruction process, the students have maintained the position that seeks for proper dialogue with the university administration. However, the university administration has not been open to dialogue. The faculty of our department believes strongly that things should be put back in where they were because it is proper to do so. Being moved from the university presidency which allows the department to maintain an independent administration to the College of Natural Sciences and even income issues, this is a procedural problem.
 
Yoon: The procedural issue stated here is with regards to the relegation that our department has experienced even with the fact that the Council of Professors has given a joint opposition on the relegation. We demand the former CNU president to present the three reasons for the relegation of the SBST; and with the invalidity of the three reasons, we demand that the former CNU vice president and the university administration to recognize their mistakes. As for the university administration, it is a not a costly decision, and it is not something that will make it lose anything. However, it is still continuing to adhere to what is wrong. It is the role of an educator to correct what is wrong.
 
CT: What are the plans of the SBST Emergency Council after this candlelight demonstration?
Chae: Presently, the university does not have open ears to listen. This demonstration is a demand for the proper re-designation of where the department originally is. While the university administration does not recognize the problem we have in hand, it is definitely not a difficult problem to solve, an issue so simple that with proper discussion with the administration is a problem that can be solved easily.
 
CT: What is the difference of having the SBST under the presidency and under the College of Natural Sciences?
Yoon: Before, biotechnology was just a course in the College of Natural Sciences, but as the biotech industry flourished and the importance of biotechnology education came into the spotlight, SBST is the first department nationally specializing in the field that runs autonomously. The rise of biotechnology, developments for the future can be seen. As other universities start to introduce an autonomous biotechnology track, CNU is going backwards with its decision to abolish SBST. As it was under the presidency, administrative processes became easier which in turn boosted the development in the department.
 
CT: Including other science and those from SBST, a lot of students do not know about this reality. What do you think about it?
Yoon: Look at the slogan we have here in the demonstration. ‘Students would like to study.’ Similarly, students need to study. We did not want to upscale this issue and mobilize the students in order for it to be solved; it is the role of us, professors, to do so. We have been to the administration, tried all means of communication to no avail, and now Professor Soh Jae-mog is currently in a hunger strike.
 
Chae: For professors, justice is life. Does not the university teach truth to its students? Truth as truth and as a discipline, it should be kept by all means. As we firmly believe that our cause follows the truth, we will continue to fight until justice is achieved.
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