Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

Unsolved Chongshin University Problems Include Charge of Admission Irregularity

2018-01-09 12:37

From January 4, undergraduate and graduate students at Chongshin University are holding a sit-in and fast on the first floor of the all-purpose building at the Chongshin campus in Dongjak-gu, Seoul, demanding that President Kim Yeong-wu step down. It has been a year and two months since the tent was set up in November 2016 in response to a suspected “20 million won bribe in breach of trust,” and the fire was lit for President Kim’s resignation. On January 7, Evangelist Kwak Han-rak (58, photo), who chairs the emergency countermeasures committee of the Chongshin University Graduate School of Theology (GST), was sitting alone, reading the Bible. “During the past four days, all that’s gone into my stomach is diabetes medicine and water,” he said. “As I prepare for the ministry, I’m getting an actual experience of wilderness.”

The repeatedly chaotic Chongshin situation has continued in the new year without taking a first step toward solution, and now in addition there is “suspected corruption in graduate school admissions (unfair exclusion).” As explained by the sit-in organizers, the emergency committees of the Chongshin University Student Association and the GST, “Recently ‘C,’ a GST applicant who had passed both the first-stage written exam and the second-stage interview, was denied entrance… Though ‘C’ had fulfilled all the requisite conditions for acceptance, he was excluded due to his record as former president of the Student Association in 2016, when he led demonstrations calling for President Kim’s resignation.” The organizers charged, “This happened when the illegally formed ‘GST Committee’ suddenly took over management of school affairs, contrary to school regulations, which grant this authority to the Faculty Association.”

On January 4, the executive committee of Presbyterian Church of Korea - Hapdong met in the denomination’s building and resolved to apply pressure for President Kim’s departure, as well as to minimize possible damage to the graduate students, but some say more effective measures are needed to deal with the situation. According to the Chongshin University statutes and the Private School Act, the denomination cannot act with legal force, because under current law the school foundation board holds absolute power over Chongshin University operations. Within the denomination, there are increasing calls for clergy to participate positively in resolving the problem.

Requesting anonymity, a pastor graduate of Chongshin University appealed for such participation, saying, “It’s cowardly to stay comfortable, ignoring the situation of our mother school, when it has incubated the churches where we carry out our ministries.”

Article and photo by reporter Choi Ki-young (ky710@kmib.co.kr), with Marion Kim (marionkkim@icloud.com)

Original Article in Korean:
해법 못 찾는 총신대, 입시비리 의혹까지: 총신대 학부생·신대원생들 김 총장 사퇴 요구 단식 4일째

Related Article:
Chongshin President Kim Yeong-wu Indicted Without Arrest, “Resign” Movement Reignited

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