ALL PHOTOS BY SMT
Walking around Sookmyung campus, you encounter a flood of information from numerous posters. These posters are everywhere. They are plastered in classrooms, on elevators and stairs and can even be found in toilets. They are creating a huge ugly inappropriate mess on notice boards, but the flood continuous. Nevertheless, have you ever wondered what sparks this chaos in the first place? Is it okay to leave the places full of poster in such disarray? The Sookmyung Times set out to find an answer to these questions.
Chaos of Posters
Sookmyungians see posters all day long. They are all around campus and provide information to students restlessly. The phenomenon intensifies at the beginning of a semester and occurs in places highly populated with crowds of students such as Myungshin Building. Most posters are found on undesignated places such as classroom walls, elevators, stairs, and so on. Since many students from each association try to post their information at the same time on such places, endless tussle between poster distributors and people who remove the posters often occurs. Kim, a cleaner at SMU who called for anonymity said, “Posters give us such a headache. We have to detach any posters not properly and/or not authorized to be affixed to notice boards. Despite the removal, students ignore the reason for its removal and put up another poster.” The situation regarding designated notice boards is not bright either. Posters on these boards are piled up which make them unreadable. Moreover, a lot of associations, particularly external enterprises, attach their posters without going through proper channels for gaining permission to affix a poster on a notice board.
Then, where can posters be put up and what is the proper procedure for gaining permission to put up posters on Sookmyung campus? On outdoor notice boards, anyone may put up a notice in three places: in front of Myungshin Building, outside of Student Union Building’s 3rd floor, and between Multicomplex Hall and the College of Science. Indoor boards are located at six separated places on campus: Myungshin Building, Myungshin Lounge, Veritas Building, Sae Him Hall, and the College of Science. These boards were established for the convenience of Sookmyungians to gain diverse information easily, so anyone who wishes to provide useful information to students can post there. However, since the notice boards were established for student convenience, there is a set of procedures one must go through before affixing a poster. Before posting a notice, one must obtain approval from the Office of Student Affairs. Specifications regarding purpose and the number of posters should be specified. Once this is done,the distributor can receive stamps from the office to place on the posters. Less than 10 poster stamps will be given to any one association, and the period they may remain on a notice board is one week. It is not proper to attach notices in undesignated areas like classrooms and elevators. Nevertheless, why is this chaos of posters happening although rules exist? One reason could be the lack of personnel managing the disorder. Only few cleaning staff control posters affixed to inappropriate places. Moreover, no one manages the piles of posters without stamps affixed to boards. Because of a lack of staff to remove unauthorized posters, posters are left to pile up and look untidy. Also, students being driven to particular places could be another reason. At SMU, only few places are truly crowded, especially on the 1st campus. Students try to convey their information to as many people as possible so most posters tend to gather in limited crowded areas. Because the majority of posters gather in the same place, the places are cluttered with posters.
Basic Steps to Affix Posters
1. Go to the Office of Student Affairs on the 3rd floor of the Student Union Building.
2. Affix a seal-stamp-to each poster, write in the visitors’ log, and sign on the sign paper.
3. Put up posters on notice boards.
Q1 Why do you put up so many posters at once on the bulletin board?
A lot of posters cover previously put up ones, so posting a lot of posters all at once avoids or makes it difficult to cover up our posters. Also, numerous postings of the same poster catch people's eyes. For these reasons, even though it may look messy, we cannot help but affix posters consecutively all at once.
Because available space on the bulletin boards is limited and usually plastered with school club posters, we have to attach two or three one after the other in order to catch students' attention. Otherwise, our posters would soon be concealed by other posters.
Q2 What do you think about the bulletin board clutter due to posters?
Executives of SMU (Representative of Security guard in SMU)
We think the clutter looks awful and makes the surroundings look messy, too. Unfortunately, we take directions from the administration team, so we don’t say anything or prevent the posters from being put up properly and neatly.
Student (Division of Child Welfare & Studies ’13)
It looks very messy, but I guess there is really no solution to the problem. Posters are important for most students since they provide students with much information. I think students should be susceptible to the clutter, recognizing the importance of poster messages.
Jammed Notice Board
Many interested parties put up posters on notice boards, which only adds to the problem. First, there is a lack of space on notice boards. Because of indiscreetly attached posters, there is no place to attach additional posters. Kim, a member of the leadership group Polaris, said, “When we need advertise and/or recruit new members, we always face difficulty because we cannot find any empty place on the boards. We have no choice but to stack our posters on top of other posters attached earlier.” Because the notice board is jammed with posters, people stack posters; as a result, after students affix their posters, the posters quickly disappear, covered by other posters. Also, ignorance of procedures and rules which is written above this passage regarding poster attachment is other problems. It is because not many people know these steps of attaching posters. Therefore, lots of people put up their posters without attaining the proper stamp that needs to be pressed onto the posters. These non stamped posters are largely responsible for the disarray.
Additionally, there is a lack of restrictions placed on external enterprises and companies. Jung Dahye, Department of Global Cooperation ’12 said, “When I look at notice boards, I easily find posters from companies advertising special lectures or exam prep-classes. It is good information because we need the information. However, it is also problematic. The same poster covers an entire board.” When companies send their employees to put up posters on our university notice boards, they usually put up about five to six of the same poster side by side. By attaching too many of the same poster on one board, the board fills up quickly.
The Place for Communication
University notice boards were made for students to communicate. However,problems are occurring since usage of notice boards has changed. To regain the original meaning of a notice board, the university needs to make rules and warn people about unauthorized affixation of posters. Setting a maximum number of posters allowed and making the seal mandatory on posters before they are affixed to notice boards can be possible regulations. Also, the university needs to effectively inform these rules to companies, institutes, and students who want to attach posters. Publically notifying people about the rules for the notice boards can be one way of informing the rules to people. Also, making more notice boards would also lessen the mess of the posters. However, if an increase in notice boards is impossible because the campus is too small, student and company posters should be placed on separate notice boards to clean up the chaos and keep the school looking tidy.
Notice boards are places where students get information easily and communicate with other groups. Therefore, boards must not be chaotic due to excessive amounts of posters. Instead of putting up the same poster on the same board, the university needs to clearly dictate that only one poster is allowed. By attaching a single poster the board will be wider and cleaner for students. Care and attention to the communication boards can make tidy and clean boards, which ease student communications.