For several years, Sookmyung Women’s University refused celebrity unannounced visits. However, in 2016, a number of well-known artists popped up on campus, including Shinee, Seo Gangjun, Mun Jaein and An Cheolsu. It soon began the topic of controversy among Sookmyungians on Everytime, the school’s online community bulletin board. While some students said it offered them a great chance to meet stars, others worried about their safety and disruption to the academic atmosphere. In order to hear more on the topic, The Sookmyung Times asked two students their opinions on this issue.
Celebrity Visits on Campus Should Be Allowed
Yoo Reonjin / English Language & Literature’ 15
With the increased number of TV shows being produced in Korea, broadcasting companies need a place to shoot scenes. Generally, they rent out outlet malls or big multi-complex buildings during early dawn hours, but it has become more and more expensive and hard to arrange scheduling. Therefore, broadcasting companies need permits to use public spaces like parks and universities before they can film there. However, people are divided on whether entertainers should be allowed to make an appearance on a school’s grounds without prior announcement.
People, who disagree, claim that the presence of a well-known artist obstructs the normal academic environment on campus. They also claim that the risk of danger increases. However, all kinds of people are free to enter and wander about campus grounds, so there are already plenty of dangers. Moreover, celebrities typically travel about with bodyguards, so along with university security there is actually a heightened level of safety. In terms of being conducive to one’s academic endeavors, the fact that an entertainer would only drop by on rare occasions could be considered a ‘fun’ day and good for reducing one’s stress level from study. It could actually boost a student’s energy.
Besides this, there are other benefits that a university gets. Whenever a university is shown on media, the university gets free advertising. Students can also benefit from commercial filming and product promotion. For instance, when the company came to film a TOEIC promotion video on our campus, all students received a free TOEIC study book. Naturally, there are disadvantages, but these can be resolved with fair concern. Overall, the advantages like university promotion and student benefits like having fun and receiving free promotion gifts outweigh the disadvantages.
Kim Yeeun / Department of Political Science & International Relations’ 15
Many students acknowledge the multitude of perks of being a university student, but among them is that a university is a place of learning where one betters themselves and prepares to enter the workforce. Celebrities who visit university unannounced cause problems.
Ewha Women’s University is continuously suffering from tourist visits. Non-school affiliated persons frequently wander about campus with no regard for the students or the primary reason for the campus: learning. Likewise, film crews and stars that visit universities interrupt the flow of academic life since it’s very difficult to bar fans from flocking to the campus to get a glimpse of the visitor. Spontaneous visits, even on weekends, raise the cost of security, parking, and maintenance.
Also, there are a number of students on campus who do not care about celebrities or even know their existence. Spontaneous visits harm these students as they become victims of poor behavior by people who push and shove their way around the campus to get a better view of the stars. Students, then, find it hard to maintain their course timetables and end up arriving late to class. Professors, who are not fans, are not forgiving unexpected visitors and are disgruntled by students who are late or absent for class.
If the celebrities wanted to visits school, they should make a contract with school before. Also, celebrities’ visits on the campus must be helpful both to school and celebrities. If a contact is set prior to their arrival that is beneficial to both the school and the visitors and that addresses issues like fanatics, space, and time, then it should be visible, but unannounced visitations are too problematic to be ignored.