A SINCHON Campus student searches for a book on the library website. The website shows that the book is “checked out” on the Sinchon campus, but “available” at the Yonsei International Campus (YIC) in Songdo, Incheon. Though in need of the book, the student does not plan to go to Songdo to borrow the book, because this would take more effort than to buy the book or borrow it from a friend. While Sinchon campus students might never think of having the book delivered from Songdo, students in Songdo can easily borrow books from the Central Library in Sinchon Campus by requesting and receiving them through the school’s delivery service.
Though many of you might not have known this ? until now - students at the Sinchon campus can have books delivered from Songdo by sending a request email to the university library. And, starting from this August, students can borrow books from the Songdo library even more easily by pressing the “Request” button on the library online catalog and setting the pickup location as the Central Library. As a result, students in Sinchon can now borrow books more easily from Songdo.
Though the school got rid of one inconvenience, it is ignoring a more important one. This semester, the school is giving out 20,000 M-bus tokens and running 17 shuttle buses between the two campuses. However, this was not the original plan; it was the result of the negotiation process between the Students’ Union and the school administration. According to the Facebook page of the Students’ Union, Focus On Story, the school, at first, proposed running only six shuttle buses starting this fall semester -- about a quarter of the 20 shuttle buses run last semester. What is worse, the school also attempted to change the route of the shuttle buses to one that saves highway tolls but takes more time.
Though the cancellation of the school’s original planned cutbacks in shuttle bus service may seem as if the school cared for students’ convenience, there is something to note here. The school, while actually making it easier for students to borrow books from the other campus, attempted to cut the number of buses between the two campuses. Do you not find this contradictory? This is pure economics: simply put, the school administration does not need to spend much money for the book request policy, while it is costly to run the shuttle buses. A small number of books can be easily delivered if there is only one shuttle bus and a few workers who occasionally carry the books back and forth. On the other hand, running a number of shuttle buses each day requires lots of money for fuel, driver salaries, highway tolls, and vehicle maintenance costs ? and eventually the cost of new buses down the road. The book delivery service helps Yonsei disguise itself as a school that cares for its students but barely scratches the surface of the many real costs of the Songdo campus.
Because the school has consistently claimed “YIC is integrated with Sinchon Campus,” it should be natural for students to freely use the facilities on each campus and easily move back and forth between the two campuses. But free movement, in this case, conflicts with the university administration’s economic objectives. What should the school choose out of the two? The answer is simple; the school is not an interest group. The students should make sure the needs of the students do not take a back seat to finances.