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A Freshmen's Mission Statement in University
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Updated : 2019.07.19  17:39:15
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 Welcome, new students to Gachon University! As most Koreans experience, you must have spent a lot of effort and money to get to college. And finally you have achieved that goal.
So why do so many people make so much effort to become college students? What are the advantages of being a college student? In order to answer these questions, you, as a college student, must think about what college is like.
 British writer Benjamin Disraeli once said, "a University should be a place of light, of love, and of learning." I like his definition of university very much because I think these three things he suggested are words that indicate the nature of universities properly.
 First, a university should be a place of "light". People feel anxiety and fear in the dark and light eliminates the anxiety and fear. Historically, universities have played the role of light among the darkness of ignorance and injustice. The light is intelligence which is a representing word of university. When you come up with a good idea to solve a certain problem, you would depict it as a light bulb. University people have discovered and invented so many solutions that can untangle problems that humans have been struggling with such as disease, environmental pollution, social conflict and so on. Intelligence also has actively served as a catalyst to make the world a better place. In addition, university people did not tolerate dictatorship and injustice. In many countries where citizens enjoy democracy and freedom today including South Korea, university members have resisted dictatorship, supported the human rights of the underprivileged and alienated, and fought to realize justice in their societies.
 Also, a university should be a place of "liberty" and "freedom". Colleges are a community of free people. Professors freely choose research topics they will study and activities they would be involved in. They are allowed to have a high level of control and autonomy on their schedules. Such freedom is also given to college students. They have the freedom to decide the courses to take in each semester. Depending on your willingness, you may join the student council or a club(dong-a-ri) or may choose to work part-time on or off the campus. The reason why universities allow freedom to students is because of a societal consensus that college students are men of intelligence and mature enough to make their own decisions. We trust the power of intelligence which is believed to be shared among people in the community of universities. Note that freedom must be accompanied by responsibility. College students should assume responsibility for the consequences of their choices, decisions, and actions.
 Lastly, universities should be a place of "learning". Learning in college is different from learning in junior and senior high school. Learning in college is not a passive one. Learners in colleges do not limit their learning to knowledge written in textbooks. College students should be proactive, self-directed and self-motivated learner. A professor is not a person who pushes everything that students need to know into their brains. In the same vein, classrooms are not the only place where a learning occurs. Every facility in a university including libraries, student lounges, small seminar rooms, computer labs, and faculty offices are designed to support various forms of learning of students. You can learn from professors, from books, from computer networks, sometimes from conversations with colleagues. Learning should not only be gaining knowledge of the past. You have to eagerly look for and learn the knowledge and wisdom for the future your generation will create and live on.
 This is a mission statement what Disraeli dreamt of as one of an ideal university. However, the reality of today's universities whose only mission is to raise the employment rate of their graduates and waste energy and time to earn a high score in the government's assessment. I am more than sorry to admit that today's universities are far from what they should be. Nevertheless, a university is still a good place and the four-years given to you in a college is the most precious time in your life even in such a turbulent reality. Remember. It is yourself who can make this irreversible time more beautiful and valuable.

Dept.obal Business Administration  Professor

Jo Sung Jun

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