People say there are three things to partake in while spending a nice, favorable college life—love, study, and school clubs. They divide these categories as if they are totally separate. Of course, almost all clubs are focused on art, music, sports, and hobby life. However, there are people who say “No” to such postulation and claim that they can go along together. They are namely the members of the Korea University Computer Club (KUCC). Love, friendship, study, and club activity can be merged into this small school club hypnotized with computers.
“Hmmm… There are actually lots of things we do and I cannot sum that all up,” Choi Mun Suk (’13, Computer), the head of KUCC replied to the question asking the main task of the club. Established in the year 1973, the club has an accumulated history as a society loving and teaching computers. Professor Baek Doo Kwon (College of Information and Communication) founded the club based on his pure interest in the field of computer science. Thanks to his efforts, the members of KUCC came to construct computers, learn how to photoshop pictures, study computer programming, and invent android applications in room 314 of the Student Council Building.
KUCC Building a Small Cosmos of Computers
The road to achieve love, scores, and club activity at the same time is rather complicated. KUCC has its own harsh schedules and planning that members have to follow. This is simply because computer is not an easy field to conquer in a short period of time. Every available day, which is Monday this semester, they gather together to discuss their tasks for the week, and every Saturday, they spend over five hours to explore the world of computers in earnest. They learn computers from the very beginning and apply their knowledge to practice. There are even some days when they spend all night with their hands on computer components or mouses and their eyes on screens emitting bright light.
It goes without saying that the Hard Training (HT) can be pointed out as the main activity of KUCC. “Every summer and winter vacation, members of the club put their heads together for six nights and seven days delving into computers,” Choi stated about HT. If they firmed the ground on Saturdays with backgound knowledge and basic computer language, HT is the opportunity given to apply what they have learned throughout the semester. All members carry their own personal computers to the basecamp and devise their own computer games or Web pages in groups. Choi and other representatives of KUCC form groups considering individual’s ability and knowledge to balance the overall level of each team.
At the end of the training, they have time to share their seven days by introducing their final products. “We acclaim superb outcomes and give feedback to those who need improvement,” Choi said. There is hardly any harsh criticism, since they all know they did their utmost in accomplishing each result. HT is, however, not all about studying and researching in that the members also enjoy their youth as in any other get-togethers. They drink soju and crunch munchies every night relieving their tension accumulated over the day and laughing over stories they prepared. Those six nights and seven days are surely the most meaningful celebration for KUCC and its members.
All Work and All Play Make It a Fun Club
If only hearing its name, most would imagine a strict, mundane club of male students with thick eyeglasses, only delving into computers and games. Nevertheless, KUCC bucks this popular notion and provides a new image of a computer club. There are much more than merely learning computer languages and manipulating programs. With a number of members amassed over 40 years, there is an annual meeting where people from all different generations can converge with discussions about the past, present, and future of KUCC. With beer and soju becoming their friends, they spend a full night talking about computers. “With KUCC having reached its 41st anniversary, people at the meeting introduce themselves and share stories through the endless night,” Choi stated.
School festivals are also one of their main platforms for boosting their potentials. In every school club festival and fall festival, the members of KUCC open booths to display the new programs, games, and applications they have been working on for months. Though there are only a few who understand their tears and sweat, they are the best occasions for proudly showing off their final results. There is also the magazine Ohdaeho in which they publish and display every club festival. It is not about programming; they collect all their writings about their KUCC life for a year. No need to say, this magazine includes the time the members had spent studying, learning, and enjoying together.
Dear People Who Hope to Join,
“KUCC is undoubtedly the club of diversity,” Choi claimed when asked about the unique traits of the club. It is true that there are only a few students who are currently joining the club for its scholastic charateristics. However, the degree of dispersion and variety is more or less similar to that of other clubs. Among the 20 members, there are people from their early 20s all the way to those in their early 30s. Most would guess that there would be an overwhelming proportion of students from the College of Information and Communication, but this is a mere stereotype. A considerable number of members are from the College of Political Science and Economics and the Business School, which are not strongly related to computers. Surprisingly, there were even three foreigner members last semester.
The steps to entering KUCC are extremely simple and clear. Every applicant should have an interview, which is quite formal, with the representative in charge of personnel. “We just hold an interview to tell what we actually do and see whether we can fulfill the applicant’s needs,” Choi said. There are in fact several students who ask for something not related to what KUCC studies and who are greatly concerned about their low level of computer-related knowledge. “Nevertheless, there is no need for such students, who know nothing about programming to worry,” Choi continued. The club teaches newcomers from the very beginning with the easiest computer language called python. The members of KUCC are totally ready to accept the newcomers with open arms by saying, “Wanna play with computers?”