▲ The Temporary Student Meeting in session. Photographed by Kim Seung Hyun.
On May 19, the Vice President of the Department of German Language and Literature was impeached in a Temporary Student Meeting. His derogatory and offensive sexual comments against several German Language and Literature students, along with the perfunctory nature of his written apology were the stated reasons for his indictment. All students present unanimously voted for impeachment. The student association of the department, on May 15, had also put up a campus wall poster that condemned the Vice President for his misdeeds before putting forth a motion to unseat him.
Two days ago, the Department had convened a Temporary Steering Committee to discuss matters related to students on a leave of absence and the voting process. Eight students on a leave of absence were granted the right to vote as a regular member until the midnight of May 19, and it was agreed upon that anonymity was not a necessary condition for the impeachment vote. During the Committee meeting, one student emphasized the gravity of the incident to further justify calling for the Vice President’s impeachment.
Before the motion was passed in the Student Meeting, several students, including the President of the department, reiterated why they believed the Vice President should be ousted. Drawing authority from both the department’s regulations and the bylaws of the Korea University Student Association (KUSA), they accused the Vice President of failing to uphold his duty to the department. Specifically, he was indicted for shirking his responsibility to establish a comfortable, liberating atmosphere and showing disregard toward the longevity of the department by hampering the student association’s ability to resolve the incident in a timely manner.
Some took issue with the student association’s competence, questioning why the victim’s demands that the offender be punished with help from KUSA, among others, were not met. The President clarified that the unprecedented nature of the Vice President’s actions and fear for the objectivity of student association members made them reconsider forming a Countermeasure Committee for this particular incident. Additionally, she explained that she had informed the victim of possible means to bring the perpetrator to justice, such as taking the case to the Gender Equality Center and the KU Women Student Association (KUWSA). Another Student Meeting will be convened in the upcoming week to discuss further punitive measures.