The student council, TiumI, has decided to erect a Statue of peace－often called Sonyeosang which means literally “a statue of a girl”－inside Chungnam National University. This will be the first time for a national university to erect a Statue of Peace. "We intend to establish a local spirit and increase students’ historical awareness. Furthermore, as one of the highest educational institutions, we think that we have the biggest responsibility to build this statue," the student council said. The procedure will begin with the consensus of the university, after which an organizing committee will be set up; funds will be raised; and the site for its installation will be decided. If everything goes ahead as planned, the opening ceremony will be held in February next year.
In a school opinion poll on the establishment of the statue, which was conducted from August 1 to August 21, 95.6 percent of the students polled agreed with the idea of the student council, with only 4.4 percent disagreeing. The main reason that some students opposed the idea was because of diplomatic matters with Japan. Others were concerned about the management of the statue. In response, a member of the student council said, "The Democracy Square, in which we are planning to erect the statue, is a place that has a large floating population. The commission will consistently monitor and take care of the statue with the other related clubs.” They also said that we will be able to learn a life lesson through the problems that we will face by erecting the statue in the university.
Students are not the only ones who are worried about this problem. University headquarters are cautiously approaching this case because of the university’s relationships with Japanese sister colleges. However, the student council does not consider the issue of “comfort women” as a diplomatic or political problem, but as a violation of universal rights. Therefore, they hope that the students, university employees, and society will give their support for the authorization of its installation no matter what their political colors are. Another member of the student council said, “The statue will not be placed using school funds, but solely by the funds to be raised by the students and the people who agree with the idea.” He also said that the design of the statue will reflect the opinions of the students, and he asked for students’ active support.
Moon-hee Ha, CP Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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