Protestors at Ewha call for resignation of the president

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Protestors at Ewha call for resignation of the president

Despite the dropping of a plan to establish a controversial college of continuing education, students and graduates engaged in a sit-in at Ewha Womans University since July 28 announced they will not back down unless the president takes responsibility and resigns from her post.

“In order to end our sit-in, President Choi Kyung-hee must end all police investigations into those engaged in the sit-in, promise that no participant is punished, and notarize all this with a lawyer approved by the students,” the students said in their official statement on Sunday.

Hundreds of students and graduates have been engaged in a mass sit-in at the main hall of the university since July 28 to protest a new college of continuing education called Light Up Your Future in Ewha (LiFE) College.

Choi announced Wednesday that the plan was scrapped and asked the students to end the sit-in.

But police investigations into the students continued.

The university called police on July 30, the second day of the sit-in, to rescue university professors and staff reportedly locked in the main hall. Authorities announced they will be rounding up suspects and take judicial action against them.

Choi submitted a petition to the police Friday asking them not to press charges against the students, but authorities said investigations will continue regardless.

“The students cannot trust President Choi anymore and strongly request that she steps down from her post by 3 p.m. Tuesday, taking responsibility for the recent events at the university,” the students said.

“If not, the students and graduates will hold a mass protest on Wednesday.”

The college, an initiative led by the Ministry of Education, was to be a four-year college open for admissions to people who started working right after high school, and would have offered studies related to new media, health and nutrition, fashion and more.

Students called the project a university scheme to “sell degrees,” given that Ewha Womans University already has a continuing education center, and that academic programs very similar to the ones planned in the LiFE College already exist.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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