Records show bias at Ewha by teachers

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Records show bias at Ewha by teachers

Additional allegations that the granddaughter of President Park Geun-hye’s former mentor enjoyed special status at Ewha Womans University surfaced on Tuesday, drawing outrage from students and professors who have for the past few months been demanding that the university’s president step down.

The student in question, Chung Yoo-ra, changed her name from Chung Yoo-yeon in June. Chung’s mother, Choi Seo-won (who also changed her name from Choi Soon-sil), is the daughter of Choi Tae-min, former mentor to President Park, and is herself often quoted by media as Park’s confidant. Chung’s father, Chung Yoon-hoi, was chief of staff to Park when she was a second-term lawmaker.

According to Chung’s academic records, submitted by Ewha Womans University to the Minjoo Party of Korea’s Rep. Yoo Eun-hae on Tuesday and exclusively obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo, Chung received academic credits and grades unfit for a student who often missed class and who failed to provide appropriate references.

In the past semester, Chung received a C and C+ in two courses despite a lack of relevant references to explain her absences. With the grades, her grade point average jumped from 0.11, out of a possible 4.3, in the first semester of 2015 to 2.27 in the first semester this year.

Additionally, Chung received four academic credits for two summer courses she took this year, and her GPA jumped to 3.30. Yet according to her records, Chung was away from school most of the time, competing in 15 equestrian games from May 20 to Sept. 23 this year, including a match in Aalborg, Denmark.

“Chung received academic credits and grades despite having rarely made it to classes,” said Rep. Yoo. “Thorough investigations into how she got her grades and credits should be in order.”

Some of the content of Chung’s essays, obtained by the Minjoo Rep. Kim Byung-wook, also proved shocking.

In explaining how best to respond when horses lean on the reins, Chung reportedly wrote sentences like, “use this method on damned bastards that just don’t get it,” in addition to a plethora of typos. She received a C+ for the report, just enough to help her receive credits to graduate.

The email Chung received from the professor of the class was also shocking.

“What a great job,” the professor wrote to Chung after receiving her essay, asking her to change a few parts to the essay and ending the email with “Thank you and I wish you a great day.”

The university is also accused of admitting Chung unfairly and changing school regulations to meet her needs. Professors will hold a rally today to demand the president’s resignation, marking the first time in Ewha’s 130-year history that professors have done so.

BY YOON SEOK-MAN, JEON MIN-HEE, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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