Ewha’s explanations on Chung disappoint, baffle students

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Ewha’s explanations on Chung disappoint, baffle students

More than 100 students from Ewha Womans University, a center of the corruption allegations surrounding the daughter of powerful presidential friend Choi Soon-sil, emerged disappointed from a meeting with two professors who called media reports about the university “cock and bull stories.”

Two professors of the university’s Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies of the College of Science and Industry Convergence, which admitted Choi’s daughter Chung Yoo-ra unfairly, held a closed-door meeting with more than 100 students on Monday evening. One of the professors used to be an advisor to Chung.

“I am going to get my answers from them,” said a student as she entered the meeting in a lecture hall of the Physical Education Building.

An hour and a half later, students re-emerged looking downcast.

Three phrases repeatedly heard in the conversation between the students and the professors, which was recorded, were, “I am sorry,” “I cannot say,” and “ Just wait.”

The Ministry of Education announced Nov. 18 after a probe into the university that Ewha professors flunked two students at an admissions interview in 2014 in order to make room for Chung in early admissions for student athletes. Professors also allowed her to skip classes - failing to attend any classes in some courses - tests and projects and still receive passable grades.

Kim Kyung-sook, dean of the College of Science and Industry Convergence, is accused of pulling strings for Chung to receive a free ride in the admissions process, and Lee Won-joon and Yi Kyung-ock, sports studies professors, are accused of awarding Chung passing grades despite the fact that her reports were filled with typos and even expletives.

According to the students, only two professors from the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies showed up at the meeting.

“We apologize to the students,” said a sports professor at the meeting. “But we will not be taking any questions on the professors who could not attend today’s meeting because they are undergoing prosecution investigations.”

“We do regret the fact that Chung received grades without attending classes,” said the former advisor to Chung. “Just be patient a little while longer and don’t trust everything that is being reported on the university, because two-thirds of those reports are cock and bull stories.”

Prosecutors announced last Friday they are investigating 17 Ewha professors and staff, including Kim Kyung-sook and former President Choi Kyung-hee. They raided the residences of Kim and Choi and of former Dean of Admissions Namkung Gon, also accused of pulling strings for Chung.

Hundreds of Ewha students staged a sit-in for months from July to October, until Choi finally resigned over the scandal.

“Did we sit through all of that just for this?” asked a student as she left the lecture room.

BY HONG SANG-JI [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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