Students at Chung-Ang University can now report misconduct discrimination at its human rights office, officials announced Monday.
As the nation’s first university to adopt such an office, the school hopes that the Chung-Ang University Human Rights Center will help to better handle students’ grievances involving discrimination.
The center will be an expansion of the existing Center for Gender Equality, which already handles issues of sexual harassment and rape.
The office will deal with racial and physical discrimination, other issues involving seniority and other student grievances involving misconduct.
The office will run as a student judicial system that will have the authority to enforce punishment through a judicial board that changes on a case-by-case basis. Outside of counseling, the center will also run human rights awareness and anti-discrimination campaigns.
“Roughly one in three complaints that were filed at the Center for Gender Equality had nothing to do with sexuality,” said Chung-Ang University sociology professor Lee Na-young, explaining the need for the office.
“Foreign students who face discrimination in school is a particularly severe issue,” said Lee, who is in charge of the office.
“The office’s goal is to address all of the issues of human rights that arise from within the school much like the National Human Rights Commission.”
According to research by Hanyang University, some 68.9 percent of university students believe that a specific office is needed to deal with human rights issues within the school.
Seoul National University is also looking into the development of an office that will deal with grievances from foreigners, people with disabilities and other minorities on campus.
According to government data, as of 2011 there are 88,468 foreign college students in the country.
By Robert Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)