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HUFS bans drinking on campus

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul has decided to ban the sale of alcohol on campus and cut funding for departments that house violators, school officials said Thursday.

“(The decision) is to stop alcohol-related accidents and crimes on university campuses, which have become a social problem. It is also to create sound campus life,” officials at HUFS said in a statement.

Students at the university used to open makeshift bars during school festivals held in the spring and fall.

The government recently announced a plan to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol on university campuses starting in April next year.

The ban was part of the draft amendment of the National Health Promotion Law proposed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Sept. 5, aimed at toughening policies on drinking and tobacco to levels similar to those in some Western countries.

If the National Assembly passes the bill next month, it would allow local governments to also ban alcoholic drinks from beaches and public parks.

The government’s plan created a stir among some student groups, which said the bill violates their freedom.

The student council at HUFS criticized the move as a unilateral decision that deprived students of the chance to make their own decision about drinking.

On Tuesday, another student organization called Youth President Camp staged a protest by drinking makgeolli, a traditional liquor, and beer in front of the Health Ministry’s office in Kye-dong, northern Seoul.

By Cho Chung-un (