As the nation fights against the novel coronavirus from spreading, Dankook University is also coming together to ensure the campus remains free from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Emergency Committee was set up last month for DKU President Soo-bok Kim and each university department to closely cooperate and to respond in a timely manner to frequently changing circumstances. President Kim sent a letter to all faculty members, enrolled students and graduates that said “our university is working hard to create a campus for healthy and safe learning, education, and research to take place,” and went on to add that “(I) look forward to starting a new semester by renewing the Dankook spirit that has continued to march forward even when faced with hardships.”
As part of our efforts, Dankook University pushed back the start date for the new semester from March 2nd to the 16th and cancelled large-scale events such as the commencement and matriculation ceremonies. Although the commencement ceremony, where students celebrate years of hard work, was cancelled, students understood the need to take preventive measures and displayed maturity by simply taking photos with gowns and caps provided by the university to commemorate their graduation.
Urgent decisions were made to set up a COVID-19 Emergency Bulletin Board for timely communication of changes to the academic calendar and school events, to send SMS notifications which have been sent 15 times so far, to temporarily close public facilities such as libraries and student centers, and to restrict campus access for visitors.
Meanwhile, around 170 Chinese students, including undergraduate and graduate students, exchange students, and language students, entered temporary living facilities (Woongbi Hall at Jukjeon / Haksajae at Cheonan). This measure was taken to protect both domestic and international members of the university community as 14 days of quarantine was required before school started, even for asymptomatic individuals. Thanks to the willingness of current student tenants of Woongbi Hall and Haksajae who moved to other dorms, the university was able to prepare living facilities to be used for the quarantine process.
Employees of the Dormitory Administration Team and the Office of International Affairs were present full time at the temporary living facilities managing the students. Temperatures were taken twice a day and reported to managers on each floor. A close cooperative system was set up with the Suji Public Health Center to prepare for and mitigate emergency situations. Online contents for learning the Korean language were offered so students could improve their Korean skills during the quarantine period. Led by Zhou Yun-Long, President of Dankook University’s International Student Association (Sophomore, Communications), Chinese students already living in Korea collected donations and also delivered hand sanitizer and fruit to the students in quarantine. Students will leave the dorms in the order in which they complete their quarantine period, from April 8 to 10, after which the dormitories will all be sanitized.
President Soo-bok Kim visited Woongbi Hall on February 27 and Haksajae on the following day to share his support and encouragement. Kim expressed his “gratitude to everyone on behalf of Dankook University for being at the forefront of making a ‘Clean Dankook’ amid the national state of emergency,” and went on to add “let’s make a campus where all Dankookites, regardless of nationality, can always feel safe.”