Bill of Rights for Graduate Students at POSTECH Declared
Bill of Rights for Graduate Students at POSTECH Declared
  • Reporter Won John
  • 승인 2021.12.14 00:59
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▲The signing of the Bill of Rights for Graduate Students  / POSTECH Gallery
▲The signing of the Bill of Rights for Graduate Students / POSTECH Gallery


On Nov. 18, a ceremonial declaration of The Bill of Rights for Graduate Students at Pohang University of Science and Technology took place at the Hogil Kim Memorial Hall. The ceremony was to celebrate the complete amendment to the original Bill of Rights which was enacted on Dec. 9, 2015. While the amendment was declared on April 7 by the Graduate Student Association, COVID-19 prevention measures caused the opening of the ceremony to be postponed to Nov. 18.
The ceremony was attended by President Moo Hwan Kim, Professor In Seok Kang (Head of Human Rights Center and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemical Engineering), the Graduate Student Association, and other students, professors, and staff of POSTECH. It started with an opening speech by Prof. Kang, followed by a speech by President Kim and a recitation of the bill. Finally, President Kim and the president of the Graduate Student Association signed on the bill, ending the ceremony.
The purpose of the amendment was to “guarantee the inviolable fundamental human rights of all graduate students” and “actively contribute to the highest self-realization of graduate students of the university on the basis of human dignity”. However, President Moo Hwan Kim said in his speech during the declaration ceremony that “it is shameful that we still need to talk about protecting human rights in a campus that houses world-leading research.”; emphasizing the fact that the bill of rights is not a revolutionary leap forward, but a declaration of basic human rights that should have been taken for granted.
The amendment was proposed by Park Chan-sung, lawyer and Human Rights Advisor at POSTECH, and comprised of a total of 38 articles. Article 1 to Article 32 list the rights graduate students are rightfully given as humans and students. Articles 33 to 37 state the responsibilities graduate students are given, such as research ethics and assistant duties. Article 38 wraps up the bill, mandating that a new amendment may be made to the bill by the Graduate Student Association.
Rights guaranteed by the bill include the right to equality, protection of privacy, and freedom of expression. Also, rights included in the bill, such as the right to know and the right to faithful academic guidance and training illustrate that the amended Bill of Rights not only contains basic human rights, but also rights for graduate students to flourish as independent researchers and scientists. The bill also includes protection to rights not specified in the bill, such that “the freedom and rights of graduate students shall not be disvalued on the ground that they are not included in this Bill of Rights.”
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Center, since its official launching in Sept. 2020, has been taking care of discrimination and human rights abuse (sexual abuse, educational abuse, workplace bullying, etc.) consulting, and case handling. In addition, they hold human rights and sexual equality education training, survey human rights conditions, and research various human rights-related topics. Recently, they have been launching various human rights protection programs for graduate students, including visiting various labs, opening seminars, and designating the 11th of each month as “Day of Mutual Respect”.