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Digital Solutions to School Life under COVID-19

Oct 08, 2020

As the pandemic persists, students and faculty of Seoul National University (SNU) have had to abide by the social distancing mandate. The school community has embraced its new “untact” school life, finding creative workaround solutions to continue activities and events. From the graduation ceremony, to community service as well as admission support, COVID-19 has changed SNU’s approach to essential aspects of school life.

Digital Solutions to School Life under COVID-19

SNU’s First Online Graduation Ceremony:

To celebrate the commencement of its 74th graduating class, SNU hosted its first ever online graduation ceremony. In preparation for the ceremony, the university set-up photozones around campus for students to commemorate their graduation wearing caps and gowns. The graduation ceremony premiered live on August 28th, 10 AM, on the university’s homepage, as well as on its official YouTube channel. The ceremony -- a 40 minute compilation of photos and clips -- included speeches by the SNU President Oh Se-Jung, Dean of the Office of Academic Affairs Shin Seokmin, and Graduate Class Representative Hwang In-Hwi. The ceremony also featured congratulatory remarks delivered by members of ‘SHINE’, SNU’s student ambassador organization. But perhaps the highlight of the ceremony was a photo reel of the graduates’ fondest memories during their time at SNU. The ceremony ended with a performance of A Wild Camomile’s “Don’t Worry” by the SNU Choir and OB Choir. All in all, the ceremony was a great success, reflecting back on the graduates’ experiences while marking the start of their new beginnings.

The 2020 Summer Digital SNU Corps:

To continue its international outreach efforts, the SNU Institute for Global Social Responsibility (SNUSR) recently launched a new digital branch, the Digital SNU Corps. Students were recruited and divided into separate teams, each working towards completing their own projects. For example, team D-SIGN collaborated with university students from Vietnam, creating educational videos on the fourth industrial revolution and its impact on our lives. Subtitles were added for eight different languages -- Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, English, French, Lao, Nepali, and Spanish -- to improve accessibility. Other teams dealt with topics pertinent to the pandemic. Team SHOUTING, together with students from Uzbekistan, worked on their ‘Health Literacy’ campaign, promoting proper health practices through their Instagram account (@snusr_dcampaign). Team ON-AIR recreated a trip through Seoul using VR technology, capturing the experience for students confined at home. Last but not least, Team ABC prepared educational resources to help disabled people better cope with the pandemic, while also distributing these resources to NGOs abroad. As these teams demonstrate, SNU students have persevered to find creative methods of continuing their community service.

The SNU Office of Admissions’ Webzine, Arori:

In light of the Office of Admissions’ information sessions being cancelled, students, parents, and teachers have sought alternative sources to learn about SNU’s admission procedure. The Office of Admissions has developed its Webzine, Arori, as a solution to this issue (snuarori.snu.ac.kr). Arori provides a host of resources on the admissions process, including its ‘2021 Admissions Briefing Video’ and ‘2021 Admissions Guidebook’. Another notable feature of the Webzine is its evaluation simulation, which allows users to step into the shoes of admissions officers; users have access to the admissions files of nine accepted students from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, and Consumer Science, and are able to compare their evaluation results with that of other participants. Users can also find samples of last year’s admissions interviews and oral tests, as well as videos of SNU students detailing their preparation process and interview experience. In addition, there are videos featuring professors, alumni, and other members of the school community, giving prospective students a glimpse of life at SNU.

Sources: https://www.snu.ac.kr/snunow/snu_story?md=v&bbsidx=129196

Written by Min Seo Ki, SNU English Editor, mskey717@gmail.com
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr