The construction of the Main Library and Cultural Building provided KAIST students with more places to study. The seats are open to any KAIST student that wishes to use them. However, students are not allowed to privatize the seats for their own. Even in KAIST, the privatization of library (including the Undergraduate Branch Library, Main Library, and Cultural Building) seats remains a problem.
According to a USC survey involving the students’ opinion about the privatization issue of library seats, nearly 86% of the 50 respondents answered that they have either seen or experienced privatization in the Undergraduate Branch and Main Library. Common examples, provided by the students, of privatization included leaving one’s belongings at a certain place for long periods of time and using the seminar rooms without reserving beforehand. Such actions resulted in the lack of available seats for the people in need.
KAIST is not the only university that faces such difficulties. Other universities also have free-riders, yet they are monitored through various methods. Sungkyunkwan University has a club that monitors privatization and removes an individual’s belongings if they are left unattended for too long. Kyung Hee University has a mobile app with which the students can reserve the seats easily.
KAIST currently has a yellow card system and a seat reservation system to prevent privatization. Yet, students have expressed that both systems have fatal flaws that do not prevent the abuse of the spaces. The yellow card system consists of students putting a yellow card on a privatized seat. But if the individual who privatized the seat decides to ignore this, the problem remains unsolved. Not only so, but also the seat reservation system has low usage rates. Many KAIST students use the seats without reserving them beforehand. The problem is yet to be solved by the Undergraduate Student Council, Batchim. KAIST student Chanhee Lee stated, “I wish to tell those who privatize seats that I too feel the urge to leave my belongings at a certain place for convenience — yet it should not be done as it hurts the student community.”