EDITORIAL: Sharing university culture with the community

The Gyeonggi Pops Ensemble, co-hosted by Kangnam University and the Gyeonggido Arts Center was held on May 22 in Woowon Hall. University faculty and residents from the community attended this festive event. This was a good opportunity for people to set aside various social issues such as half price tuition and the employment crisis. The fundamental purpose of the university is to provide education. However, education expressed as culture should be able to progress and improve our lives.

Experts predict that the future generation will be an age of culture. Thus, the university will play an important role in the future. The current period of globalization with its cultural code is leading our society, unlike the political ideologies which dominated the Cold War era of the past. The cultural trend includes Kim Yuna, BoA, Bae Yong-joon, and Lady Gaga, who have become cultural icons for the young generation in addition to the Korean Wave phenomenon showing one aspect of the cultural trend in a global era.

However, we have to be careful about allowing Western cultures become the cultural standard for the global cultural era. The characteristic of a global culture is diversity. That is, the global cultural era is created from the harmony and balance of various unique cultures. Therefore, globalization should begin from the local community. In that respect, the role of the university is extremely important as it creates culture. Each university needs to form a specialized culture in connection with the local community creating a new culture in the community in which the localized culture becomes the center of a global culture.

Our university recently celebrated its 66th anniversary and it has been over 30 years since the campus relocated to Yongin. Now is the time for our university to examine our own university culture. First and foremost, support and interest from the faculty and staff at our university is necessary. Yongin city is largely a residential area and relatively bigger than other cities, so cultural facilities or programs are in shortage. In order for Yongin city to secure adequate facilities, more budget and time are needed. However, Kangnam University already has the cultural infrastructure to satisfy the cultural needs of residents in the community. Thus, our university will be able to establish cultural relations with the community and display cultural leadership in the community. Like the Gyeonggi Pops Ensemble, more events such as festivals, commemorative events, regular concerts, sports events, and exhibits where residents can participate are needed.
Active support from within the university as well as the community is necessary in order to achieve cultural leadership in the local community. Furthermore, the formation of societal and cultural networks is essential through the establishment of ties with related institutions in the local community. These efforts will ultimately open a new horizon for globalization which is what our university hopes to achieve.

Translated by Julia Kim

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