Of course, the dorm is not just a place where you sleep that has a ton of rules. I don’t want to give anybody the wrong impression here, as they also do a ton of cool stuff for students.
The dorm hosts a lot of events for students. There are cultural events, like a temple stay that I unfortunately missed, cultural exchange groups, fitness activities, and much more.
The cultural exchange groups were set up to encourage the integration of foreign and Korean students. You can form a group with 6-8 students with a 1:1 ratio of exchange and Korean students, and then you get some money from the dorm to go out and do cultural activities to get to know each other and your cultures. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Of course there is a catch. At this point, you can probably guess: More bureaucracy! To sign up, you have to fill out a detailed proposal highlighting which activities you want to do when and for what purpose, you need to keep and turn in all receipts, as well as presenting an intermediate report and holding a final presentation. There are again a bunch of rules and a detailed point system(!) for evaluating all the presentations. After all, the best presentation gets some additional prizes. There are even – and I kid you not – point penalties for not spending *all* the money that you receive. Of course, I can absolutely understand all the rules in this case since the dorm is handing out a hefty sum of cash and doesn’t just want students to spend it all on soju. And at this point, I’ve gotten used to this process and find it quite amusing and charming in its way.
The latest event is the fantastically named ‘Giving Compliments to your Roommate Program’, wherein you…well…give compliments to your roommate. Basically, you write down five compliments to enter this contest, and one(?) of these applications is randomly drawn and receives some ‘cultural vouchers’ that you and your roomie can spend to go see a movie, a sports game or whatever together. Of course, you are not eligible if your compliments lack sincerity. Obviously.