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SNU newspaper printed with blank front page amid campus feud

All Headlines 15:12 March 13, 2017

SEOUL, March 13 (Yonhap) -- The University Newspaper, the student press of Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea's top university, was printed with a blank front page Monday, as many SNU students increasingly challenge the school's plan to build a new campus outside of Seoul.

Student reporters of the paper, called "Daehak Sinmun" in Korean, left the front page of its March 13 edition blank for the first time in its 65-year history in protest of the school faculty's demand that stories about the new campus dispute be minimized.

SNU has been embroiled in a fierce in-campus fight since the school signed a contract with the municipal government of Siheung on Aug. 22, 2016, to build a new campus in the Gyeonggi Province city, south of Seoul.

Seoul National University officials attempt to disperse students occupying the school's headquarters on March 11, 2017. Students oppose the school's plan to build a new campus in Siheung, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

SNU officials say the construction of Siheung campus is necessary to house international studies departments and research facilities. But students oppose the project, saying they were not fully consulted.

On Saturday, a group of 30 students were forcibly dispersed by school officials and professors after staging a sit-in at the university's headquarters for 150 days in protest of the Siheung campus plan.

"The professor who advises the University Newspaper's editorial section demanded minimal coverage of the student protesters' occupation of the school headquarters in the March 13 edition. Instead, he asked for extended coverage of the school's anniversary-related issues," a student reporter said.

"We protested, but the professor who has strong power over the paper's budget and other operations stepped up pressure."


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