‘I never knew there could be a good kind of discrimination’: Busan bar goes viral for ‘No Professor Zone’

'No Professor Zone' Busan Bar

A bar by Pusan National University in Busan posted a now-viral “No Professor Zone” sign to prohibit the entry of professors. 

A hierarchical abuse of power: The bar prevented professors from entering in order to provide a more welcoming environment for student customers, reported The Korea Herald.

  • “We profusely apologize. For other customers to enjoy themselves with ease, we are asking full-time professors to refrain from entering our place,” the sign read.
  • According to The Korea Times, the owner was originally concerned about discriminating against certain patrons, but cited a “hierarchical abuse of power” and rudeness among Pusan professors as reasons for enforcing the new rule. “For the convenience of other visitors, we ask the regular professors of the Pusan National University to refrain from entering our bar. In case of entry, please do not disclose your profession voluntarily and loudly,” the bar owner wrote in a notice.
  • He also explained that his three rudest customers had been university professors. “The reason I learned about their profession is that they bragged, ‘I am a professor here,’” he said.
  • “I’ve seen customers, many of whom are graduate students, stressing out from excessive workloads and abuse of power by professors. I did not want them to run into professors in charge of them here at my bar, where they come to relax and chill,” the bar owner added. 

The viral tweet: The sign went viral on social media after a customer took a picture and shared it on Twitter. 

  • The tweet, which has garnered over 15,000 retweets and more than 6,700 likes, sparked an online discussion of discrimination. 
  • According to The Korea Times, many users agreed with the bar owner. One tweeted, “I believe that no discrimination can be justified, but this discrimination (against regular professors) shakes my faith.”
  • Another tweet read, “I never knew that there could be a good kind of discrimination.” 
  • “It does feel awkward when I’m drinking with my university friends and there is a professor around us,” one user also shared. 
  • Even CedarBough Saeji, an assistant professor at Pusan National University, responded in support. “The power gap between professors and students is real. If a student is approached by a professor in a casual setting it could be very hard to handle it gracefully,” she told the Herald. 
  • “Korean undergrads are socially conditioned by Korean society to be polite to those elders and superiors in a way that, not all, but some Western students aren’t,” she added. “Professors should also enjoy relaxed time surrounded by their own peers.” 

Featured Image via @filmchefsohyun

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