Commander hears students’ concerns
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Students at Seoul American High School weren’t afraid to fire away the tough questions Friday at Col. Timothy McNulty, the 34th Support Group commander.
More than 300 freshmen and sophomores gathered in the high school’s auditorium for a question-and-answer session that McNulty said is part of his commitment to address community concerns. He told the students he plans to ensure that Yongsan Garrison and Area II are embraced by servicemembers as an assignment of choice.
“He’s going to be doing this regularly with us,” Seoul American principal Keith Henson said during his introduction. “He’s mainly here to hear what you have to say.”
Jobs and recreational activities were among the topics important to students. McNulty said the command has been successful in securing four part-time slots at the commissary and positions with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s Pizza Hut in the Dragon Hill Lodge.
About 153 jobs will be open to high school and college students this summer, down from roughly 200 last year, McNulty said. Officials are modifying a regulation allowing students to bus tables in restaurants, a measure currently prohibited because alcohol is served.
McNulty said it should be possible as long as students are under proper supervision.
The command is also planning for a new teen center on south post and seeks funding for renovations.
“You wanted it,” McNulty said. “You deserve it.”
A student also asked why the Town House on main post is off-limits for lunch. Right now, students may leave the high school campus for lunch, but they’re restricted to south post.
Henson said concerns exist over the distance from the high school and whether students would be able to return on time to class. The change would be studied, he added.
McNulty read his own report card, giving himself high marks for measures such as eliminating the fee at the skate park on south post. He answered several questions about facilities, such as the shortage of space at the post exchange and the lack of a running track.
Some decisions concerning facilities have been postponed until discussions about moving forces out of Yongsan Garrison are completed. Those talks with the South Korean government — called the Future of the Alliance Policy Initiative — are continuing.