In Hong Kong, with a half-century history of CUHK student union, the first Time an elected cabinet was suspended by the university’s student government. The “DQ Student Union” precedent, the outside world is worried that other universities and colleges will follow the pace of CUHK, a comprehensive ban on student organizations, worried about the loss of living space for student organizations.
The elected cabinet of the CUHK Student Union Officers’ Association, “Shuo-Yi”, was elected on Wednesday (24) with 3,983 votes, but unexpectedly, the following day (25) was disguised as a “DQ” by the CUHK university. The university informed the student union that it would suspend collecting student union dues; the student union would have to register as an independent association or company and assume legal responsibility; and the university would suspend providing administrative and university space support for the student union officers.
Only CUHK and PolyU have full cabinets under the National Security Law
In the face of the “National Security Law” haze, many universities and colleges in Hong Kong have not elected student unions, only CUHK and PolyU have a full cabinet elected. Now, with a history of half a century, CUHK’s student union is the first to be DQ’d, which makes people worry that the student organizations in Hong Kong will be disappeared from “harmony” from now on.
The incident is no longer an “internal incident”, external pressure is clearly visible
The former president of CUHK Student Union and senior lecturer of the Department of Politics and Administration of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Cai Ziqiang, revealed to us that before the incident, external forces have been exerting pressure on CUHK management recently, such as the recent withdrawal of CUHK’s funding application by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.
Cai Ziqiang said: I believe that recently, if you have paid attention to a lot of public opinion outside, the pressure on the university is very strong, there are many fierce criticism, and even demand accountability, etc., also happened for a short period of time. So now than in the past purely internal problems, the university and students have different views, and then we when the house enterprise mutual understanding and accommodation to solve, now I believe the situation is a lot more complicated.
Cai Ziqiang described the incident as the most confrontational in the history of CUHK between the university and the student union, which all CUHK adults do not want to see. The incident is no longer an “internal incident”, but is related to the situation in Hong Kong, and may even be “elevated” to national security. He hopes that the school and the students can understand each other and solve the problem through discussion.
DQ” may not be in line with the “Chinese University Ordinance
When the news of the “DQ” student union came out, many CU students questioned whether the university’s move violated the principle of “shared governance”. Former Student Union Officers’ Association “Starfire” cabinet member and Tuen Mun District Councillor Poon Chi-Kin described the university as “using all the grey areas of the University Ordinance to suppress students”, arguing that the university’s requirement for student unions to register as independent associations or companies is tantamount to violating the spirit of The Chinese University of Hong Kong Ordinance. He said that CUHK’s move is to “cut off” the student union.
When the news of the “DQ” student union broke out, many CUHK students questioned whether the university’s move violated the principle of “shared governance”. (Cheng Yat-yiu photo)
The student union is an organization established according to the Ordinance of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which is different from other institutions. The matter of making a statutory organization, (previously) not without discussion, a few years earlier on the discussion of the Committee of the genus, had discussed the opening of their own independent associations. But it was found that it could not be done unless the legislation was amended in the Legislative Council. The Societies Ordinance states that if an organization is established by another organization, it is not regulated by the Societies Ordinance. Therefore, under the existing laws and regulations, we do not quite see the reasonable justification for CUHK’s request.
The relationship between the university and the student union can be very fragile, and there are no clear provisions defining the powers of the university and the student union, and we can only rely on the habits and tacit understanding between the two sides over the years, and depending on the attitude of the university’s senior management, we can decide the space for the student union to exist.
8,000 CUHK students sign up to support “Sakuran”
“On Friday (26th), the group set up a street station at CUHK, hoping that CUHK adults would sign a petition to support them. “The vice president of the group, Mr. Luo Ziwei, revealed that since their press conference yesterday, the university has not responded or negotiated with them, and he is worried that the university may settle accounts afterwards. He also revealed that as of 6pm, 7,989 CUHK alumni have signed a petition in support of them. In addition, some CUHK alumni have initiated a joint sign-up by past members of the CUHK Student Union, expressing “extreme indignation” at the university’s actions. As of 12 noon on February 26, more than 3,000 people have signed up, including Associate Professor Ma Yue of CUHK’s Department of Political Science and Administration, Zhou Baosong, former Legislative Council member Au Nuo Xuan, District Council member Yang Xueying and others.