Tue, Jan 05, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Wang Dan: Taiwan’s future more important than school

A young man cheers on Nov. 29, 2014 in Taipei as Ko Wen-je wins the Taipei mayoral election.

Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times

As final exams approach, so do the elections. National Cheng Kung University professor Lee Jung-shian has posted an article on Facebook, saying, “Dear colleagues, please do your best to allow young students to go home on Thursday and Friday so that they can cast their votes. Allow them this opportunity to use their votes to decide their future. Please, so far as you can, move your classes and final exams on Thursday and Friday to Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening. I earnestly urge you to do so.”

Netizens responded with zeal, commenting: “I strongly agree!” They also urged the teachers to avoid giving final exams on the afternoon of Jan. 15, so that students can travel back home to vote.

Lee says, young people who are over 18 years old are granted the right to vote in democracies around the globe, except Taiwan, which only allows people aged over 20 to vote. Taiwan has been unfriendly enough to young people, says Lee.

Shih Hsin University issued an official document, demanding its professors “complete” final exams no sooner than Jan. 15, which has caused the public to wonder if the school is attempting to influence its students’ rights to vote. Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan announced that all of his classes in National Chung Cheng University and National Tsing Hua University will be completed before Jan. 11 and that he will not arrange any exams to be held right after election day. “Allowing first-time voters to vote without worry is very important to Taiwan’s future for the next four years, and is more importnat than a week’s school,” said Wang. “Do you not agree, Mr. Principal of Shih Hsin University?”

Netizens also posted pictures, showing that some professors in National Taiwan University have moved their final exams to an earlier date to make it more convenient for students to go home and vote.


1. cast one’s vote phr. 投票

例: In order to make the final decision, we need you all to cast votes.


2. first-time voters phr. 首投族

例: 首投族選舉中扮演關鍵的角色。)

3. in a tight race phr. 戰情膠著

例: Bill and Michael are locked in a tight race in this year’s.


Netizens are urging the public to go home and vote, saying people should not assume that since the chance of winning is high, they do not need to vote. The primary battlefield of this election is in the legislature. Even if the chance of winning is high in some districts, voters have to cast party votes as well. There are also many districts in a tight race. “Chances are that if you go home and vote, you might be able to overturn the result,” say netizens.

(Liberty Times, translated by Ethan Zhan)








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