Thu, Aug 04, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Students complain about ‘martial law’ regulations

MARTIAL DISCIPLINE:Students have complained about such issues before, but the MOE had previously insisted that these were matters for school authorities to deal with

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

University and college students protest outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei yesterday, calling on the ministry to respond to demands raised by a panel they formed and to take concrete steps to improve students’ rights.

Photo: CNA

More than 20 students representing universities from across the country yesterday staged a demonstration outside the Ministry of Education, (MOE) demanding that the ministry revoke school regulations that they claim violate Republic of China (ROC) law and the Constitution.

“We are very disappointed with the ministry’s response to our demands,” Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), a spokesman for the Student Rights Investigation Group, said in front of the ministry.

During the protest, Yang Chih-chung (楊志忠), a ministry official, took a petition from the students and promised the ministry would “urge universities to review their student regulations.”

The students are upset that as many as 70 percent of the nation’s 149 universities and colleges still pre-screen articles written by students before publishing them in school newspapers or magazines, 45 percent still have restrictions on student gatherings on campus and most still impose nighttime curfews on student dormitories.

Following the release of an annual student rights survey report completed by the Student Rights Investigation Group and issued on Tuesday, student representatives from schools, including National Taiwan University, National Chen Kung University, National Tsing Hua University, National University of Kaohsiung and National Chengchi University, rallied outside the ministry to deliver their petition yesterday morning.

Some of the more serious restrictions on student activities include stipulations that students must not organize events that “incite student movements” and that demonstrations cannot be held on campus, Lin said.

“Apparently, more than 20 years after martial law was lifted, there are still some transitional justice issues left to be solved on campus,” Lin said.

While this is not the first time students have complained about these issues, they have remained unresolved for years because the ministry maintains that school regulations are an integral element of university autonomy and should therefore be handled by the schools themselves. As such, they have urged students to file their complaints with the relevant school authorities.

“We will wait one month for the ministry’s response and if it fails to respond positively to our demands we will file a complaint with the Control Yuan,” Lin said.

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