Thu, Mar 20, 2014 - Page 3 News List

SIEGE OF LEGISLATURE: Academics pledge support to protesting students

By Chen Wei-tsung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A national flag, hung upside down, flies outside the Legislative Yuan building in Taipei yesterday as demonstrators protest the government’s handling of the service trade agreement with China.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Some college professors have offered their support to students who took part in the overnight protest at the Legislative Yuan over the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement by saying that they are more than willing to teach extra classes to make up for time that the students miss to participate in the event.

National Taiwan University assistant professor Chen Po-chan (陳伯楨) said 10 students were missing from his class yesterday, but added that he would not mark them as absent if they were participating in the protest.

Chen said he would rather encourage students to join social events because it presented good learning opportunities, adding that he would be glad to provide make-up classes for those that were absent due to the event.

Shih Hsin University Department of Graphic Communications and Digital Publishing associate professor Chen Shuei-sheng (陳學聖) also said he would be glad to provide extra classes.

Chen Hsueh-sheng made special mention of how the Wild Lilies student movement (野百合學運) of the 1990s had made significant changes to the then-National Assembly.

Using a wild lily as a symbol, the movement drew tens of thousands of people — mostly college students — to call for changes, including the dismissal of the National Assembly, abolishing the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期臨時條款), holding a high-level national policy conference and drawing up a reform timetable.

Meanwhile, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) instructor Chien Tzu-chieh (簡子傑) announced yesterday morning that any students in his class who “checked in” on Facebook from the Legislative Yuan would be marked as on leave for official business.

Later yesterday afternoon, NTUA officials said on the school’s Web site that Chien’s post on Facebook was his personal opinion and was not the department’s.

Chien was not authorized to grant “leave on official business,” the Web site said.

Separately yesterday, 300 students from Providence University gathered at a plaza on the school’s campus chanting: “I am a student of Providence University, I am against the service trade agreement.”

“We oppose under-the-table deals, we are the bulwark for democracy” in support of the protesters who were still at the Legislative Yuan,” the students said.

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