Mon, Jun 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Week of many graduations ends in online discussions

Staff writer, with CNA

It is “not appropriate” for students to wear flip-flops at graduation ceremonies, National Taiwan Normal University said on Saturday, after a photograph showed one of its students dressed that way.

The controversy arose after a photo from the university’s College of Sciences commencement ceremony on Friday posted by a professor showed a student on stage for the tassel-turning ceremony wearing flip-flops.

Students today have become too casual and show little regard for how they dress, the professor said on Facebook.

The university issued a statement stressing that commencement ceremonies were solemn occasions and that it was “not appropriate” to wear sandals or slippers under graduation gowns, which are meant to convey honor.

The school had issued a dress code for graduation ceremonies, but respected its individual colleges and would not try to establish unified regulations, it said.

The school also showed empathy for the student, suggesting that his shoes might have all gotten soaked by the past week’s rain and he might have had no choice but to wear flip-flops.

“[Wearing flip-flops] was inappropriate, but we do not have the heart to reprimand him,” the school said.

Another professor several days earlier lashed out at students for showing “scant respect” for teachers.

Former National Chi Nan University president Lee Chia-tung (李家同) was the speaker at National Quemoy University’s graduation ceremony on June 10, but he was displeased when he noticed that students entered and exited the school’s gymnasium at will, leaving many seats empty half way through his speech.

Lee demanded that the students “act like university students.”

His comment was echoed by some netizens, who said “character education” needed to be strengthened or society would be weakened.

However, some students disagreed, explaining that it had been an especially hot day and the gymnasium was like a big oven, and they had been worried they might experience a heat stroke.

National Quemoy University president Huang Chi (黃奇) defended students’ early departures, saying there had been more than 1,000 attendees at the venue and the air conditioning units had been inadequate.

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