Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

NTU students criticize rental of athletics field

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

National Taiwan University’s (NTU) student council yesterday panned the commercialization of the university’s athletics field, saying that rental of the venue has resulted in dying turf and disrupted soccer practice.

NTU’s Department of Athletics rented out the athletics field for a corporate event on New Year’s Day, whose organizers temporarily installed theme park equipment, including a Ferris wheel, student council president Lin Yan-ting (林彥廷) said yesterday.

The event prevented the NTU soccer team from practicing and caused a general disruption to campus life, he said.

“Over the New Year holiday, the university was virtually transformed into a theme park,” Lin said, adding that shoddy installation of equipment caused significant damage to the field’s turf.

Student welfare director-general Ho Wei-tzu (何蔚慈) said that many of the larger pieces of equipment were placed over a canvas, while posts were hammered directly into the ground.

“As a result, large patches of turf died,” he said.

NTU director of athletics Kang Cheng-nan (康正男) said that a soccer match held in wet conditions on Saturday caused the damage.

However, Ho said the student council fact-checked Kang’s statement with the soccer team, which said that the match was canceled.

The student council called on Kang to resign and the department to disclose whether the money it received for hosting the event was used to maintain the field.

In addition, the commercial entity that used the field should take responsibility for its repair, the student council said.

Kang issued an apology to students, saying that the department had made its statement based on erroneous information, adding that the department would demand reparation costs.

“Rental of the venue was carried out in accordance with NTU regulations and protective measures were followed during the equipment’s installation, albeit with flawed implementation. Those flaws need correction,” Kang said.

Department staff saw work crews driving vehicles onto the field and stopped them, but not before the turf was damaged, he said.

Kang refused to resign, saying that it is for the university’s president to decide whether he should continue serving the department.

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