Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Autonomy must engage students: group

INFLUENCE:The NTU Student Association said it would make three proposals during the next affairs meeting to improve student participation in the school’s management

By Chien Hui-ju and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Yellow ribbons are tied around the palm trees along National Taiwan University’s (NTU) Palm Avenue yesterday in support of Kuan Chung-ming’s appointment as NTU president.

Photo: Wu Po-hsuen, Taipei Times

University autonomy should be student-centered, the National Taiwan University (NTU) Student Association said yesterday on Facebook in response to protests on Friday by people who support Kuan Chung-ming’s (管中閔) appointment as school president.

Many of the protesters were not NTU students, faculty members or alumni, the association said.

Apart from demonstrating for nearly half the day, the protesters removed students’ banners, shouted at students and pushed people, the association said, adding that some students were injured during altercations.

Freedom of speech and assembly should be protected, but protesters yelling at and excluding students with different opinions has caused the university’s public space to lose the element of free speech, it said.

As the main body on campus, why are the opinions of students always ignored, the association asked.

Proposals by student representatives are constantly blocked by the school’s administrative teams at university-level meetings, and due to an inadequate number of student representatives, the students do not have influence, the association said.

It proposed that Saturday’s interim university affairs meeting be made public, adding that it would live-stream and transcribe the meeting online to allow all interested NTU students to follow the meeting.

It would make three proposals at the meeting, it said.

First, NTU should confront the culture of its faculty “first taking a position and then waiting for its approval” in academia, the association said, referring to the issue of university professors holding other posts.

Second, the school must decide at the meeting whether it agrees with the Ministry of Education’s rejection of Kuan’s appointment and immediately proceed accordingly, the association said.

Third, the proportion of student representatives at university affairs meetings should be increased to 20 percent and the number of student representatives who sit on the election committee should be increased, it said, adding that ministry representatives should be excluded from the election committee to allow for more participation by members of the NTU community, and to ensure that the election committee can realize university autonomy.

NTU students who are against Kuan’s appointment yesterday placed new banners — with phrases that read “Like Loki, university autonomy has been choked to death,” and “A new type of Martial Law” — at the NTU campus after their banners were removed by Kuan’s supporters.

NTU’s Office of General Affairs on Friday released a statement saying that the yellow ribbons hung by Kuan supporters are a symbol of the supporters’ call for university autonomy and would not be removed.

Following an objection by the association, the office said that it would remove the ribbons today, which was the deadline that the office on Friday also gave for people to remove any banners or signs.

The office is also to open Lu-ming Hall (鹿鳴堂) and Fu Garden (傅園) on NTU’s campus for people to express their opinions.

Additional reporting by Wu Po-hsuan

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