The National Taiwan University (NTU) Student Association yesterday accused the university of carrying out a smear campaign against its proposal to establish a transitional justice committee, after a university official said that the proposal would involve demolishing some landmark sites on campus.
NTU Alumni Center chief executive Liu Ning (劉寧) in a Line chat group consisting of NTU alumnus claimed that the proposed committee would demolish the Fu Bell and Fu Garden, two landmarks commemorating late NTU president Fu Si-nian (傅斯年), NTU Student Association president Tu Chun-ching (涂峻清) told a news conference in front of the Fu Bell.
Liu also created slogans such as “save the bell and our collective memories” in an attempt to urge alumnus to sign a petition against the proposal ahead of a school affairs meeting today, at which student representatives would officially table the proposal, Tu said.
While the association has proposed establishing a transitional justice committee that would seek to uncover the truth about the development of the university, as well as draw up initiatives to remove objects or sites linked to totalitarianism, it has never mentioned anything about the Fu Bell or Fu Garden, he said.
The association believes that it is a smear tactic carried out by the university to obstruct its efforts to pursue transitional justice, Tu said, adding that the association demands an apology.
In response, NTU issued a statement saying that the petition was initiated by NTU alumnus, with no involvement from the university, and that it respects the association’s proposal.
The association has said that the committee would be composed of faculty with expertise in historical research, Gallery of NTU History representatives, student representatives and a professor from each of the university’s colleges.
The committee could serve as a coordinating body for efforts related to transitional justice, as students could only make limited achievements without the full cooperation of the university, Tu said.
“A democratic campus should seek transitional justice for victims and redress the legacies of totalitarian abuses,” he said.
Fu is remembered as a defender of NTU after he resisted efforts by police and intelligence agents to arrest professors and students seen as political dissidents during his term as president from January 1949 to December 1950, the beginning of the Martial Law era.
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