Date
23 September 2017
Baptist University Vice-Chancellor Albert Chan (inset) on Saturday refused to hand a certificate to a student who carried a yellow umbrella onto the stage. Photo: Student Press of BU
Baptist University Vice-Chancellor Albert Chan (inset) on Saturday refused to hand a certificate to a student who carried a yellow umbrella onto the stage. Photo: Student Press of BU

Umbrella row mars Baptist U graduation ceremony

Some Baptist University students boycotted Vice-Chancellor Albert Chan at a graduation ceremony on Monday by not accepting certificates from him, RTHK reported.

Some students gave the boycott call after Chan refused to hand over a certificate to a student who carried a yellow umbrella on to the stage over the weekend, the report said.

A graduate of the University’s School of Communication is said to have knelt in front of Chan and presented him a yellow umbrella during a ceremony. Chan then refused to hand over the certificate to the student and urged him to leave the stage, according to the report.

“He immediately asked me to leave. And I told him this is a small present from us, and wished him to accept our aspiration,” the student as quoted as saying.

Chan, meanwhile, said graduation ceremonies are supposed to be solemn occasions, and that participants should respect others. 

He said he can understand students wearing yellow ribbons to express their views, but one should know where to draw the line.

Students lack experience and are not thoughtful, although they have great ambition and noble causes, Chan said.

The president of the university’s students’ union, Mio Chan, said the student hadn’t done any harm by carrying the umbrella, which has become a symbol of the pro-democracy protests in the city.

Graduation ceremonies belong to the students, not the university’s Vice-Chancellor, he said.

The Communication Society of the university is said to have purchased 100 yellow umbrellas and some yellow balloons as gifts for graduates.

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A student kneels in front of Chan at the graduation ceremony, apparently mocking the vice-chancellor as a dictator. Photo: RTHK


Chan said graduation ceremonies are solemn occasions and that students should behave accordingly.Photo: RTHK


After the graduation ceremony, students gathered in the campus holding aloft yellow umbrellas. Photo: RTHK


Freelance journalist

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