Roland Chin Tai-hong, who was named as the new president and vice chancellor of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) in May, has advocated a soft-line approach on students who stormed a Hong Kong University (HKU) Council meeting in July.
The students, who stormed the July 28 meeting to protest a delay in the appointment of a pro-vice-chancellor for HKU, deserve some sympathy as they were venting displeasure over a perceived injustice, Chin said, according to Ming Pao Daily.
In an interview carried in the latest issue of HKBU student publication Jumbo, Chin, 62, who was a HKU graduate and former HKU vice chancellor, said university is not only about education, it is also about searching for truth without fear.
Even professors should voice their opinions in the open when they see injustice, he said.
It is unrealistic to expect that university campuses can be totally insulated from politics, Chin said. However, he also said that students should bear an open mind and not keep their heads buried in the sand.
As the students and HKU Council blamed each other after the storming incident, it has blurred the main points of the issue — whether it is correct to delay the appointment of a pro-vice-chancellor until a new deputy vice chancellor has been appointed, Chin said.
In other comments, Chin said that while he can understand the students’ action, it might be better if they find other ways to express their feelings in future.
Less aggressive behavior will help the students win more support from society, he said.
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