Almost all the speakers at an open forum at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Monday opposed the legal provisions appointing the city’s chief executive as the chancellor of the eight publicly funded universities.
Students said they would not rule out boycotting classes to force a revision of CUHK’s ordinance to abolish the chief executive’s ex officio role, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.
Wong Ching-fung, president of the CUHK student union, said it is imperative to amend each university’s ordinance, as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has been taking advantage of the provision to hurt the autonomy of the institutions.
Leung said Monday that the governance structures of the eight universities are all different.
But since the tertiary institutions are all funded by the government, the chief executive should have certain responsibilities and authority over them, he said.
Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) deputy secretary general Wong Hon-leung said on a radio program Monday that Leung has no public mandate to monitor the development of the universities, as he was not elected through universal suffrage.
Wong said Leung’s interventions have been “violent” and that the HKFS might consider asking in its proposed student referendums at the universities whether the students support classroom boycotts, street occupations or other action.
He said the HKFS will leave it to the students to decide whether or not more aggressive measures will be used to seek a revision of the university ordinances.
About 60 people attended the CUHK open forum Monday.
A medical school student stressed that any actions taken by students must be serious enough to have an impact on university operations, so as to force the government to make concessions.
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