19 January 2019
A CUHK student finds the "Elite Special" meal at The Stage discriminatory. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook/Graduate Bird
A CUHK student finds the "Elite Special" meal at The Stage discriminatory. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook/Graduate Bird

‘Elite’ meal at CUHK restaurant angers students until …

A special treat offered by a restaurant at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin drew cries of discrimination from many students who found they were not qualified to have it.

The Stage Cafe & Restaurant recently distributed flyers promoting its “Elite Special” meal, which, it turned out, could only be purchased by students enrolled in certain subjects, reports.

According to the flyer, the hamburger meal sold at the restaurant was only for those taking up Global Business, International Business and Chinese Enterprise, Quantitative Finance, Risk Management, Pharmacy, Medicine, or Law.

Students were asked to present their student identity cards before they could purchase the meal set.

As to be expected, the restaurant was bombarded by complaints from students who said such a discriminatory policy has no place in the university.

The heated discussion spread online, with students accusing the restaurant operator of promoting elitism, of favoring certain groups of students and discriminating against others.

But just as the students’ anger was about to boil over, the restaurant, which is run by CUHK hotel and tourism management students, posted a statement on its Facebook page, explaining that the “Elite Special” was actually a social experiment conducted by students from the School of Journalism and Communication.

The goal was to test how students would react to elitism while driving home the message that it has no place in society.

The Stage said it was sorry if it had caused any inconvenience or negative feelings, and then invited students to go to the Facebook page to check out the results of the social experiment.

It also uploaded a video, titled Graduate Bird, to its Facebook page, showing the spontaneous reactions of students to the experiment as caught on a hidden camera.

The video also carries interviews with students on how they feel about the experiment as well as elitism and discrimination in society.

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