Thursday, 3 June 2010

Stop the Nonsense and Give Me Sense

Before I continue to write the last episodes of my visit to To Kwa Wan and Kowloon City, I can't help expressing my anger and frustration with my alma matar, which declined the student union's application to publicly display a statue of the Goddess of Democracy and related art objects.

Since I read the email last night, I haven't been able to figure out what on earth the university's administrative and planning committee members were thinking. All I can tell is that there is no better alternative than this high-sounding but hollow principle of "political neutrality" that can possibly justify its decision. The excuse of reaffirming "the principle of political neutrality" is embarrassing, ridiculous and unsound.

It is unsound because it is ridiculous. The university is meant to encourage and facilitate critical and logical thinking. Unfortunately in this case, however, the university has made a terrible mistake that can only show the contrary.

For one thing, the public display does not necessarily imply the institution is agreeable to the messages of the artworks. It is as simple as that. For another, public display only demonstrates the generosity and tolerance for any legitimate form of expression, which no university should refrain from doing.

Tell me then, how can public display of artworks can possibly undermine political neutrality?

I can't agree more with the question raised by the students in their rebuke, "If political neutrality is that important to the university, why does the vice-chancellor accept his appointment to the Chinese Political People's Consultative Conference?"

It is therefore ridiculous for the university to reject the application. The initiative to disseminate emails proactively to students, alumni and members of the council was such a stupid idea that it can only stir up even more discontent and opposition. I wonder why the public relations office would ever allow this to happen. Of course the management decision often overrides professional advice from the related functions, yet again it only reinforces my resolution to leave the industry at least for a reasonable time.

It is also embarrassing for alumni like me, who are still grateful for what we gained from the university, because it has made a really bad and stupid decision that makes all of us look like an idiot.

Can someone stop the nonsense and start talking sense please?

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