29 Nov 2008

Not forbid? Disagree? As the top academic university, NTU should reveal the attidtue towards student movement

Today (Nov. 28th) Wild Strawberries in Taipei has gathered on campus of National Taiwan University (NTU) and has successfully raised awareness and attentions to its agenda as Wild Strawberries held demonstration around the university campus. Prof , who is on hunger strike for the amendment to the referendum law, also joined students parade, delivered a succinct statement encourage the students to persist to fight for Taiwan’s democracy and liberality.
Today’s demonstration has been a success; however obtaining the demonstration clearance from the university was far less a smooth ride, as the student who was responsible for the application revealed, the university authorities had been highly alerted by the application and numerous phone calls were made, inquiring the number of demonstrators and attempts were made to interfered with the preparation for the demonstration. The abnormal and excessive inquires were stressful and the students of the Wild Strawberries movement felt pressured by the university. The university officials initially attempted to demoralize the students by spreading unofficial words around the campus, alleging the number of attending NTU students to the demonstration to be less than a handful. Combating the rumors, numerous NTU students on Friday gathered around the symbolic site, the Fu Bell that represents enlightenment at the university and proclaims “we are here today to send a strong message to the Academic Affairs Officer, that the numbers of NTU students that are supportive of the Wild Strawberries Movements are far more than what the University has anticipated.”The university authority was initially reluctant to approve the demonstration, stating “even though we would not comment on the demonstration, it does not mean we approve it” the final approval came the day before the demonstration.
NTU in the past has been the lead advocate on social movements, but the university officials’ bureaucratic mindsets seems to contradict with the university cultural where the fundamental social values such as human rights, democracy and promotion of the wellbeing of civil society are being treasured and hold in the highest regard. Students are disappointed with NTU's leadership in the cause of preserving basic human rights. The conservative, ambivalent attitudes displayed by NTU officials exposed the hypocrisy within the organization, for example, the recent denouncement by the NTU President over the alleged graft trial of the former President Chen Shui Bien, while completely overlooked the unacceptable behavior and the arrogance of President Ma and Premier Liou. This, lead us to question: why the double standards?

The students also questioned, whether the university authority has felt political pressures from above, as the KMT legislator Tsai, Zheng-yuan (蔡正元) once publicly urged the University to crack down those participated in The Movement, the university has displayed an abnormal interest on the Wild Strawberries movement as compared to other campus events. The Wild Strawberries, hereby, challenge legislator Tsai to come and face the students to engage in scholarly debates over the alleged allegations, rather than hiding in the Legislative Yuan where the proclamations made are neither verified nor true. The students also openly urging the university to step out with the students, and to resist political pressure it has been subjected to in the last few days.

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